herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Worker jailed over €12k passport scam

Courts

Barry Kindregan
Barry Kindregan

A clerical officer who was paid €12,500 to process five passports for foreign nationals who were not entitled to them has been jailed for two years.

Barry Kindregan (36) had been working as an officer in the passport office since 2007 when a colleague approached him in August 2012 and sought advice "for people in South Africa who wanted to get Irish passports".

Kindregan said they would have to look for a foreign birth registration but the colleague spoke to him again some time later and admitted the people in question wouldn't be entitled to such registration.

Interested

She asked him if he would be interested in producing passports for them for cash.

He ultimately delivered seven completed passports for South African, Vietnamese, American and Moldovan nationals, back to his colleague.

Judge Melanie Greally yesterday noted that Kindregan had come from an excellent family and had expressed genuine remorse, but said she had to balance this against the serious nature of the offence.

Detective Garda Joanne O'Sullivan agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, that his client was "not the prime mover" in the operation. She said she believed he was manipulated and deliberately targeted because of his known IT skills.

"There isn't a day goes by that he doesn't regret his actions. No matter what penalty the court imposes this is something he has to live with for the rest of his days," Mr Kennedy said.

Kindregan of Downside Heights, Skerries, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four sample charges including possession of a false passport and three charges of corruptly agreeing to accept a sum of money in cash as a reward for providing a passport on dates between August 1, 2012 and July 2013. He has no previous convictions.

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