Home » Scam UK agency sending migrants with promise of work to International Protection Office address in Dublin, Dáil told

Scam UK agency sending migrants with promise of work to International Protection Office address in Dublin, Dáil told

TD Michael McNamara said it was clear that vulnerable people in a precarious position “are being horribly exploited by bad actors”

That was the claim made in the Dáil today by Independent TD and European elections candidate Michael McNamara, who told of an Indian national who travelled to London on a student visa that allowed him to work ten hours a week.

He wanted to work longer and consulted an agency which told him he could have full employment in Ireland. It charged him £1,500 for the service, and retained his passport so that he would pay an additional £1,000 when he started work.

“They arranged his travel to Liverpool and from there a ferry to Belfast – from where he travelled down to Dublin,” Mr McNamara said.

“He was given the Eircode and postal address of his employer. He turned up there and it was the IPO office in Dublin.”

The IPO deals with applications for asylum.

The man didn’t know that he was being sent to the IPO office, Mr McNamara said, and was one of five travelling in a similar way, organised by the same agents on the same day.

“He knows of 30 more people sent to Ireland by that agency in the same way. He’s now in Ireland, trying to get out of the asylum system and back to the United Kingdom. He doesn’t have his passport,” he said.

Mr McNamara said it was clear that vulnerable people in a precarious position “are being horribly exploited by bad actors”.

“But it’s equally clear that our State is being exploited by those bad actors. If I know anything of the underworld, if there is one agency doing this in London, there are many doing it,” he said.

He added: “We can talk about a rules-based system all we want. If those rules are not being applied, they are essentially irrelevant. Unfortunately bad actors in other states have cottoned on to that. We have a problem.”

Taoiseach Simon Harris said it was a very serious matter that had been raised, although he did not have full details.

He said: “We will put a revised national referral mechanism on a statutory footing, making it easier for victims of trafficking to come forward to be identified and to access supports.”

A Human Trafficking Bill had just gone through the Dáil and was now going to the Seanad, he said, “very much showing how seriously this country wants to tackle this on a legislative basis”.

“The issue you highlight is indeed extremely important. I want that individual that you mentioned to know that we do take it extraordinarily seriously,” Mr Harris said.

“There is also very significant collaboration between An Garda Síochána and Europol, Interpol and of course the police forces in the United Kingdom.”