Human trafficking 'fixer' was paid €300 per child

A man described as the local "fixer" for a human trafficking organisation which exploited vulnerable children is to be deported from this country.

Human trafficking 'fixer' was paid €300 per child

A man described as the local "fixer" for a human trafficking organisation which exploited vulnerable children is to be deported from this country.

Song Bo He (aged 32) told gardaí investigating the disappearance of Chinese youths from HSE hostels that he received €300 per person.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that most of the children were still missing.

Song pleaded guilty to impeding the prosecution of others not within the state knowing that they were responsible for facilitating the entry into Ireland of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers between January 1 and July 25, 2009.

Judge Patrick McCartan said the accused had admitted his involvement in assisting in the movement of persons from abroad as part of an organised network where considerable amounts of money exchanged hands.

He said the Chinese national, with an address here at Blackhall Street, Dublin 7, was the local fixer for the organisation.

Úna Ni Raifeartaigh SC, prosecuting, told the court that a deportation order for Song had been issued on July 16 last and that this would be enforced by September.

Judge McCartan suspended a jail term of three years for a period of five years on the condition that he departs from the State and co-operates with his deportation.

Detective Inspector Michael Cryan previously gave evidence that gardaí became aware of the offence in the context of reports of missing children.

He said there were concerns about Chinese youths coming into Dublin Airport and disappearing out of the system.

Chinese children were placed in hostels by the HSE in the Dublin 2 area, before going missing overnight. These were “high-risk, vulnerable children”, said the detective.

He said the children had no documentation or identification, had little English and were unable to provide information on how they had come to Ireland.

The court was told that gardaí called to the home of Song on July 25, 2009. He answered the door, while his wife and young baby were also there. Four males were also there, one of whom had been reported missing.

Det Insp Cryan said that the males had entered the country illegally.

Song admitted that he was involved in a scheme in China where arrangements were made for Chinese people to visit Ireland.

His role was to provide assistance once they arrived in Ireland which included picking people up at the train station and arranging accommodation for them.

Det Insp Cryan said that one of the missing people was later located in the State, but then disappeared again.

“They are still missing children, most of them would be adults now,” he said.

Micheál O’Higgins SC, defending, said his client made “fulsome admissions” to gardaí and wished to apologise.

He said he has been in Ireland for the past 10 years, having come here initially as a student.

He has two children and his wife has lived in Ireland for the past nine years.

Counsel said his client's elderly parents in China are ill and need financial support.

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