19 workers in breach of immigration or permit legislation at meat processing firm

Nineteen people were discovered to be in contravention of immigration or permit legislation at a Meath meat processing facility last week. Four people have been arrested and bailed to appear at Swords and Balbriggan District Courts.

Gardaí attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) conducted two separate, multi-agency search operations in conjunction with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Department of Social Protection, on 30th January 2020 and 11th February 2020.

In the operation conducted on Tuesday, 11th February, members from GNIB accompanied the WRC and DSP combined to search the offices and warehouse of a Meat processing company in Co Meath.
 
As a result of enquiries and intelligence, it was established that this company was employing persons in contravention of the Immigration and Employment Permits Legislation. A total of 19 individuals were discovered in contravention of either immigration or permit legislation.
 
Four people were arrested and charged under immigration legislation; they were subsequently bailed to appear at Swords courts on the 19th February 2020 and Balbriggan Court on 27th February 2020. A fifth person claimed asylum. And an additional 11 people were encountered with not having any current immigration status in the State; they will be subsequently removed in accordance with legislation.
 
A further three non-EU Nationals were interviewed due to possible discrepancies in relation to work permits. The Work Relations Commission are continuing to investigate to ensure compliance with Employment Legislation.

The other search operation, conducted on Thursday, 30th January 2020, took place at the warehouse of an Asian food products supplier and a number of attached offices, in a business park in West Dublin.
 
Following investigations, enquiries and intelligence gathered by GNIB, it was established that this company was suspected of employing persons in contravention of the Immigration and Employment Permits Legislation. It was also established that a number of persons who were subject to deportation orders were being employed at this business.
 
During the course of the search and inspection, a total of six people were arrested. Three people were arrested on foot of live deportation orders. The remaining three people were arrested for having no legal status to be in the State and subsequently appeared before Blanchardstown District Court on Friday 31st January 2020, where they were remanded until 13th March 2020.
 
During the same search, the Department of Social Protection officers suspended a number of payments, including Disability Allowance, Rent Supplement and Child Benefit as a result of this operation and estimated potential savings of €100,000 to the State. The Workplace Relations Commission are continuing to investigate to ensure compliance with Employment Legislation.

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