Saturday 16 December 2017

Further charge for Aer Lingus worker arrested in connection with an alleged immigrant-smuggling operation at Dublin Airport

Frederick Cham
Frederick Cham

Andrew Phelan

An Aer Lingus worker arrested in connection with an alleged immigrant-smuggling operation at Dublin Airport has had a further charge brought against him.

Frederick Cham (61) appeared in Cloverhill District Court today accused of failing to update Immigration gardai with his personal details. He is already facing more serious human trafficking charges following his arrest along with a co-accused Aer Lingus employee at the airport last month.

Judge Kathryn Hutton remanded him in custody again after no bail application was made on his behalf today.

Mr Cham, of Railway Cottages, Hazelhatch, Celbridge, Co Kildare was already charged with two counts of facilitating the trafficking of a non-national into the State at the airport on January 9 and 22 last.

The latest alleged offence, failing to provide details under the Immigration Act, is alleged to have happened at the airport on January 22.

Garda Lorcan Tighe of the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) told Judge Hutton he charged Mr Cham before the court sitting at 10.15am today and he made no reply after caution.

The accused was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Defence solicitor Fiona McNulty said she was not applying for bail, as had been indicated on a previous date.

She said a bail application may be made on the next court date and that she would give the prosecution due notice.

Ms McNulty also asked the judge to defer a legal aid application.

Previously, a judge had deferred a decision on legal aid for Mr Cham, to give the gardai an opportunity to “explore the circumstances of the accused.”

Judge Hutton remanded Mr Cham in custody to appear in court on February 17.

Mr Cham, wearing a red anorak and light grey trousers, did not address the court.

At the same court, the judge further remanded a Chinese national, Xing Wang, in custody for another two weeks.

Mr Wang, of no fixed address, is charged with failing to produce a passport or identification card and failing to present himself to an immigration officer, under the Immigration Act on January 22.

He is also charged with possession of a false Hong Kong passport.

No bail application has been made on his behalf yet. Previously, Garda Keith Cleary said “ID and status issues” had to be resolved in relation to Mr Wang.

A second Aer Lingus worker, Peter Kernan (56), with an address at The Old Rectory, Celbridge, Co Kildare is also currently before the courts on the same charges as Mr Cham. He was granted bail previously.

When Mr Cham was first brought before the courts, Gda Tighe said Mr Cham also made no reply to the original charges after caution.

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