Friday 27 April 2018

Aer Lingus worker accused of money laundering and organising people smuggling at Dublin Airport sent forward for trial

Peter Kernan, arriving at the District Court in Dublin on January 24, 2017, he is charged with facilitating the travel of non-nationals. Picture credit: Damien Eagers
Peter Kernan, arriving at the District Court in Dublin on January 24, 2017, he is charged with facilitating the travel of non-nationals. Picture credit: Damien Eagers

Tom Tuite

An Aer Lingus worker accused of money laundering and organising people smuggling at Dublin Airport has been sent forward for trial.

Peter Kernan, (57), of the Old Rectory Lodge, Celbridge, Co. Kildare appeared at Dublin District Court on Thursday where he was served with a book of evidence.

Judge Paula Murphy noted the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that Mr Kernan was to face trial on indictment.

She told him he was being returned for trial on the 21 charges in the book of evidence to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He will face his next hearing on February 23, 2018.

He must notify the prosecution if he intended to use an alibi in his defence, the judge said.

He had been originally charged in January last year with unlawfully facilitating the entry of two non-nationals into the State on January 9 and January 22, 2017. He also had a charge alleging that from January 17 until January 23 last year at a premises at Clane Road, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, he had proceeds from criminal conduct contrary to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.

In September 2017, some 19 additional charges were brought against the accused who has not yet indicated how he will plead.

These additional counts included charges for facilitating the entry of another five more non-nationals into the State at the airport on December 29 and January 1 last.

The other 14 charges were under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act for having the proceeds of criminal at various locations including the GPO on O’Connell Street in Dublin, post offices in Celbridge, County Kildare and in Enniscorthy in County Wexford, and at a business premises in the Ilac Centre in Dublin.

These offences are alleged to have occurred on dates from November 2015 until January 2016.

He was arrested as part of an investigation by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Gardai have seized his passport and his bail terms state he has to reside at his home address and notify gardai of any change, sign on three times a week at Leixlip Garda station, provide gardai with a mobile phone number on which he can be contacted at all times, not apply for a new passport and have no contact directly or indirectly with his co-accused Frederick Cham.

Aer Lingus employee, Mr Cham, (62), of Railway Cottages, Hazelhatch, Celbridge but originally from Hong Kong, was served with a book of evidence in July and was sent forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He pleaded guilty in December and his sentence hearing is scheduled to take place next week.

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