A father-of-two who sent money to Turkey on behalf of another person has been jailed for 18 months for money laundering.
Atilla Tasgin (41) was provided with just under €10,000 to be transferred over the course of seven years by a man referred to by gardaí as “the provider”.
Tasgin of Main Street, Leixlip, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of removing from the State the proceeds of criminal conduct at various addresses in north Dublin on dates between June 17, 2013 and April 5, 2018.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of transferring the proceeds of criminal conduct at unknown locations in the State on December 3, 2018 and January 21, 2019. He has no previous convictions.
Detective Garda Deirdre Ryan told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that in July 2018 an investigation commenced into money laundering and certain related matters. Tasgin was not initially a target of the investigation.
Det Gda Ryan said Tasgin was residing at the address of the person who provided him with money to be transferred when it was searched by gardaí in January 2019. The accused told gardaí that “the provider” was the landlord of the apartment and that he was living there rent free.
Following further investigations, it was discovered that Tasgin was engaged in sending money to Turkey on behalf of “the provider”.
In interview with gardaí, Tasgin admitted that he knew the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct as he knew “the provider” was in receipt of social welfare while also working. He accepted he knew that sending the funds out of the country was money laundering.
Det Gda Ryan agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that his client was not involved in the social welfare fraud. She agreed that Tasgin did not receive money for taking part in the offences, but instead received favours from “the provider”.
Mr Spencer said his client sent a sum just shy of €10,000 during various transactions on behalf of “the provider” over the course of seven years. He said his client's wife and two children are currently residing with his mother in Turkey.
Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced Tasgin to two years and three months in prison but suspended the final nine months of the sentence having taken into account the fact that he co-operated with the garda investigation and he had no previous convictions.
She accepted that although Tasgin received favours in term of living rent free and some of his bills being paid, he did not receive any cash for transferring the funds. She noted that he acknowledged that he knew what he was doing.
“He was at all times aware they were commissions of a fraud and he was close to the individual who he was acting for,” Judge Sheahan said referring to the money transfers Tasgin made, before she accepted that “he was not involved in the fraud itself”.