Five people have been arrested by gardaí investigating an international fraud gang who have stolen over €15m.
The suspects, aged in their late teens and 20s, were detained following an operation in the Midlands this morning.
They are being questioned over a variety of offences including acting as and recruiting money mules, as well as laundering money in bank accounts for the crime gang.
The arrests were made as part of Operation SKEIN into a crime group suspected of stealing €15.5m worldwide as part of invoice redirect frauds.
Gardaí suspect the gang have also laundered close to €14m of their ill-gotten gains through Irish bank accounts.
The four men and one woman are being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 and can be questioned for up to seven days.
They are being detained at Longford, Mullingar and Granard garda stations.
This morning’s operations involved gardaí from the Longford district and detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).
A Garda spokesman said that approximately 78 people have now been arrested who are connected to the criminal organisation.
“A number of convictions have been recorded, numerous are before the courts charged with offences and files are being prepared for the DPP and GYDO (Garda Youth Diversion) in respect of the rest. More arrests are anticipated.
“GNECB continues to work with local districts and with international police forces through Eurojust, Europol and Interpol as they target this criminal organisation,” the Garda spokesman added.