Garda swoop uncovers  taxi-licence  scam by illegal immigrants

06 Mar 2019 / home affairs Print

Swoop uncovers taxi-licence scam by illegal immigrants

Gardaí swooped on illegal taxi drivers in Dublin and found 180 individuals using fraudulent public service vehicle licences.

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) searched ten properties in Lucan, Palmerstown and the north inner city this morning. The immigration status of the 180 individuals is now being investigated by GNIB.

False paperwork

The swoop uncovered suspected false paperwork, including Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) applications, believed to be part of a massive immigration scam.

The taxi scam came to light after four non-EU taxi drivers were found to be working with fraudulent SPSV licences, some with no driving qualifications, and using false identities.

Two have since been deported, with the remainder awaiting deportation.

Authorities from the Carriage Office, the National Transport Authority and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) were part of the investigation.

Criminal network

Gardaí believe they will uncover a wider criminal network as part of the probe.

The integrity of the public service vehicle licensing system is also part of the investigation

Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Robert Troy said a "severe weakness" has shown up in the National Transport Authority's taxi-licencing system.

The Special Crime Operations, Roads Policing, DMR West Traffic Corps, the Carriage Office, the Garda Analyst Service, the INIS, Department of Social Protection, and the National Transport Authority were all involved in this morning’s swoop, with 90 personnel searching ten properties at 8am, under search warrant.

This is the latest phase of Operation Vantage, managed by the GNIB, which, to date, has uncovered 134 cases where the PSV licence holder had questionable immigration status.

Of the 134 cases, 64 have been concluded and sent forward to the INIS.

A total of 55 immigration permissions have been revoked, and 25 of these are now subject to deportation proceedings.

Deportation orders

Four people have been arrested on foot of deportation orders, with two already removed from the State.

Marriages of convenience are being probed in 15 further cases, while seven individuals were found to be in the State without any immigration permission

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