Court told of rise in fake ID cases

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Court told of rise in fake ID cases

THERE HAVE been six reported cases so far this year in Galway of foreign nationals producing fake documents, such as passports and birth certificates, at the social welfare office in a bid to obtain PPS numbers so that they can work illegally, it emerged at Galway Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Judge Raymond Groarke commented that people were using professional fraudsters and forgers to obtain fraudulent documents. This crime was being committed far too regularly in a schematic and professional manner, the judge said.

“People are making vast sums of money on the backs of people looking for such documents and it has to be marked with the imposition of a prison sentence, buy fake ids ” he said.

The judge was dealing with Anthony Gomina (36), a Nigerian formerly of Ballygaddy Road, Tuam, and who now lives in Dublin. Gomina received sentences totalling nine months at Galway District Court in March after pleading guilty to producing a false British passport and birth certificate at the social welfare office in Galway.

Gomina, who had been in Ireland on a visitor’s visa at the time, appealed the severity of the sentences to the Circuit Criminal Appeals Court.

Det Sgt Brendan Carroll told the court that this would have been the sixth such case of fraud at the social welfare office in Galway this year. This was a substantial increase over previous years, he said.

Defence barrister Geri Silke said her client had completed an MBA and had been offered a PhD placement in Britain which he could not take up as he and his wife, who both now lived in Dublin, had a very ill child who needed constant care.

Judge Groarke said that while the accused had family responsibilities he had acted with premeditation, filltrustid care and skill in trying to obtain a PPS number fraudulently.

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