Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Courts to examine Izevbekhai 'cert fraud'

Integration Minister Conor Lenihan said that the shock admission by a Nigerian mother that she used fake documents here to boost her asylum case will be fully examined by the courts.

Over the weekend, Pamela Izevbekhai admitted that she had used a fake death certificate for her daughter, and a forged affidavit from a doctor in Nigeria as proof of her argument that it’s not safe for her family to return to Nigeria.

However, Ms Izevbekhai has stood by her claim that she did have another daughter, Elizabeth, who died in 1994 as a result of female genital mutilation (FGM).


Ireland among slowest in Europe to grant refugee status

The Irish rate of granting refugee status to asylum seekers is well below the EU average, it was claimed today.

As Pamela Izevbekhai’s high-profile deportation battle continues in the courts, latest figures reveal Ireland ranks 18th out of Europe’s 27 countries for allowing asylum.

The Irish Refugee Council study backs up Government plans for a radical overhaul of the refugee system, which would see applications for various types of protection considered together under one system.

Robin Hanan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said the single procedure needs to be well organised.

The report – The Single Protection Procedure – A chance for change – reveals Ireland’s rate of granting asylum stood at just 9.3% in 2006, compared with the EU average of 22.3%.

Some 3,866 people applied for asylum in Ireland in 2008, with a gradual fall year on year since the peak of 2002 when 11,634 applied to come.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Visa scam Chinese national jailed

A Chinese man who bribed a former Department of Justice employee to issue visa extensions to immigrant students in a "highly lucrative scam" has been jailed for two and a half years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Bin Yang (aged 26) referred Chinese students who had come to Ireland to study English but didn’t met the conditions for a visa extension to Dara Revins (aged 28), who worked in the Garda Immigration Bureau.

Yang, of Belton Park Gardens, Donnycarney, received up to €4,000 from the students for putting them in touch with Revins. Revins, of Windmill Road, Crumlin, would give them the extension and was paid up to €1,500 by Yang for each student.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Romanians plead guilty to sexual assault

TWO Romanian men will be sentenced in May for sexually assaulting a woman last year.

Ionat Hoinaru (29) of no fixed abode and Constantin Mariscariu (23) of The Avenue, Barnora, Cahir, Co Tipperary pleaded guilty to sexual assault of the woman in Tipperary.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Figures for non-Irish gardaí

Just 18 gardaí from ethnic minorities have been recruited under a much-publicised drive since 2006 to attract foreign nationals into the force, it has emerged.

Charlie Flanagan, Fine Gael justice spokesman, said the number of foreign gardaí recruited to date was "extremely disappointing".

The 18 foreign gardaí are from China, Poland, US, Greece, South Africa and Denmark.

There has been a marginally better return in attracting ethnic minorities into the unpaid ranks of the garda reserve.

According to figures released in August, there were 15 non-Irish nationals in the standby force, comprising nine Chinese, a Dutch, a Romanian, a Greek, a Lithuanian, a Pole and a South African.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

European people trafficking trial goes ahead in the Netherlands

FOLLOWING an international investigation involving gardaí, 11 people accused of forcing up to 150 young Nigerian girls into prostitution in Europe have gone on trial in the Netherlands.

The traffickers, mainly Nigerian, are accused of bringing the girls into the Netherlands as asylum seekers with false identity papers and instructions for an application in 2007.

The girls would then disappear from the asylum system only to reappear in other European countries.

In 2008, a Nigerian girl suspected of being trafficked into Ireland and forced to work as a prostitute was brought to the attention of gardaí and other state agencies in Kilkenny.

Kilkenny District Court was told the 17-year-old had spoken with members of Ruhama, an organisation that works with prostitutes and trafficking victims, and that gardaí had received documentation from the Nigerian embassy, which had spoken with the minor. The Health Service Executive was asked to intervene, but the girl disappeared.

In another case, an RTÉ reporter found a Nigerian girl who had been trafficked via London and Belfast to be placed in brothels and apartments here. She was expected to give her share of the money to the man who brought her over and the rest to the agency owner.


Immigration official jailed for €20,000 visa bribe scam

A FORMER Department of Justice employee has been jailed for 18 months for his role in a scam where visa extensions were issued to immigrant students in return for bribes.

Dara Revins (28), who made €20,000 from the scheme, worked in the Garda Immigration Bureau issuing visas to Chinese students who had come to Ireland to study English.

His co-accused, Bin Yang (26), referred students who didn't meet the conditions for a visa extension to Revins.

A warrant was issued for Yang on March 6 last after he failed to appear for his sentence hearing.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Foreigners and drug trafficking

THERE is a truly international makeup to the nationalities involved in trafficking cocaine into Ireland.

African, eastern European, Dutch and Irish feature highly, with a scattering of British, American and Germans.

For the last three years (for which there are figures available), Africans accounted for more than half of all people arrested for cocaine trafficking in 2005 and 2007 and 30% in 2006.

Of these, the single most prominent nationality is Nigerian. In 2005, they single-handedly accounted for half of those arrested. In the other two years it was closer to a third.

The trend highlights two things: the first, and most obvious, is the use of Nigerian and African nationals to smuggle drugs, often inside their body at great personal risk.

The other thing is the relatively sudden emergence of west African, namely Nigerian, gangs in the cocaine trafficking trade — a trend highlighted in a number of United Nations reports in recent years.

A significant number of eastern Europeans have been arrested by Customs. In 2005, 7% of those arrested were Polish. In 2006, 10% were Polish and 17% were Estonian. In 2007, 9% of those arrested were Polish.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Eight Chinese held in drug raid

Eight people believed to be linked to a Chinese triad gang have been arrested following the discovery of a cannabis plant factory in Co Leitrim.

Cannabis with a potential street value of about €200,000 was discovered in the house in Drumshambo.

All are Chinese nationals understood to be linked to the triad gang, Wo Shing Wo. One of the men, who is in his fifties, is understood to be the leader of the gang and has been living in Ireland since the early 90s.


Lithuanian's arrested after rape and crowbar attack

Gardai are today searching for the teeth of a young woman who was battered with a crow- bar in a beauty spot attack.

Christina Leslie (19), from Dunleer, had her face smashed in the attack after being asked if she wanted to be raped, shot or beaten during the horrific assault in Louth on Tuesday morning.

Her friend was pinned down and raped during the ordeal at Townley Hall in Co Louth.


State paying child benefit to 10,000 living abroad

TEN THOUSAND children who live abroad are in receipt of child benefit in this State. Under EU law, children who live in another EU country qualify for child benefit if one of their parents is living and working in Ireland.

The secretary general of the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Bernadette Lacey, said 6,000 families where the children live abroad qualify for child benefit, with 80 per cent of them coming from Poland.

The child benefit payments cost the State €20 million annually.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Wave of Violence Grips Northern Ireland

Tensions are rising in Northern Ireland as a policeman becomes the third murder victim in the province in the past 48 hours. Just like the two British soldiers killed on Saturday, the officer was gunned down. While politicians are united in their condemnation, the worry on the streets is this killing spree may be part of a new campaign not seen for more than ten years.

On Saturday, a gun attack claimed by the Real IRA at an army base in country Antrim that left two young British soldiers dead. Then, two days later, another republican splinter group, the Continuity IRA said it was behind the shooting that left a police officer dead in the town of Craigavon.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Turkish barber's appeal against murder conviction dismissed

In February 2008 Hadim Kedik (aged 34), a Turkish national with an address at Connolly Street, Clonakilty, Co Cork, was found guilty of murdering mother of three Rose Patterson.

The court heard that, between April 11 and 12, 2007 Kedik stabbed her eight times leaving her to bleed to death in front of their son while he cut his own throat and wrists.

He was jailed for life by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy. Kedik denied murdering Ms Patterson, and appealed against his conviction.

Today the CCA comprised of Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, sitting with Mr Justice Declan Budd, and Mr Justice John MacMenamin dismissed Kedik's appeal against his conviction.


Cannabis worth €300,000 found in foreigner's luggage

Almost €300,000 worth of drugs in ’Hannah Montana’ and ’Spiderman’ gift wrapping was today seized at Dublin Airport.

The 24kg of herbal cannabis was packed into the luggage of a Dutch national who arrived on a flight from Johannesburg.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

20% of dole claimants are immigrants

FOREIGN workers are being much harder hit by unemployment than Irish workers, amid concerns official figures mask the scale of job losses among non-nationals.

One in five workers on the Live Register is now a non-national, but their numbers have grown by a disproportionate rate of 140pc in the last year.


Cross border welfare fraud on the rise

Mary Hanafin has warned of an increase in the number of people from Northern Ireland fraudulently claiming social welfare in the Republic.

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs says there is evidence in some border towns that numbers claiming dole exceed the 2006 census recorded population for the area.

The Minister says there is evidence of car loads of people coming south to claim payments and then returning to Northern Ireland.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

UN targets 'al-Qa'ida leader' living openly here

He is Ireland's top alleged terrorist -- wanted by the US, Libya and Interpol and now the UN.

He is under 24-hour surveillance by the Special Branch but somehow was still granted Irish citizenship by the Dept of Foreign Affairs.

But Ibrahim Buwisir continues to live in a comfortable home in leafy south Dublin, receiving social welfare payments from the Irish state.

Now Buwisir (also Boyasseer) has been placed on a UN list demanding that his assets are seized and he be banned from travelling, due to his Islamic extremism.

The UN Security Council stated that the Libyan (47) is a close associate of Osama Bin Laden and has supported al-Qa'ida through funding and media relations.


Unemployment now at 10.4%

The Taoiseach has confirmed that the number of people on the dole increased sharply again last month as the economic recession continues to deepen.

The increase pushes the standardised unemployment rate up to 10.4%, compared to 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Problems with rural integration - report

Not enough is being done to integrate foreign nationals into rural communities, according to a new report published today.

The report, Reaching Out, which has been compiled by Irish Rural Link, finds that prejudice about race and identity is a huge problem for people from abroad living in Ireland.


Report in full.


Monday, March 2, 2009

€4.5m in social welfare for children living abroad

The Government paid €4.5m in childcare allowances for children living outside of Ireland last year, new figures reveal.

The overseas Early Childcare Supplement payments quadrupled between 2007 and 2008 from €1.1m to €4.5m, the Department of Social and Family Affairs has confirmed.

The number of non-resident children qualifying for the allowance is estimated to reach about 7,000 this year, at a projected cost of €7m.

When the childcare payment was launched in 2006, it emerged that children of migrant workers who are resident in their home country were entitled to the annual €1,000 payment, even though it was designed to help spefically with childcare costs.