Man transported illegal cigarettes worth €235,000

Published 04/06/2014 | 05:22

A man who transported €235,000 of smuggled cigarettes is to carry out community service after a court heard he has no money to pay a fine.

A man who transported €235,000 of smuggled cigarettes is to carry out community service after a court heard he has no money to pay a fine.

Father-of-two Vladislav Secrii (34) agreed to transport over 600,000 cigarettes for another man for €200, which included €50 for his vehicle's diesel.

Secrii, of Iona, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, pleaded guilty to delivery of 606,500 cigarettes without a tax stamp at Cois Cairn estate, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray on June 26, 2012. He has no previous convictions.

Earlier this month Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned the matter to see if Secrii could pay a fine. He faced a maximum fine of €126,970 or five years in jail.

This week, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the accused is self employed and has very little income. Judge Ring commented that in those circumstances it would take Secrii years to pay off any fine.

She said it makes more sense to impose a community service order and adjourned the matter again pending a Probation Service report on whether he his is suitable to work in the community. Secrii will appear again on July 21, next.

Customs Officer Kevin Murtagh told the court earlier this month that colleagues discovered the cigarettes in three pallets marked 'car accessories' on airfreight cargo from Greece.

The officials made a controlled delivery to a Dublin motor company, where a surveillance team saw Secrii and four men, who are not before the court, load the pallets onto a trailer.

Mr. Murtagh told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that the team followed the vehicle and trailer to Secrii's home and then to a nearby housing estate.

Secrii later told gardai he abandoned the jeep and trailer at the estate because he had become suspicious of cars parked in the area. He said he called the man who had given him the job and told him to collect his cargo.

Mr Murtagh said the loss in excise on the cigarettes would have been €206,594.

He agreed with Seoirse O Dunlaing BL, defending, that his client didn't own the cigarettes and has not come to adverse garda attention since.

Mr O'Dunlaing submitted to Judge Ring that Secrii had an 'unblemished work history' and is employed in property maintenance.

Bray People

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