Fake letters purporting to be from the Department of Justice have been circulated to some Ukrainian men in Ireland, claiming that extradition requests have been made for them to return to Ukraine to serve in the armed forces.
The letters, dated September 7th, claim the department had “received a request from the government of Ukraine” for the person’s extradition, “based on the allegation that you are eligible for military conscription in Ukraine and have failed to comply with your legal obligation to serve in the armed forces”.
It is not known who is behind the letters.
The letters said the recipient was required to appear before the High Court for a “hearing on the extradition request” on a date in October. If the recipient failed to appear for the appointment, they claim, “a warrant may be issued for your arrest and you may be detained until the extradition proceedings are concluded”.
The Department of Justice confirmed it was not behind the letters, which were sent to an unknown number of men.
“If anyone is unsure of the authenticity of any correspondence they receive purporting to be from the Department of Justice, they can contact the Department on 1800-221227,” a department spokeswoman said. “Scams are common. They can happen at any time. Some of the most common types of scams involve the use of fake emails, calls or texts pretending to be from real companies and organisations.”
Meanwhile, leaflets bearing a Fianna Fáil logo and claiming to be from Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien were circulated in the Malahide area over the weekend.
The leaflets asked for “a favour from the good people of Malahide” to “give up a spare room or two, or a nice granny flat, or ideally a community hall” to people fleeing war and persecution.
“We’d love to make Malahide more multicultural and become a lighthouse of hope for those less fortunate,” they read.
In a post on Twitter on Monday, Mr O’Brien said the leaflets were fake, adding that it was “an obvious attempt at sowing discontent through disinformation and quite clearly someone went to great lengths to draft, print and circulate these”.
“At its core, disinformation like this seeks to cause tension in an area. The people of Malahide have proven themselves to be welcoming. In fact, Fingal is one of the youngest, fastest growing and most diverse areas in Ireland,” he wrote.
The legitimate avenue for anyone wishing to offer accommodation under the Offer a Home initiative, established last year to help house displaced Ukrainians, was on the website offerahome.ie, he said.