Three men due in court over Dublin Airport immigration offences

Aer Lingus has confirmed two of its employees were arrested at the airport

Three men due in court over Dublin Airport immigration offences

File photo of Dublin Airport

Three men, including two Aer Lingus employees, are due to appear at Dublin district court on Tuesday charged with immigration offences.

The men - aged 28, 56 and 61 - were arrested at Dublin Airport by officers with the Garda Immigration Bureau assisted by the Garda Special Detective Unit on Monday.

They are currently being detained at Ballymun, Swords and Coolock garda stations.

Aer Lingus has confirmed two of its employees were arrested at the airport.

"Aer Lingus is co-operating fully with An Garda Síochana in their investigation," the company said in a statement. "As this is an on-going criminal investigation we have no further comment to make."

A foreign national from outside the European Union arrived at Dublin Airport on Sunday night, and gardaí followed indications that two Aer Lingus staff were going to help get the man past immigration controls.

The three men are in garda custody after the operation, that also involved searches of property and vehicles.

Gardaí are trying to establish how many times this may have happened before.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll is from the Special Crime Operations Unit.

"At the particular time of the arrest, the arrival of a person at Dublin Airport and indications that two people were going to facilitate that person in circumventing immigration controls.

"Obviously our intervention has prevented it on this occasion".

Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll says the offers of big money from illegal immigrants can be attractive.

"There is always a temptation there for people to succumb to the offering of corrupt payments".

Speaking earlier, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said authorities need to be vigilant at Ireland's airports.

"We have a huge amount of contact with Interpol and Europol," she explained.

"I'm very confident that with the new arrangements now in place, that database information is being shared more effectively than ever."

Additional reporting: Sean Defoe