Almost a dozen South American nationals living in a rural Longford area face possible deportation after gardai arrested and charged nine people on suspicion of breaching immigration and employment laws at the weekend.
In a major operation involving officers from Granard, together with officials from the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), nine Brazilian individuals were detained over the course of last Friday afternoon.
All nine were taken to Longford and Granard Garda Stations where they were later charged by investigating officers and released pending court appearances later this month.
Gardai in Granard are understood to have made the breakthrough after discovering an unusually high number of Brazilian nationals were signing on at the north Longford station in relation to minor road traffic offences.
After a series of follow-up enquiries were made gardai discovered all nine to be working illegally at a local business.
The nine people currently under investigation all live in Co Longford although it’s not known at this stage how long they have been in the country.
Gardai have also refused to rule out the possibility of making further arrests over the coming weeks as they look to clamp down on suspected violations in employment and immigration regulations.
“We can confirm that nine people were arrested and brought to Longford and Granard Garda Stations,” said a spokesperson on Monday evening. “Those concerned have since been charged with breaches of immigration and employment legislation.
As for the likelihood of additional charges being handed down, gardai are for the moment staying tight-lipped.
“This investigation is still active and ongoing,” added the spokesperson. “And a file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in due course.”