Smishing scam  | 

Man (27) and woman (25) arrested as part of major international fraud probe

A 27-year-old Nigerian man and a 25-year-old woman remain in garda custody and can be held for a period of up to seven days.
Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Gardaí have arrested a man and a woman as part of an investigation into a €1.1m invoice redirect fraud involving a Dutch shipping company.

The pair were detained following search operations in Dublin by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

Yesterday's raids were part of Operation Skein, an international investigation into invoice re-direct fraud, with the arrests described as among the most significant to date.

A 27-year-old Nigerian man and a 25-year-old woman remain in garda custody and can be held for a period of up to seven days.

The two search operations were carried out in Finglas and Adamstown in the capital.

A garda spokeswoman said that the were part of "an investigation into the laundering of proceeds of smishing and business email compromise (BEC) frauds".

She added that they are being held under provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 at Irishtown Garda Station.

The man in custody is suspected of sending an email to a Dutch shipping company in relation to a €1.1m invoice redirect fraud committed from Ireland.

His home was previously searched in 2020 during which phones and documentation were recovered leading to this week's arrests.

To date as part of Operation Skein there has been over 700 suspects identified with 203 people arrested and 98 people charged in investigations led by the GNECB.

Local gardaí have arrested 145 of those with 54 detained under gangland legislation and 149 for money laundering and other offences.

In total €31 million stolen in the scams has also been identified as being laundered through Irish banks accounts.

Gardaí say that they have also co-operated and received assistance from Dutch policing authorities and a number of co-ordinated meetings have been facilitated by Eurojust.

"Great assistance is also being provided by Interpol in both a technical aspect, a co-ordination aspect and in the sharing of information, intelligence and expertise," a spokeswoman said.

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