A Chinese national has been jailed for five years by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for his role in kidnapping two compatriots and demanding money from them.
Bing Wang (aged 32) was described as the leader of the gang involved in the incident on St Patrick's Day last year near Dublin city centre. He was the only one to plead guilty.
Judge Des Hogan, who was told Bing had consented to a deportation order made against him, imposed four terms of five years each and directed that they run concurrently.
Mr Anthony Sammon SC noted the legislation permitted the court to make a recommendation on the deportation issue but Judge Hogan replied he was not availing of the provision.
"There was a threat of very real violence and it appears to me that a jail sentence must be imposed. The deportation order is a matter for the executive", Judge Hogan added.
Garda Fergal O'Flaherty told prosecuting counsel Mr Padraig Dwyer BL said a Chinese national alerted him at Store Street garda station that two friends were being detained against their will in an apartment at Amiens Street.
When gardai arrived they observed two Chinese men escort another compatriot to a car obviously against his will. These two were arrested and gardai found five more Chinese men hold another compatriot captive in the apartment. A knife was also recovered.
Gda O'Flaherty said the matter arose from a fraudulent apartment lease deal. The victims had paid a €400 deposit on the apartment but changed their minds and went to it by appointment to try to get their money back.
They brought another man along to stay outside because they were suspicious of the people they were to meet inside and it was this person who contacted the gardai when his friends didn't come out after a reasonable time.
Gda O'Flaherty said Bing Wang was the man who held the knife to the neck of the captive found in the apartment. He made admissions after his arrest.
It transpired that the captors at first tried to get the victims to change their minds about cancelling the leasing deal but then demanded more money.
The victim whom gardai saw being led out was being taken to see if he could raise extra money.
Gda O'Flaherty agreed with Mr Sammon there was a possibility he faced punishment at home for the crime committed while abroad but gardai would not have any input into that..
Mr Sammon said Bing Wang had withdrawn his refugee application and wanted to leave Ireland as soon as possible. He was the only one involved who pleaded guilty and deserved merit for the way he faced the case.