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Guide jailed after smuggling couple

A woman working as a "mule" who accompanied two illegal immigrants into Ireland has been jailed for one week and will be immediately deported once she serves the sentence.

Chan Gel (30) was offered €600 by an organised crime gang to "guide" a Chinese couple from Alicante in Spain to Dublin.

Gel and the Chinese immigrants were arrested at Dublin Airport after officers in Spain alerted the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

The couple later told gardai that they paid €10,000 to get to Ireland. A judge sentenced Gel to six months in prison but suspended 23 weeks of it, so she will serve just one week.

Detective Garda Desmond Lambe said Gel will be deported to Spain, where she lives, as soon as she serves her sentence.

She admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to bringing illegal immigrants into the State, contrary to the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act, 2000.

Garda Lambe said Gel was caught as part of Operation Doorstep, which seeks to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants into Ireland.

He said that Gel, who flew on a Malaysian passport, brought a man and woman from Alicante to Dublin on August 17.

She spoke on their behalf, and guided them to Dublin.

They were arrested at Dublin Airport, and Gel told gardai she was promised €600 for bringing the couple to Ireland.

She has not received the money.

The Chinese couple told gardai they paid €10,000.

Defence lawyer said Gel is single, has little education and has very little English.

Organised

She "fell in with the wrong people", he said, and saw this incident as an opportunity to make easy money.

The court heard Gel was effectively a mule or carrier, and she took all the risk for minimum reward.

Garda Lambe said Gel was a small cog in a much larger international organised crime and people trafficking ring.

Judge Brian Sheridan sentenced Gel to six months in prison but he suspended nearly all of it, apart from one week.


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