Aer Lingus worker jailed for smuggling immigrants
An Aer Lingus ground handler has been jailed for four years for helping to smuggle people illegally into the country.
Frederick Cham (63) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five charges of facilitating the entry into the State of a person who was an illegal immigrant or who was seeking asylum at Dublin Airport on dates between December 13, 2016, and January 22, 2017.
Cham, of Railway Cottages, Hazelhatch, Celbridge, Co Kildare, also admitted two charges of handling money which he knew to be the proceeds of crime on dates in December 2016 and January 2017.
The Hong Kong native, along with another Aer Lingus employee, helped foreign nationals to bypass the airport's passport control by using staff swipe cards to access an employee gate that wasn't being watched.
Cham claimed to gardaí it was a "Mickey Mouse operation" and not a "criminal enterprise", but gardaí did not accept this. Judge Martin Nolan said it was a devious crime.