A FIRM at the centre of a Garda probe which uses social media to promote and advise people to put money into foreign exchange trading has been named as TNT Trading.
Gardaí raided two premises of the firm this week and seized documents and mobile phones.
The firm is not authorised by the Central Bank, but denies doing anything wrong.
It was not named when gardaí issued a release saying they raided a firm promoting foreign exchange trading that was "promising easy and high returns".
Garda sources said the firm is called TNT Trading, which was previously called TNT FX. It has a website at www.tnttrading.ie, listing its co-founders as Tommy Farrell and a "TJ". The firm uses Instagram and Facebook to promote its activities.
Detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and Tallaght garda station carried out the searches.
The raid is part of an ongoing probe into breaches of regulations under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2017. EU directive MiFID requires investment firms to be authorised. The investigation is being conducted with the support of the Central Bank.
In May this publication contacted the firm. It insisted it was doing nothing wrong and denied it is misleading people.
It said it teaches people to trade in foreign currencies and become financially free.
Those who sign up need to deposit €400 into a trading account.
When contacted, the person who replied said he was from the firm but would not give his name.
He eventually said his name was Pillow Case, later saying it was Table Chair. He insisted he was the co-owner of the firm.
The caller was adamant the firm did not need to be authorised as it was not taking money from people.
It was offering an educational service, showing people how to trade currencies.
It refers people to foreign exchange and stock market brokers. It earns commission from the referrals, he said.
The Irish Independent has been contacted by people who said they lost money after signing up for the firm.
But the caller said this was impossible as his firm does not take money, but refers people it signs up to brokers.
There was subsequent contact from a man called Tommy Farrell, who said he was a co-founder of the firm.
Mr Farrell insisted his company was a marketing firm, providing educational services and referring people to regulated brokers. This means it does not need to be authorised.
He said the company was set up in Dubai and has operations in Dublin, and admitted many of its customers are in the 18-to-25 age group.
"We provide educational services. We teach people how to place trades. We have explained that to the Central Bank."
Asked if the firm's activities were questionable, he said: "We are 100pc not a scam."
He denied that those who avail of the services of the firm are being misled in any way.
Gardaí said anyone with concerns that a firm is not authorised can make a report to their local garda station or to the Central Bank.