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Most-wanted man who trafficked women and kids is held in capital

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Liviu Biliuta, who was on Crimecall, is wanted in Romania

Liviu Biliuta, who was on Crimecall, is wanted in Romania

Liviu Biliuta, who was on Crimecall, is wanted in Romania

A human trafficker on the most-wanted list for police in Romania, has been arrested in Dublin.

Liviu Biliuta (55) had been sentenced to jail in Romania for transporting women and children across Europe for prostitution, but he fled.

He was the subject of an appeal on RTÉ's Crimecall programme earlier this year.

Biliuta has been on the run from authorities in his home country for more than a decade but was detained near Dublin city centre on his way to work yesterday.

Biliuta was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by officials in Romania where he is wanted to serve a five-year prison term for human trafficking.

He was convicted in 2008 in relation to transporting women and children from Romania into the Netherlands for the purposes of prostitution.

He has been living in Ireland for at least six years, and has been convicted of two road traffic offences here.

Det Gda Anthony Keane, of the Garda Extradition Unit, gave evidence of detaining Liviu Biliuta in Sheriff Street, Dublin, at 6.59am yesterday.

The detective told the High Court that Biliuta confirmed his personal details to him, including his name, date of birth, the name of his parents, and the address where he is residing.

Det Gda Keane said that, having made these inquiries and from the answers received, he was satisfied that the person named on the EAW is the person he detained.

Biliuta was taken to Dublin's Bridewell garda station and appeared before the High Court shortly after 2pm yesterday.

The High Court was informed that Biliuta's convictions in Romania were in relation to "organised and serious crime".

Mr Justice Paul Burns told Biliuta he has the right to agree to surrender on his own volition, to a translator and to legal advice.

His defence counsel informed the court that there would be a bail application, and the matter was listed for Thursday of next week.

Biliuta, who is originally from the Botosani province in the north of the country, came under the investigation of Romanian authorities in 2004 and was convicted in 2008 of human trafficking offences.

He was sentenced to five years and two months' imprisonment but ran away and was put on the Romanian police's most-wanted list as a result.

He has previously lived in Clondalkin and Tallaght but lately had been living in Lucan.

Exploitation

His conviction for human trafficking relates to the transportation of women and children from Romania into the Netherlands for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Local reports state that prosecutors from the Botosani Bureau identified a number of victims aged between 14 and 16.

It's understood Romanian authorities were alerted to him being in Ireland after he was convicted of minor offences here.

In July 2014 he was disqualified from driving for two years and fined after being convicted of driving with no insurance.

A year later he appeared in Longford District Court after being convicted of driving while disqualified and was handed another road ban.

The EAW was endorsed by the High Court four years ago.

Detective Superintendent Michael J Mullen of the Garda Extradition Unit said that "this significant arrest coordinated by detectives attached to Organised and Serious Crime represents our ongoing commitment to ensuring persons wanted on foot of international arrest warrants are brought to justice".


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