Trafficked teenager remanded on credit card charge

A Romanian teenager who has brought into Ireland illegally by child traffickers and later arrested for possession of two counterfeit credit cards, has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

A Romanian teenager who has brought into Ireland illegally by child traffickers and later arrested for possession of two counterfeit credit cards, has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

The 17-year-old boy, an unaccompanied minor, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court today to possessing the false credit cards on Dublin’s Grafton Street, on October 17 last.

The court heard that he would not give details about his entry into the State or the source of the bogus credit cards because he was in serious danger.

Garda Patrick Gorman, of Pearse St garda station, told Judge David Anderson that he noticed the teenager and two adult males acting suspiciously at an ATM machine.

He saw the boy with credit cards which transpired to be counterfeit.

The men, who had been with the boy, attacked two gardaí and managed to escape.

The teen was arrested and found to be in possession of €920 and £75 Stg but could not give an explanation for having the money.

He also gave misleading information as to his identity, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Sarah Molloy told the court that the boy “was reluctant to explain as to how he came to the country and all he said was that he came via Northern Ireland with older males”.

She said there were dubious circumstances surrounding his arrival and “he appeared to be a child that was trafficked into the country”.

He was reluctant to discuss where he got the counterfeit credit cards because he was “in serious danger”, Ms Molloy also said.

The teen has been provided with accommodation by the Health Service Executive and hoped to enrol in a school, the court was also told.

Judge Anderson remanded the boy on continuing bail until a date in February to allow for a pre-sentence probation report to be obtained.

Earlier the court had heard that following the boy’s arrest the Garda National Immigration Bureau had no record of him, nor did the immigration authorities in the United Kingdom.

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