Clare and Limerick Gardaí have led a comprehensive operation targeting multiple fraud offences related to the pandemic unemployment payment.
Gardaí suspect that 28 people were involved.
Gardaí say that they have been investigating this fraud since May, when they began to liaise with the Department of Social Protection.
Their probe has identified a suspected international organised crime group, made up of people in Ireland and abroad, who have engaged in both identity and fraud offences to obtain PUP monies.
A total of 28 people were identified as being active participants.
Today, a number of searches have been conducted in Clare and Limerick in connection with this investigation.
This is a joint operation involving Department of Social Protection Officials, Gardaí seconded to the Department of Social Protection, Customs and Excise Officials and Gardaí based in Limerick and Clare including Detectives, uniformed personnel, the Armed Support Unit and the Garda Dog Unit.
A number of items including documentation and related material have been seized and are currently being examined.
The investigation is continuing.