Sunday 25 March 2018

Uzbek man with two fake passports who evaded excise duty on 150,000 cigarettes to be sentenced

Aoife Nic Ardghail

An Uzbek man who evaded excise duty on almost 150,000 cigarettes and had two false passports to avoid paying higher tax will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Vladislav Kan (35) told gardai he had two false Czech passports so he could get different PPS numbers for different work and avoid paying higher income tax.

He claimed he was trying to save money for a computer science degree.

Kan, of Riverstown House, Spencer Dock, pleaded guilty to possessing tobacco products with no tax stamp in his car and at his address on September 22, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a false Czech driving license and two fake passports on the same date. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Gavin Higgins revealed that he initially stopped and searched Kan in his car in the Rathmines area because it looked like he had engaged in a drugs transaction.

The garda said he found a small amount of cannabis in Kan’s pocket and 8,000 cigarettes in his car boot.

He told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that he went to the Riverstown House address with a search warrant when Kan voluntarily admitted he had more cigarettes at his home.

Gda Higgins found the remaining 132, 340 cigarettes, the fake documents, a diary with cigarette orders and 12g of cannabis. 

Garda Higgins told Mr Le Vert that Revenue lost €59, 010 in excise duty and VAT, but had put a plan together for Kan to pay back €15,000. The garda added that Kan has paid €10,000 back to date.

He agreed with David Staunton BL, defending, that his client, who is married to an EU national and has been in Ireland for 11 years, was fully co-operative with gardai.

He further agreed that Kan has an impressive employment history, but lost a job at Dunnes Stores because Revenue rang that work place about the investigation.

Mr Staunton submitted to Judge Desmond Hogan that his client’s motivation for the offences had been “well intended” and that Kan had wished to get more money to “further himself”.

Counsel submitted that having been caught, Kan stopped the enterprise and hasn’t come to garda attention since.

He asked Judge Hogan to take into account his client’s early plea, full admissions and that he will now have a stigma attached to him.

Mr Le Vert told the Judge that the penalties for such tax offences can be a €12,695 fine and/or five years in prison and a five year jail term for possessing false instruments.

Judge Hogan said he didn’t accept that Kan was “an innocent abroad”. He noted that Kan had been dipping his hand into the public purse and that his offending was “not the way to go about furthering his education.”

He put the matter back for a Probation and Welfare Services report and said he wasn’t ruling out a custodial sentence.  < ends >       

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