Aer Lingus worker charged with organising people smuggling to face trial

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An Aer Lingus worker charged with organising people smuggling at Dublin Airport is to face trial on indictment, a court has heard.

Frederick Cham 61, of Railway Cottages, Hazelhatch, Celbridge, Co Kildare but originally from Hong Kong, is charged with facilitating the entry of non-nationals into the State on January 9 and January 22 last.

He was arrested as part of an investigation by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

He had been refused bail in January and appeared again at Cloverhill District Court.

Det Gda Lorcan Tighe told Judge Victor Blake that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that Mr Cham is to face in trial on indictment. This means his case will go before a judge and jury at the circuit court.

Det Gda Tighe also said that Mr Cham could be sent forward on a signed plea of guilty. Defence solicitor Fiona McNulty confirmed that there was consent to her client being further remanded in custody for another four weeks.

Judge Blake ordered that the case would be listed again for mention on May 10 and for the book of evidence to be served. He also said the defence solicitor should liaise with the prosecution in the interim if there is going to a signed plea.

Co-defendant, Peter Kernan, 56, of the Old Rectory Lodge, Celbridge, Co Kildare had been granted bail in March and is due back in court next month.

Gardai have seized his passport and his bail terms state he must reside at his home address and notify gardai of any change, sign on three times a week at Leixlip garda station, provide gardai with a mobile phone number on which he can be contacted at all times, not apply for a new passport and have no contact directly or indirectly with Mr Cham.