Gardaí have arrested a 68-year-old man in relation to a social welfare fraud in excess of €200,000 which had been allegedly carried out for 23 years.
The Clondalkin man, who is understood to have worked in the construction industry, was brought to his local Garda station where detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) questioned him before releasing him without charge.
"Essentially this individual was working under one name and claiming social welfare benefits under another name," a senior source told Independent.ie last night.
"Investigations have established that the fraud took place between 1995 and 2018 and charges are very likely in this case," the source added.
He is one of around 15 suspects who have been arrested already this year in the Dublin region for social welfare fraud after the GNECB launched a massive crackdown on this type of fraud late last year.
"The number of arrests would have been higher except the coronavirus pandemic put some investigations on hold. There will be more arrests," the source added.
After the arrest of the Clondalkin man last Tuesday, another suspect was arrested in Tallaght later in the week as part of a separate case.
He was quizzed by detectives about a €40,000 fraud which occurred over a three-year period.
"This suspect was claiming false payments by declaring that he was only working two days a week when in fact he was working full time. Again a file will be processed for the DPP," the source said.
Earlier this month, a man was charged with 51 offences relating to fraudulent social welfare claims amounting to €220,000 which were allegedly claimed between 1991 and 2015.
"This man had two false IDs and it is suspected that this is another case of a person working under one name and claiming welfare under another identity," the source pointed out.
Earlier this month, two Nigerian nationals were also charged with an alleged €50,000 social welfare fraud which had happened over a five-year period.
"The charges here involve theft and deception - one suspect was allegedly living abroad while the other suspect was making the claims for him," the source said.
And an Algerian national based in Naas, Co Kildare, was charged earlier this month with 24 offences of "theft by using a false instrument" after detectives discovered that he was allegedly collecting job seeker's allowance by using a false French ID card.
There has been a recent increase in Garda resources by secondment of officers to the Department of Social Protection's Special Investigation Unit.
These officers retain their Garda powers and undertake the full range of duties in detecting and investigating social welfare fraud.
In another case, a Dublin woman in her 50s was arrested in February in relation to an alleged €100,000 benefits fraud.
She was released following her arrest at her home in Newcastle, Co Dublin, and a file has been sent to the DPP.
A senior source said detectives believe that the unemployed woman had been fraudulently claiming social welfare benefits for a period of up to six years.
In December, Romanian national Ilie Dragusin (45), who stole more than €240,000 in social welfare payments over a 10-year period, was sentenced to three years in prison at Naas Circuit Court.
"There will be more arrests in the coming months in relation to this type of fraud which typically involves people receiving dual payments or in some cases even triple payments from the State," the senior source said.