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Brazilians caught out in Covid-19 benefit fraud

Welfare fraud covid 19

More than 250 foreigners were identified trying to circumvent the system by receiving emergency aid from the government, even after leaving the country. The vast majority of these was proven to be Brazilians.

The current €350 per week benefit paid out to those temporarily out of work as a result of the virus is paid for three months, totaling € 4,200 (about R $ 25,000). Anyone living in Ireland, including foreigners, is entitled to apply for assistance, but must be legally resident in the country.

A large number of Brazilians living in Ireland and lost their jobs were spotted at Dublin Airport returning home. Many of them have requested emergency aid, but they do not have the right to receive it if they are no longer living in the country.

For one of the sources heard by Extra, “it is unacceptable that they are living in Brazil and receiving €350 a week from the Irish government on their bills for the next three months […] Many of these Brazilian students can return when schools and jobs reopen. And many may not return. In the meantime, they cannot receive the Irish benefit when they are back in Brazil ”.

In the past two and a half weeks, all people leaving Ireland are having their information checked by social security officers, assisted by the migrant police. The operation has already saved around 1 million euros to the public coffers by canceling the benefit of the hundreds of Brazilians who were able to receive it, but who left the country.

Another fraud involving government emergency aid had already been discovered in recent days by the police. The benefit is being used for money laundering by a gang of criminals, who give money to people in exchange for access to their bank accounts. Many of the individuals who gave up their accounts are students who need the money. According to the Irish Times, more than € 6 million has already been laundered through these accounts in Ireland.

Author: Pedro

I work with digital marketing and lived in Europe for two years. I like to write about travel, business and entertainment, as well as sharing tips and advice for Brazilians living abroad.
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