Bail refused to man arrested at Shannon Airport with alleged false passport for 13-year-old boy

Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

GARDAÍ arrested a US Green Card holder at Shannon Airport on Monday (July 24) after the man allegedly presented a false passport for a 13-year-old boy in order for the boy to gain entry to the United States.

At Ennis District Court on Tuesday, Sergiu Cristian Lingurar, of 6808 Freshpond, Ridgewood, New York, appeared in connection with presenting the alleged false passport for the teenager at the US Immigration Control, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Shannon Airport on Monday.

In court, Sergeant Frank O’Grady told Judge Mary Cashin that Mr Lingurar may be facing further charges as the circumstances of the case remain under investigation.

Sergeant O’Grady said that the teenage boy has since been taken into care.

Objecting to bail for the accused, Inspector Paul Slattery said that the State alleges that Mr Lingurar presented at the CBP at Shannon Airport with a minor and was in possession of a false passport relating to the child.

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Inspector Slattery said that the accused man – who the court heard is not a relation of the boy – represents a flight risk as he has no connections in Ireland and no reason to stay here.

Judge Cashin refused bail after concluding that Mr Lingurar represents a flight risk and remanded the 25-year-old in custody.

Judge Cashin said that Mr Lingurar is entitled to the presumption of his innocence, but said that the circumstances of the case give rise to “serious concern”.

Sergeant O’Grady said that Mr Lingurar, a Romanian national, arrived into Dublin Airport on Sunday (July 23) from the US and travelled to Shannon Airport with the child with the intention of bringing the him to the US.

Sergeant O’Grady said that the case against Mr Lingurar of presenting a false instrument with the intention of inducing another to accept it as genuine, contrary to Section 29 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001, carries a prison term up to 10 years on indictment in the Circuit Court.

He said that Mr Lingurar has no financial means other than the cost of the flight and accommodation and his travel and accommodation was paid for by a third party.

Sergeant O’Grady said that, after his arrest on Monday, Mr Lingurar was brought to Shannon Garda Station.

Solicitor for the accused, John Casey, said that his Mr Lingurar was accompanying the teenager back to the US as a favour to a friend of his father, who he only knows by nickname.

Mr Casey said his instructions are that Mr Lingurar was not going to be paid for accompanying the 13-year-old apart from his expenses.

He said that Mr Lingurar is a father of two young children in the US and works in construction/removals, and has been living in the US for a number of years.

Mr Casey said that it is very difficult for his client as he has no support here and doesn’t know anyone.

Judge Cashin remanded the accused in custody to appear before Ennis District Court on Wednesday July 26 by video link.