One victim was convinced to transfer large sums of cash having met fraudsters on a dating website.
GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED three men as part of their investigations into suspected online romance and investment fraud.
The arrests were made by gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) during search operations in West Dublin and in Navan.
Victims of romance fraud scams usually meet fraudsters through dating websites. The fraudsters set up fake profiles and build a relationship with their victims, gaining their trust and eventually asking for money, sometimes for travelling costs to come see them, for emergency medical expenses or for business opportunities.
It’s understood one of the victims in this case was convinced to transfer large sums of cash to accounts in Ireland, Turkey, Dubai and Vietnam over a nine month period, having met fraudsters online via a dating site.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan (GNECB) said 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.
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“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.”
The three men are currently detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007 at garda stations in West Dublin and can be held for up to seven days. A number of devices were also seized for examination during today’s operation.