A man who allowed his identity to be used as part of a scheme to obtain a passport for a senior member of a British organised crime group has been handed an eight-month jail sentence.
The court heard that Dean Kelly (46) was a “donor” who allowed an application for a passport to be made in his name for use by a third party.
Kelly, with an address at Deerpark Road, Kiltipper, Dublin pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying information and documents for a passport application on March 5th, 2020.
Kelly has 45 previous convictions including 12 for theft. He was on bail at the time of this offence and is currently serving a sentence on a separate matter.
Garda Det Padraig Hanley gave evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Monday that the Passport Service contacted gardaí in July 2020 as an attempt had been made to obtain a passport in the name of Dean Kelly.
However, the photo submitted with the application and on the Public Service Card (PSC) submitted were of another person, who Det Hanley identified in court as a member of an organised crime group in Liverpool.
The garda on the public desk at Tallaght Garda station on March 2nd, 2020, confirmed that Dean Kelly had visited the station to have a certificate of identity for a passport application completed.
Kelly brought his PSC and the garda completed and stamped the certificate of identity.
The photo of Kelly was substituted for the other individual before the application was received by the Passport Service on March 9th, 2020.
The Passport Service received a number of calls about the status of the passport application, which were not made by Kelly.
Det Hanley told the court that it is believed that the calls were made by a facilitator. He added that this does not appear to be an isolated incident as other attempts have been made to get passports for “senior members of organised crime groups in this and outside jurisdictions”.
Gardaí obtained a search warrant and Kelly’s home was searched on September 17th, 2020. He was arrested by gardaí.
When interviewed, Kelly accepted that he could be seen on CCTV, but made no other admissions.
Det Hanley agreed with John Griffin BL, defending, that Kelly had been following instructions from another individual and he is not connected to the intended recipient of the passport.
Mr Griffin said Kelly was a vulnerable person and the passport was never issued or used.
Judge Nolan said the passport is a “key” piece of identification. There are “certain individuals out there who want a second identity” and this scheme was intended to help these individuals.
Judge Nolan accepted that Kelly had been on the “lowest rung of the ladder”, but said he believed the accused must have known what he was doing was wrong.
Judge Nolan said Kelly must have been aware why someone would want a second passport and that the document would be for “nefarious purposes”.
Taking the mitigation into consideration, Judge Nolan imposed an eight-month sentence to run consecutively with the sentence Kelly is currently serving.