Darius Musinskas (54). who lived in Ireland for almost 20 years, was extradited back to his homeland in November
Darius Musinskas (54). who lived in Ireland for almost 20 years, was extradited back to his homeland to face the human trafficking charges in November.
Musinskas, whose family still live in Ireland, was convicted and sentenced to one-and-a-half years behind bars two weeks ago.
He admitted involvement but said he didn’t plan to profit from it however a judge rejected that claim.
Authorities found he was part of an organised group with fellow nationals Kestutis Laurynas and Stanislovas Ruskus who recruited two vulnerable 18-year-old twin sisters with learning difficulties to work as prostitutes in Ireland in 2011.
Laurynas, who previously lived in Ireland, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for human trafficking in 2013 in relation to the case while a criminal case against Ruskus was dropped after he died in Sweden the same year.
The sisters were persuaded by the group to go to Ireland in the spring of 2011 to work as prostitutes.
The court heard one of the young teens had just graduated from school when she was approached. She was given false promises and told she would be well looked after and not have any trouble in Ireland. She told her sister who also said she would go.
The court heard both teens were living in poverty, were naïve and immature and were unable to actively resist.
They told their mother they were going to work on a strawberry farm in Ireland.
Musinskas admitted he was contacted by Laurynas who asked him buy plane tickets from Riga in Latvia to Dublin for the teens arrange and accommodation for them in Ireland, buy them clothes and cosmetics and meet with then when they arrived.
Musinskas claimed he wasn’t planning to profit from the girls’ work as prostitutes and wasn’t aware of their financial problems and learning difficulties.
"Everyone helps each other,” he said. He claimed he only helped at the request of Laurynas because everyone in the Lithuanian community helps each other.
However, evidence gathered by investigators contradicted his denials that he was going to profit from the operation.
The court found that phone evidence showed that Musinskas actively communicated with Laurynas and discussed committing a criminal act, bought the plane tickets and waited for the girls’ arrival knowing they would work as prostitutes and he had to take care of them and control them.
In one conversation Musinskas was speaking on the phone to Laurynas who told him the girls were escorted and the driver who took them to the airport and was paid 100 litas.
In the recorded conversation Musinskas asked if the teenagers had been examined by a doctor and his accomplice assured him that they were clean.
At another point they discussed whether the girls would obey instructions and Musinskas snapped that they would listen to him.
On April 28, 2011, Lithuanian border guards stopped the vehicle carrying the two victims at the Latvian border on the way to Riga Airport.
The guards became suspicious when the girls couldn’t tell them their destination while the driver of the car was also vague with his answers.
The guards then took the girls away from the driver of the car and they were visibly shaking and said they weren’t going to Ireland voluntarily.
Laurynas was jailed in 2013 and gardai approached Musinskas in Ireland in 2014 and told him a pre-trial investigation was underway against him in Lithuania.
He said he lied to Irish authorities by saying an unknown person had asked him to buy tickets for the teens.
He admitted using his wife’s credit card to buy the plane tickets but falsely claimed he felt sorry for the girls and was just helping out in an act of kindness.
He was then summonsed to appear in Lithuanian but said he ignored the summons saying he did so because he had children and family in Ireland.
He subsequently fought extradition but was eventually extradited in November.
He was facing a sentence of between 4 and 12 years for human trafficking but Lithuanian news outlet Lyrtas reported that Siauliai District Court Judge Nerijus Masiulis he would hand down a lower sentence of one-and-a-half years due to a number of factors.
The mitigating circumstance included Musinskas’ guilty plea, his good work history before and after the crime, a lengthy period of time had passed since he committed the crime and he had not committed any other crimes while living in Ireland since the crime.