Sunday 25 February 2018

Courier was 'duped' in €16k car sale scam

A COURIER caught driving a stolen car worth more than €16,000 had been "duped" by the operators of an internet scam, a court heard.

Karl Brennan (27) was to be paid €60 to deliver the car to a buyer in a supermarket car park and did not realise that the unidentified seller had just bought the Audi with a fake bank draft.

The buyer he met, along with undercover gardai, was the original owner who had seen his car back up for sale for €10,000.

Brennan, a father-of-two of Spring Garden Street, Ballybough, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to handling a stolen car at Aldi, Clondalkin, last May 5.

Judge William Hamill adjourned the case to a date later this month for probation and community service suitability reports.

The court heard the original owner sold his car on May 2 after placing an ad on DoneDeal.ie. He met a man who handed over a bank draft for €16,750 and later discovered the draft was fake.

He noticed an ad for the resale of his car on the same website, contacted the seller and arranged to buy it for €10,000 at Newlands Cross on May 5.

An undercover operation was set up with the gardai and the accused arrived, driving the car.

Gardai were satisfied that Brennan was not the seller or the point of contact. The anonymous ads were placed using unregistered mobile phones.

Defence solicitor Aine Flynn told the court that Brennan answered an online ad for a job to collect the car and drive it to the location, where he would collect the €10,000.

He was to be paid €60 for driving the car and that was his only involvement, Ms Flynn said.

The man who operated the scam was never identified.

Judge Hamill asked if the accused had been "duped from A to Z".

Ms Flynn said it was a cash-in-hand affair, he had been naive and gullible and "some alarm bells should have rung".

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