26 Irish people held over Perth, Australia 'home renovation scam'

Perth, Australia
Image caption The Irish people were all detained in Perth, Western Australia

Up to 26 Irish nationals are reported to have been detained by police investigating an alleged home renovation scam in Perth, Australia.

On Thursday, police said they had detained seven Irish nationals - including two 17-year-old boys from the same family - over the alleged fraud.

It is alleged the men were involved in conning elderly people into paying tens of thousands of dollars for poor work.

Police then detained a further 19 people, all Irish women and children.

All have had their visas cancelled.

Police seized 120,000 Australian dollars (£63,800) in cash and two Rolex watches valued at 36,000 dollars (£19,600) after a search at a caravan park in the Perth suburb of Hazelmere on Friday.

A police spokeswoman said it was not yet known if charges will be laid.

Australia's ABC broadcaster said the alleged victims in recent cases were from the Perth suburbs of Subiaco, Nedlands and Dianella, according to police.

It also said that police believe the five men and two 17-year-old boys from Ireland have links to similar offences in other parts of Australia.

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