Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ireland to accept Guantanamo detainees

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has confirmed that Ireland will accept two detainees being released from the US internment camp at Guatanamo Bay.

The two detainees are expected to be two Uzbek men who are being freed by the US because they have been found to pose no threat to security.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Strain on rent relief as 32,000 foreigners claim aid

Recent figures, compiled when there were 89,000 claimants, show that 32,000 -- more than one third -- are non-nationals.

They show 7,638 Poles, 2,886 Nigerians, 2,108 Lithuanians, 1,512 Romanians and 1,318 Latvians among the highest categories of non-nationals being paid the benefit. People from 163 countries and territories, excluding Ireland, get the rent supplement.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lithuanian gets six years for Galway rape

A Lithuanian has been jailed for six years for the oral rape of a German woman in Galway city almost four years ago.

Darius Savickis, (aged 39) of Garran Ard, Doughiska, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the oral rape of the then 23-year-old woman on November 28, 2005.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Scamming cricketers foil immigration

Immigration officials have been stumped by scamming cricket teams from the Middle East who arrange matches but go on the run rather than play, it emerged today.

The Department of Justice said in the last year two teams, with players mainly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, caught out border control after they came to compete but never turned up for the innings.

Justice chiefs warned it has become a growing trafficking trend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Asylum system broken - Fine Gael

The State has spent an average of €300 million handling and housing asylum applicants each year since 2002, according to new figures attained by Fine Gael.

Dennis Naughten, the party’s spokesman on immigration, said there are currently 14,131 leave-to-remain asylum applicants in Ireland and that, based on the current processing time of just over 2,000 applications a year, this backlog could take up to seven years to clear.

He said a total of €2.26billion has been spent processing asylum claims and accommodating asylum seekers in the past seven years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

€152k - the bill for deporting just one man

The state has spent €152,000 deporting just one illegal immigrant to Ghana.

But the actual cost of the deportation is likely to be even higher, because the sum does not include garda overtime or subsistence payments, which have not been disclosed.

The Ghanaian deportation cost was 26 times the average cost of deporting an illegal from Ireland last year, which stood at €5,758, according to new figures. In total, 161 deportation orders were executed last year.

Details of the highest cost of a single deportation case to date this year have also been released. A man was transported to Georgia on March 27 last at a cost of €35,888.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vietnamese national gets suspended sentence

A man who converted a rented house into a cannabis growing factory has been given a suspended sentence on condition that he leave the country immediately.

Vietnamese national Thang Nguyen (32),with an address at Swords Road, Santry has been on remand in prison pending sentence for the last 11 months after a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear at a previous court hearing.

“We have enough of our home grown criminals,” Judge Frank O’Donnell commented when he sentenced Nguyen for what he described as “a very sophisticated offence”.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Loyalists threaten ethnic minorities in North

Ethnic minorities have been issued with a chilling threat to get out of the North from young loyalists, it was revealed tonight.

A note to community organisations last week stated: “No sympathy for foreigners, get out of our Queen’s country before our bonfire night (July 11) and parade day (July 12). Other than that your building will be blown up.

“Keep Northern Ireland white. Northern Ireland is only for white British."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Polish employee pleads guilty to defrauding bank

A Bank of Ireland computer specialist defrauded his employers out of over €40,000 by increasing the overdraft on his girlfriend’s account, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Wiktor Wolcaski (aged 29), of Castleknock Rise, Castleknock, but originally from Poland, said he needed the money because his girlfriend had an unnamed medical problem which he believed required an operation.

He initially raised the daily withdrawal limit to the maximum of €1,300 a day. He then increased the overdraft limit several times until it reached €47,000. Finally, he altered the credit rating to make it look more favourable to lend to.

Over the course of two months, Wolcaski went to ATM machines across the city daily and usually withdrew the maximum amount allowed.

Zimbabwean challenges refusal of citizenship

A YOUNG Zimbabwean man has brought a High Court challenge to the refusal to grant him Irish citizenship on grounds he was not of good character arising from his conviction for drink driving.

Noel Dick (23), Goldsmith Street, Phibsboro, Dublin, yesterday secured permission from Mr Justice Michael Peart to challenge the refusal of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to grant him a certificate of naturalisation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Were immigrants paid to vote ?

THE validity of the local election results has been cast into further doubt after the discovery of another empty house which was given as the address for multiple immigrant voters.

There were 1,921 people added to the supplementary register in Longford town council area and almost half of them (961) were foreign nationals.

The revelation comes after the gardai launched an investigation into suspected electoral fraud in Monaghan, where more than 2,000 people were added to the supplementary register before polling day.

Two asylum seekers living in the Richmond Court Hostel spoke out to dismiss local rumours that residents there had been paid money to vote. Robert Munkoh and Nii Abladey, both from Ghana, said they had wanted to take part in the democratic process.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Immigrants being refused visas after losing their jobs

The Department of Justice has confirmed that all those seeking naturalisation in Ireland must be in a position to support themselves – and their families – without recourse to social welfare.

Record numbers of people have been applying for naturalisation in Ireland, with a total of 10,885 people seeking residency here last year.

During 2008, a total of 3,117 new Irish were granted citizenship but another 2,795 applications were declined, frequently on the basis that the person was not employed or amidst suspicions of fraud.

The sheer volume of claims – which includes close to 1,000 per month this year – has led to a massive backlog and a 23-month waiting period for decisions.

Around 4,500 Nigerians and 2,200 Filipinos have sought Irish citizenship in the past five years.

'Alarming' rise in stolen passports on black market

About 40% of the 100 passports being stolen in Ireland every week end up on the black market, a senior garda source has told the Sunday Tribune.

More than 5,000 passports were reported stolen in 2008, with this year's tally standing at 2,227.

According to the garda source, an estimated 2,000 of last year's stolen passports have found their way onto a flourishing international passport black market.

The real figure is likely to be higher, he said.

Chinese restaurant owner linked to 34 missing children

A wealthy Chinese restaurateur has been arrested in connection with a major probe into the disappearance of 34 unaccompanied Chinese minors whom gardaĆ­ suspect were trafficked into Ireland to work in the sex and labour industry.

GardaĆ­ based in Dublin raided the restaurateur's three eateries, including a popular high-end restaurant recently refurbished at a cost of €60,000, in the north-east after receiving intelligence that some of the 34 missing children were in contact with the Chinese businessman.

The minors disappeared from accommodation hostels for unaccompanied boys and girls in Dublin city centre over the past couple of years.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

People are marrying for residency

The Department of Justice is concerned that sham marriages between EU nationals and non-EU nationals are taking place to enable people to get residency permits in this country.

Last year, the Government alerted the Latvian authorities that an unusual number of Latvians living in Ireland were marrying spouses from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Some member states, including Ireland, are concerned people from outside the EU are entering sham marriages with EU citizens and then moving to another member state in order to trigger a right of residency which is implicit in the directive.

Fraudsters flew in to claim dole payments

NON-national dole cheats defrauded millions of euro from the Exchequer by flying into the country once a month to sign on.

New figures obtained by the Irish Independent show thousands of foreign benefit claimants were investigated by the Department of Social and Family Affairs between October 2007 and February last year.

The vast majority of the claimants were from Eastern European countries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

EU sets limits on Government's 'sham marriage' investigations

IRISH GOVERNMENT investigations into “sham marriages” must not encroach on European citizens and their non-EU spouses’ right to move freely in the EU, say new guidelines.

The guidelines have been drawn up in response to complaints voiced by Ireland and Denmark following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2008 in the Metock v Ireland case.