More than 500 reports of suspected welfare fraud reported in the north west

More than 500 reports about suspected social welfare fraud in the north west were received by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection during the first half of this year.

Of a total of 534 reports received for Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim, 156 were sent forward for investigation.

Overall, throughout the country, the Department of Social Protection launched investigations into 3,300 cases of suspected welfare-fraud this year, with 45 people having been convicted in court, two of whom were jailed.

The department received more than 7,300 reports of suspected social-welfare fraud, of which 3,260 were referred for investigation.

Sinn Féin’s social-protection spokesman John Brady pointed out that there is a decline in the numbers of cases.