Gardai have begun a multi-agency checkpoint scheme on Irish roads to inspect vehicles and individuals that may be participating in fraud.
The initiative involves the gardai, Road Safety Authority, Customs & Revenue and the Department of Social Protection.
The first road check was carried out in Kildare on Tuesday, with a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection telling The Sun that:
"The Department of Social Protection participated in a routine multi-agency checkpoint yesterday on the M9 close to the Athy exit.
"As part of a range of initiatives to prevent and detect fraud, the Department of Social Protection participates in multi-agency vehicle checkpoints (MAVCs) on an on-going basis.
"These MAVCs facilitate an approach whereby all agencies can comprehensively identify individuals engaged in vehicle tax evasion, road traffic irregularities or social welfare and tax fraud in particular locations.
"Detection and prevention of social welfare fraud"
"In line with powers that are provided for in social welfare legislation, officers from the Department’s Special Investigation Unit participate in these checkpoints in the detection and prevention of social welfare fraud.
"The general focus of inquiries is related to individuals driving commercial vehicles – haulage, transport and taxi – including those at taxi ranks at airports. Where inquiries suggest that irregularities have occurred they are pursued further."