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Ireland Warns of Recruitment Scams: Recruitment Agent Explains

Dublin: Following allegations of extortion from candidates seeking recruitment as healthcare assistants in Ireland, a recruitment agent, Suraj Muralidharan, who also serves as a staff nurse at St. James’s Hospital, has come forward with revelations to ‘Irish Malayali News’. Muralidharan disclosed that the process to bring in caregivers began with contact made at the HSE office.

Muralidharan’s account suggests that, anticipating a recruitment freeze within the HSE, efforts were made to expedite recruitment. Allegedly, an individual claiming to be an HR department officer at HSE, along with another person, solicited €2,000 from each candidate for their appointment. Muralidharan facilitated this contact through someone named Jason.

Subsequently, the opportunity was advertised on social media platforms, leading to approximately 500 applicants from various parts of the world. Selections were made through several rounds of interviews. Muralidharan asserts that John Barry and Matthew Long, purportedly involved in discussions at the HSE office, conducted online interviews lasting half an hour. Sub-agents from different parts of India allegedly paid Rs 2 lakhs each for the selected candidates. However, due to procedural delays, some sub-agents refunded the money to the candidates. Muralidharan insists that these transactions were openly conducted, with funds directly transferred to his bank account in Kerala and to Barry’s account, totaling €8.5 million.

Candidates who succeeded in the interviews were issued work permits for various HSE and hospital positions in Ireland. However, their visas were denied by the Irish Embassy in India, citing fraudulent permits. Additionally, the embassy issued letters prohibiting 250 nurses from entering Ireland for five years.

Despite this setback, Muralidharan claims that Barry and his associates, whom he insists are affiliated with HSE, will rectify the situation promptly, ensuring candidates are granted legitimate work permits and entry bans are lifted. Barry purportedly offered to refund applicants’ money if they withdraw their Ireland applications.

Muralidharan reports that most applications are still pending with the HSE, but refunds are being processed for those who request them, including withdrawn applications. A meeting has been arranged in Kochi this week to brief candidates on the next steps.

When asked about evidence of the money transfers, Muralidharan indicated readiness to provide it to Kerala police and the Garda in Ireland.

If Muralidharan’s claims are substantiated and linked to the HSE or the recruitment scam, it could cast suspicion on the entire HSE system. ‘Irish Malayali News’ reached out to the HSE for comment but has yet to receive a response.

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