Three held in €450k defrauding of Spanish and Irish companies

Gardaí investigating the defrauding of a Spanish and an Irish company have arrested three people and recovered the bulk of the stolen €450,000.

In the first operation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau saved around 90% of the €300,000 taken from a company in Spain by two foreigners in Dublin.

These individuals are suspected of being part of an “organised criminal network” involved in international fraud and money laundering.

In a second, and unrelated, operation, the bureau recovered all of the €100,000 that had been stolen by an Irish national from an Irish company.

The method of obtaining funds via this type of fraud is known as invoice redirect fraud. It takes place when a criminal impersonates a person or a company to whom a legitimate payment is due.

The criminal contacts the company due to pay the money and deceives them into sending the money to them via a new account. That money is often broken up into different accounts and transferred abroad.

In the first operation, the bureau arrested two males, aged 24 and 25, in Lucan, Dublin. They were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

In a statement, gardaí said: “The men arrested are suspected of being part of an organised criminal network involved in international fraud and money laundering activities.

“A Spanish company was deceived into transferring significant amounts to an Irish bank account being operated under a company name by the arrested persons. The vast majority of this money has been recovered.”

It is thought the amount defrauded was around €300,000 and that around 90% was recovered.

Another male, aged 25, was arrested in Dublin city centre on suspicion of deceiving an Irish company into transferring a significant amount to an account he controlled. The amount is thought to be about €100,000 and all has been recovered.

Assistant commissioner, Special Crime Operations, John O’Driscoll stated: “Today’s arrests by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau of those involved in the fraudulent theft of money from businesses both here in Ireland and abroad is extremely significant. A quick reaction by An Garda Síochána is critical to success in combatting this type of organised fraud.

“It is particularly satisfying to recover money that was stolen and could have resulted in companies, both at home and abroad, going out of business had it not been recovered.”

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