Student garda accused in ‘€30k marriage scam’

Two Bangladeshi men are believed to have paid €15,000 each to Lithuanian women in a suspected sham-marriage scam.

One of the men was a student garda and has resigned. He has now been given the opportunity to leave the country voluntarily, or face deportation and possible criminal prosecution.

Detectives from the Garda National Immigration Bureau are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions, having conducted voluntary interviews with the four people involved — two Bangladeshi men and a Lithuanian lesbian couple.

Gardaí suspected that the two men paid a total of €30,000 to the women, as part of a bid to get EU citizenship by marriage.

Sources said charges could be brought under legislation for deception offences, relating to the fraudulent use of documentation to obtain residency.

After securing his papers, one of the men sought to apply for An Garda Síochána, following an advertising recruitment campaign.

He successfully applied, and obtained vetting via Garda HQ. He was recruited into Templemore Garda College.

Garda sources said that the four people voluntarily agreed to be interviewed, under caution, during which they made admissions.

A file will now be prepared for the DPP. The individuals were released and the two Bangladeshi men have been given an opportunity to leave of their own volition.

If they do not, they will be served with a deportation request and will have two weeks to respond. If they refuse, gardaí will ask the justice minister for a deportation order.

During this time, they could be prosecuted.

The trainee garda faced being suspended and he resigned.

The GNIB investigation was part of Operation Vantage, an ongoing initiative into tackling sham marriages, after legislation was introduced by then tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald in August 2015.

A garda spokesperson declined to comment on the case, initial details of which appeared in thejournal.ie

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