NewsCourts

Polish woman involved in trying to sell a stolen “cloned” BMW to undercover gardai

BMW X5 (Stock image)
BMW X5 (Stock image)

A Polish woman who was part of a group who tried to sell a stolen “cloned” BMW to undercover gardai has been given a suspended sentence.

Mariola Machura (42), of Sosnowiec, Wysoka, Poland pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a stolen BMW X5 car fitted with false registration plates at Airside Business Park, Swords, on October 17, 2011. She has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said Machura had been a “follower rather then a leader” and had a reasonably limited involvement. He imposed an 18 month sentence which he suspended in full.

Garda David Magee told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that gardai became aware of a suspicious advert on a website used to buy and sell cars. They responded to the advert and arranged a meeting at Airside Business Park.

They were met by Machura, her then husband and a third person who was acting as an interpreter for them. Gardai identified themselves and seized the vehicle which had been stolen three months earlier.

Gardai carried out an analysis of the stolen BMW seven seater and found it had been fitted with the registration plates of a scrapped BMW five seater. The electronic control unit or “brains” of the car had also been replaced with that of the scrapped car.

This process of giving the stolen car a new identity by using a car which had been scrapped or written off is called “ringing” or “cloning.”

Machura was arrested and told gardai she did not know the car had been stolen.

Her now estranged husband received a two year sentence for attempted theft and was described as having significant previous convictions in Poland and also in Ireland for road traffic offences.

Machura left Ireland after her then husband was prosecuted and before being charged but returned to Ireland voluntarily to deal with this case. Gda Magee said gardai would not have considered Machura a ring leader in this offence.

He agreed with John Costello BL, defending, that Machura was in fear and went along without question under her then husband's direction in this criminal enterprise.