Judge refuses to fine Pakistani man working in Tullamore who had no work permit

Judge refuses to fine Pakistani man who had no work permit

Tullamore District Court heard man was working illegally in a takeaway restaurant

A PAKISTANI national who admitted working illegally in an Offaly takeaway restaurant was not fined when a judge said a penalty could not be imposed because the State was not permitting him to get employment.

Masood Ahmed, 50, with an address at Woodview Heights, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare was arrested during a joint operation carried out by the Garda National Immigration Bureau, the Workplace Relations Commission and the Department of Social Protection, Tullamore District Court was told today (Wednesday, October 13).

Detective Garda Cliff Quinn said he saw Mr Ahmed working behind the counter in food preparation at the Alkababish takeaway, 6 Colmcille Street, Tullamore at 6.15pm on October 7 last.

Detective Garda Quinn said inquiries were carried out in the immigration database and while previously the accused had an immigration permission which permitted him to work, it had been revoked on July 31, 2019.

As a result no work permit was in place at the time and Mr Ahmed would be facing deportation.

Detective Garda Quinn told Judge Catherine Staines that there was no deportation order in place for the man.

Judge Staines said: “The State chooses not to deport him and yet he has no way of earning any money or a living.”

Patrick Martin, defending solicitor, said the revocation of Mr Ahmed's immigration permission was under appeal but the process was very slow. He had not told his employer about the revocation.

The accused denied a separate charge of failing to provide proper identification but the prosecution accepted that he had handed in a passport afterwards.

The maximum fine for the offence under the Employment Permits Act is €3,000, Judge Staines was told, or 12 months in prison.

Judge Staines applied the Probation Act. “I can't impose a fine if he can't work,” she said.

Four other men were also prosecuted in relation to similar alleged offences but charges against one man were struck out, the cases against two others were adjourned and a bench warrant was issued when another accused man failed to appear in court.

The prosecutions followed unannounced inspections of premises in Tullamore and Clara, Co Offaly during a multi-agency operation led by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Gardai said 22 separate business premises were searched on the same date.

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