UNISON (Ireland), Jan. 31, 2007
Social welfare and immigration officials have reportedly uncovered a numbers of scams by bogus asylum seekers to defraud the Irish State of millions of euros.
Reports this morning claim many asylum seekers have been claiming benefits from the State despite living elsewhere.
The reports say a significant number of Nigerian nationals living and working in the UK have been travelling to the Republic via the North to illegitimately claim social welfare payments.
Chinese and Romanian nationals are also reportedly involved in substantial abuse of child benefit schemes, while one Chinese woman claimed thousands of euros from the State even though she was living in China.
Elsewhere, a Nigerian woman who claimed her life was in danger reportedly claimed euros 67,000 during a four-year period that she actually spent living in Nigeria.
A wealthy Albanian businessman also reportedly claimed asylum in Ireland solely to get medical treatment and returned home regularly to the country he claimed to be fleeing.
This morning’s reports say the discovery of these scams has saved the State euros 25m, but investigators believe further fraudsters have yet to be detected.
The figure, however, pales in comparison to the euros 200m saved by the Department of Social and Family Affairs as a result of anti-fraud measures in the first half of last year alone.