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€1400 spree on skimmed credit card

A security worker who went on a €1,400 spending spree using a skimmed credit card is to be sentenced in July at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Emmanuel Coulibaly (37) of The Courtyard, Dunleer, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property at Tesco Dundrum on December 1, 2008 and at Tony McDonnell's Menswear in Dundalk, Co Louth on December 2, 2008.

He also pleaded guilty to attempted theft at the Vodafone retail store in Stillorgan shopping centre and possession of a false instrument at Moylaragh Walk, Balbriggan on December 7, 2008.

Coulibaly, who is originally from the Ivory Coast, used a false credit card to purchase over €1000 worth of men's clothing, including two suits and an Armani shirt, and close to €300 in electronic equipment.

Garda Aidan Ivers told Mr Colm O'Briain, prosecuting, that on December 7, 2008 he was called to the Vodafone retail store in Stillorgan shopping centre. Garda Ivers said that Coulibaly had attempted to purchase a Samsung phone worth €349 at the store using a credit card issued in the name of 'A Beckley' from RHB Bank in Malaysia.

The staff member who processed the transaction became suspicious when she noticed that the last four digits of the credit card did not match the last four digits printed out on the receipt.

A search of his van revealed a credit card receipt from Tesco Dundrum to the value of €247 and three electronic items including a Philips DVD player. The receipt was issued to a card in the name of 'A Beckley'.


Garda Ivers told Mr O'Briain that a subsequent search of Coulibaly's premises in Balbriggan revealed another credit card receipt in this name.

After a further search of another address associated with Coulibaly, this time in Dunleer, Co Louth, gardai recovered a card reader, several credit card-sized cards with blank magnetic strips and a laptop containing details of bank accounts.

He claimed that he was using the card reader and blank cards to make employee identification cards for a new business venture he was setting up, before admitting buying the card-skimming technology over the internet from a company in the Lebanon.

Mr Remy Farrell, defending, told the court that Coulibaly, who has five children with his partner of 13 years, had come to Ireland in 2003 to seek asylum from the civil war in the Ivory Coast.

Judge Desmond Hogan said Coulibaly's possession of computer equipment proved that he was "set up to do business" and that the case had an international element to it. He adjourned sentencing until July.