Gardaí have made arrests after multi-agency raids targeting social welfare fraud in the Midlands.
Gardaí said five men have been arrested after 22 businesses were searched in Tullamore by what was described a targeted operation.
"A multi-agency operation, led by the Garda National Immigration Bureau, targeting business premises in the Tullamore area took place yesterday Thursday, October 7.
"The operation involved officers from GNIB, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Department of Social Protection.
"This investigation arises from ongoing multi-agency cooperation between the Departments which identified suspected abuses of Department of Social Welfare and Social Welfare fraud.
"The search comprised of 22 separate business premises being subjected to unannounced inspections and five men (aged from 38 to 47 years) were arrested," said a statement.
Gardaí added the five arrests relate to offences contrary to Section 12 of the Immigration Act, 2004 and Section 2(1) of The Employment Permits Act 2003. All five men were charged with these offences and bailed to appear before Tullamore District Court on October 13.
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