Illegal casino shut down in Dublin city centre

Five alleged customers and staff arrested during Garda immigration operation

A large number of mobile devices were also seized during the operation. Photograph: Oli Scarff/ Getty I

A large number of mobile devices were also seized during the operation. Photograph: Oli Scarff/ Getty I

 

Gardaí shut down an alleged illegal backroom casino operating in Dublin city centre on Sunday night, resulting in five arrests.

The casino was operating from a building on Parnell Street behind a retail premises when it was the subject of a raid by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Five alleged customers and staff, aged 30-60, were arrested during the raid on immigration-related charges, as well as for suspected offences under the Employment Permits Act 2003 and the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001.

A large number of mobile devices were also seized during the operation.

The accused – four men and one woman – appeared in the Dublin District Court on Monday afternoon on various charges.

Immigration documentation

The case of Diong Kit (59) of no fixed abode was heard during the brief hearing. She pleaded guilty to failing to provide proper immigration documentation to gardaí following the raid.

Detective Garda Joseph Gavin told the court Ms Kit was a customer in the casino at the time. She first told gardaí she was Chinese before saying she was from Malaysia.

She was unable to provide a document to prove this, Det Gda Gavin said, resulting in her being charged with an offence.

A Malaysian passport belonging to the woman was later located but it was 10 years out of date.

Defence solicitor Donal Quigley said Ms Kit was homeless, had no income and was not entitled to social welfare.

She previously worked as a babysitter but is now unemployed and seeking to return to Malaysia. The court heard she is from Malaysia but is ethnically Chinese and was not seeking to deceive gardaí when answering their questions.

Mr Quigley appealed for leniency and said Ms Kit had no previous convictions. She had no family in Ireland, he added.

Judge Joanne Carroll said it was an “exceptional situation” and immigration gardaí “need to know who people are and what they are doing”.

She “reluctantly” agreed to apply the Probation Act, meaning Ms Kit will not have a conviction recorded against her. The judge also asked Mr Quigley to help his client find accommodation.

The cases against the four men were adjourned until November 12th, 2021. All four were granted bail.