A man who came to Ireland under a false Lithuanian passport to escape his native Russia after he was put under pressure by police there to entrap drug dealers has been given a three year suspended term.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted that Daniel Mordukhov (33) came to Ireland out of desperation “after he became embroiled into a situation which he felt was dangerous” and that his “entire prosecution is based on his own admissions” to the Irish authorities.
He said he secured a PPS number with the fake identity which “opened all doors” and allowed him to work and later accept almost €24,000 in State benefits. He accepted that the reasons Mordukhov left Russia “were legitimate”.
Murdukhov of Marsfield Avenue, Clongriffin, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having a false Irish Driving license, knowingly making a false application for a PPS number and stealing various social welfare payments on dates from December 2005 to July 2011.
He is a married man with two children and has no previous convictions from either Ireland or Russia.
Judge Nolan suspended a three-year jail term in full on the condition that Mordukhov hand over €15,000 he had in court and pay a further €5,000 to the State within three years.
Garda Michael McGreal told Eoin Lawlor BL, prosecuting, that he became aware of the fact that Mordukhov was living here under a false identity after Mordukhov contacted immigration authorities and admitted that he had been using both a false name and false nationality.
He was advised to contact all the relevant authorities to alert them to this fact and Murdukhov composed a letter which he termed “A Confession” that he then sent to all the relevant State agencies including the Road Safety Authority.
He admitted that he had secured a PPS number using a bogus Lithuanian passport and had also got an Irish Driving License under the false name.
Murdukhov began working with a car valeting industry after he got the PPS number in 2005 but was out of work in April 2010. He then claimed Job Seekers allowance and other benefits totalling almost €24,000. He got the Irish driving license in 2013 again using the fake identity.
Gda McGreal said that Mordukhov admitted during interview that he had paid €900 for the false passport which allowed him rights in Ireland that he would otherwise not have been entitled to as a Russian national.
He agreed with Barry Ward BL, defending, that Mordukhov outlined an interaction with Russian authorities that he had in Autumn 2004 during which he claimed he was put under pressure to entrap known drug dealers.
The garda accepted that the Russian Embassy confirmed there was a criminal investigation and he had “no reason to doubt his account”.
He further agreed that Mordukhov was “extremely co-operative, fulsome and made a honest confession”, attempting to address every concern gardaí had.
Gda McGreal accepted that had it not been for Mordukhov approaching the immigration authorities himself, “the crime would not have been uncovered”.
Mr Ward said his client had €15,000 in court as a token of his remorse and as an attempt to make restitution.
He said Mordukhov has integrated into his local community with his family and suggested that a custodial sentence would be “counter productive”.
“He came here because he was in fear. He did everything he could to put it right,” Mr Ward submitted.