Gardaí have arrested 11 people as part of an investigation into a multi-million-euro marriage-of-convenience fraud. Thirty people have already been charged.

They also searched 40 homes and businesses in Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Longford, Louth, Cork, Limerick and Mayo this morning.

Gardaí say a large number of men from the Indian subcontinent are trying to get married in Ireland to women from eastern Europe and Portugal.

The multi-agency investigation also involves the Revenue Commissioners, the Immigration Service, the Department of Social Welfare, the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Workplace Relations Commission.

The investigation is targeting a number of criminal networks in Ireland and the UK engaged in the facilitation of marriages of convenience by providing false information and documentation to marriage registrars.

It has identified a number of criminal networks here and in the UK that provide false documentation to women from eastern Europe and Portugal to enable them to marry men from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The men pay up to €20,000 for the marriage which grants them EU Treaty rights and enables them and their families to reside and work in Europe while their new brides - most of whom they only meet once on the wedding day - return home.

Gardaí say the criminal networks are making millions and the Criminal Assets Bureau tracked €27m through one individual’s accounts.

55 objections have been lodged to pending marriages while another 30 never proceeded after the investigation began.

Two convicted sex offenders as well as a number of people with deportation orders have also been arrested and prevented from marrying.