A Liberian who was granted citizenship in Ireland has been accused as a convicted vice-trade organiser in that Country, despite ongoing pledges by Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to clamp down on prostitution and human trafficking in that Country.
Officials at the Department of Justice handed Meg Ugiagbe Buesmaill Irish citizenship in April on the basis of fake documents identifying her as a Liberian national.
However, Buesmaill’s fraud was discovered by officials at the passport office in Cork on June 3, when she arrived seeking her Irish passport with a Tippex-covered marriage certificate, a fake Liberian passport and false Liberian birth cert.
Such has been the extent of Irish citizen Buesmaill’s deception, Gardaí say they do not know what her real name is and do not believe she is originally from Liberia.
As part of the new life she has forged for herself in Ireland, Buesmaill – who has a conviction relating to organising prostitution in France dating back to 2001 – set up her own business, The Mega Exotic Afro-Caribean Food shop, in Mallow, Cork, in May of last year.
Speaking at the shop, a defiant Buesmaill this week insisted to the Sunday World , an Irish online newspaper that she has done nothing wrong and complained that she did not know she was using fraudulent documents.
She also claimed that although she remembers being arrested in France in 2001, she was never involved in organising prostitution.
“I was so sure it [her documents] wasn’t fake. Because I have taken the entry visa with it, I have travelled with it,” she said.
“I have passed through Amsterdam airport, the screening, with it.
“It’s what they give you back home that you take. I’m ignorant of this thing.
“That is what they are saying now [that the papers are illegal] … but I live here with it since 2005.”
Details of the forged documents were revealed at a sitting of Cork District court earlier this week.
At the sitting, Buesmaill pleaded guilty to producing a false marriage certificate, Liberian passport and birth cert when she went to collect a new Irish passport at Cork’s passport office.
And Detective Garda Ian Coughlan said he did not know her correct name and did not believe she was from Liberia.
He also revealed he was certain the defendant has a conviction in France from 2001 relating to organising prostitution as her fingerprints matched those on file.
As the hearing concluded, Judge John King put sentencing back for six weeks, saying she would have to supply correct documents in the meantime.
“They have given me a chance now to bring another one [a passport], she told the Sunday World.
“I wasn’t [organising prostitution].
“I was in France.
“How can I organise prostitution. You know when this case came up that is what they put down on paper.
“But I didn’t… did they convict me of that?
“They did convict me of that, but it was just the case that was coming up.”
“They say yes, but let’s leave it at that because that is not me.
“That is what the Garda say, but I am telling you the real story.
“I was in France, but I left France in 1999 or 2000.
“I wasn’t organising anything, I didn’t know they convicted me
“He [the Garda] brought it up and I told him I left France a long time ago before I came here.
“Why are you bringing this up at all?
“I am before the Irish courts – let them deal with it.
“You are not the one who could end up sleeping in a cell.”
Despite Buesmaill’s protestations of ignorance, Department of Justice officials this week confirmed to the Sunday World that she is now at risk of having her citizenship revoked.
In a statement to this newspaper, a spokesperson said: “The Citizenship Act 1956 as amended does provide for the revocation of a certificate of nationality where the certificate has been obtained through false or misleading information, and sets out the procedures to be followed.”
Source: News Now/Sunday World Online