A TEENAGER has been arrested on suspicion of using a series of fake names to claim six separate COVID-19 unemployment payments.
Under the Irish government’s system, citizens who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic are entitled to a payment of €350-a-week.
However, according to the Irish Independent, that same system of support has been the subject of abuse from one unnamed teen who has been arrested "for fraudulently claiming Covid-19 payments".
The suspect, from Mullingar in Co Westmeath, was reportedly receiving six separate COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments into a single bank account.
Authorities believe he was able to access the payments by providing a series of bogus names and identities when applying to claim the cash.
Gardaí attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) were tipped off to the deception after receiving intelligence from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).
A subsequent search of the teenager’s house uncovered a large sum of cash along with some counterfeit cash which was also seized in the raid.
The young man was arrested at his home and taken to the nearby Mullingar Garda Station.
He is currently being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 with investigations still ongoing.