Man sentenced to nine months for mobile phone scam

A man who took part in a scam by accepting delivery of mobile phones bought with stolen credit card details had been using a false name and identification to get work in a Galway city centre shop after sneaking into the country from Belfast, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Judge Mary Fahy imposed a nine month jail sentence on the defendant whose real name is Kenvil Nasir. The 30-year-old with an address at 16 Tulach Na Corriage, Loughrea, was brought before the court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to failing to produce on demand a valid passport or other equivalent document and handling stolen property on May 22, 2012.

Garda Padraig Healy gave evidence that he had received a complaint from 3G telephone company that mobile phones had been purchased from them using a compromised Bank of Ireland credit card, and that the delivery address that had been given was a shop in Prospect Hill. After further investigation Garda Healy had been observing the shop where he observed the defendant accept two mobile phones from a delivery van and place the items in the back of the shop. When approached and asked for his name the defendant said that he was George Felix and presented an ID card with that name. He was arrested and brought to Galway Garda Station where he gave his real name and admitted that he had been using his friend’s name and identification to get work in the shop. Garda Healy confirmed that the shop management had believed he was George Felix and that the defendant, a Nigerian national, had come into the country through Belfast.

When asked by Judge Fahy if the defendant had been involved in a scam, Garda Healy said the credit card details had been used without the authorisation of the card owner and added: “I believe there are more people in this than the man before you.”

Referring to the role Nasir may have played in the scam and under cross examination by defence solicitor, Adrian MacLynn Garda Healy further explained: “He may have been asked to sign for the packages. He said during interview that he didn’t know what he was signing for. The name he was using was of a man he was living with. I think he was unaware how he got here. His friends may have been trying to help him.”

“He came into the country in February by the backdoor, in by Belfast, and he came from Nigeria by means of a car and boat. He came to Galway and was helped by friends... This bears all the hallmarks of a scam but others were involved,” said Mr MacLynn, before adding that Nasir, who has no previous convictions, has been in custody since May 23 last.

“It appears he was helping out someone who was helping him with identification, a job, and in return he was helping in this scam to defraud a company of expensive phones and a person’s cards and details were compromised,” said Judge Fahy before convicting Nasir and imposing a total of nine months in jail, backdated to May 23. Leave to appeal was granted.

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