Man accused of presenting alleged false passport for 13-year-old boy at Shannon Airport remanded in custody

Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

A US Green Card holder, who allegedly presented a false passport at immigration at Shannon Airport on Monday (July 24) in order for a 13-year-old boy to gain entry to the US, has been remanded in custody in Limerick for a further 13 days.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday (July 26), Sergeant Louis Moloney told Judge Mary Cashin that the investigation into the case “is progressing as we speak”.

In court, the accused man, Sergiu Cristian Lingurar, of 6808 Freshpond, Ridgewood, New York, appeared via video link from a room at Limerick Prison.

Mr Lingurar was initially remanded in custody on Tuesday after Judge Cashin refused his application for bail.

In court on Wednesday, solicitor for Mr Lingurar, John Casey, indicated that a bail application will be made in the High Court when he said that a bail application will be made elsewhere for his client.

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Sergeant Moloney said that as it is “still a fresh matter” and the investigation is progressing, Gardaí are seeking a further remand in custody for the accused to August 8.

At Mr Lingurar’s first court appearance on Tuesday, Sergeant Frank O’Grady told Judge Cashin that Mr Lingurar may be facing further charges.

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

Objecting to bail for the accused, Inspector Paul Slattery said that the State alleges that Mr Lingurar presented at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Shannon Airport on Monday with a minor and was in possession of an alleged false passport relating to the child.

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

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 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 him to the US on Monday.

The sergeant 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.

Sergeant O’Grady 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.

Solicitor John Casey, for the accused, said that 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.

The solicitor 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.