Gardaí believe up to 200 households may have been involved in a scam to by-pass the gas metering system.

A man in his 30s has been arrested following investigations into alleged tampering with meters.

Gardaí arrested the suspect following raids on ten houses in the Dublin area.

All of the homes were found to have gas meters which had been criminally damaged.

Personnel from Bord Gáis Networks accompanied officers during the searches and gas meters were seized as evidence.

Bord Gáis Networks is warning the scam poses a significant safety concern.

Service Delivery Manager John Memery said: “We have seen an increase in the prevalence of gas meter tampering throughout the country through detection and tip-offs from members of the public."

Bord Gáis Networks said it was aware of the financial difficulties that gas customers are experiencing, but warned tampering with a meter was not the solution.

The suspect, who was arrested in Kilmainham, has been released from custody and a file is being prepared for the DPP.