'Romance fraud' investigation finds Irish man defrauded €28,000 on dating website 1 month ago

'Romance fraud' investigation finds Irish man defrauded €28,000 on dating website

A man aged in his 20s and a woman aged in her 40s have been arrested as part of the investigation.

Gardaí attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) have arrested two people as part of an ongoing investigation into romance fraud after an Irish man was defrauded of €28,000 on a dating website.

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The man, who is based in the east of the country, was defrauded of €28,000 on the website, with the money subsequently being laundered through the accounts of two fraudsters in Tipperary and Dublin.

The man’s bank account was also used to launder the proceeds of a separate invoice redirect fraud, which was perpetrated on an Irish-based company.

On Thursday, 22 July, a man aged in his 20s was arrested and detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 in Tipperary Garda Station in relation to the investigation.

He was later released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

On Monday morning, 26 July, a woman aged in her 40s was also arrested in Dublin for offences contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006.

She is currently being detained in Finglas Garda Station under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007. A vehicle was also seized during the arrest.

The arrests are the latest in a string of romance fraud-related offences which have occurred recently, with three people also being arrested in connection with similar incidents back in September of last year.

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The arrests are a culmination of multiple investigations into complaints of suspected romance and investment fraud.

It’s understood that one of the victims in the September case was convinced to transfer large sums of cash to accounts in Ireland, Turkey, Dubai and Vietnam over a nine-month period, having met with fraudsters online via a dating site.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan (GNECB) said at the time: "This is a novel investigation as the senders of such emails have never been arrested in Ireland before. To date, the belief would always have been that criminal groups engaged in this activity are operating from outside this jurisdiction.

"This investigation shows that this is not always the case. It is anticipated that numerous injured parties from all over the world will now be identified. We would encourage other victims of this type of fraud to report incidents to local Gardaí."