herald

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Couple used stolen cards to pay for sex toys, luxury hotel and flights

A couple who were caught with an
A couple who were caught with an "Aladdin's Cave" of stolen items in a Dublin hotel will be sentenced later for fraud, theft and criminal damage. (stock photo)

A couple who were caught with an "Aladdin's Cave" of stolen items in a Dublin hotel will be sentenced later for fraud, theft and criminal damage.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that subsequent analysis of Muhammed Kashif's laptop led to 200 pages of online chat involving four participants disclosing the details of thousands of credit cards.

Kashif (42) and his wife Deepa Vaswani (39) used stolen credit card details to pay for €1,452 worth of toys from Smyths Toys, €161 worth of sex toys and their six-night stay in the Fitzwilliam Hotel on Stephen's Green, costing €2,781.

Garda Cathal Feely told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that they also used stolen credit card numbers to buy flights from Dublin to New York, costing €3,592, and Dublin to Kuala Lumpur, costing €8,798.

He agreed with Mr Kennedy that when officers raided the hotel room, it was "an Aladdin's cave" with more than 140 items being seized as potential exhibits including a camera, a €4,000 watch, six mobile phones and €15,000 worth of currencies from Brazil, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Alerted

The couple were caught after Barclays Bank contacted Smyths Toys alerting them that a customer's credit card had been used fraudulently to make a large purchase.

Gda Feely agreed with Mr Kennedy that Kashif "made no admissions of criminal activity" during garda interview and claimed a friend bought the toys, and that he employed a travel agent who booked all their flights and accommodation.

Vaswani told gardai she believed her husband booked the flights through a travel agent after giving the agent cash.

She accepted she had taken delivery of the toys.

The pair, with an address in Malaysia, both pleaded guilty to handling stolen credit card information, unlawfully operating a computer with the intention of making a gain, two charges of dishonestly buying flights online, obtaining hotel accommodation using stolen payment card details and theft from both Smyths Toys and Love Toy Shopper on dates between December 1 and December 7, 2017.

Kashif also pleaded guilty to criminal damage of toys he was in the process of opening to store in a larger container.

The couple, with no previous convictions, have been remanded in custody since their arrest.

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