Batchullun Pureevjal, a 33-year-old Mongolian student has escaped deportation and has received a two-year suspended sentence for smuggling €12,400 of cigarettes into Ireland, after she pleaded guilty to possessing 39,000 cigarettes in her luggage, with intent to defraud the State, at Dublin Airport on December 27, 2006.
Pureevjal didn”t explain to Customs officers how she got the cigarettes or what she had intended to do with them. The judge said although it was “a serious offence, it appears to be a one-off offence”. He said it was a “fair inference” that the mother-of-two had intended to make financial gain from the cache.
However, as Pureevjal is the sole supporter of a child, has a low-level of re-offending and as she was “not part of any gang importing cigarettes”, he felt that the offence did not warrant a custodial sentence. The judge suspended the two-year sentence and imposed strict restrictions.
Defence counsel had submitted that Pureevjal was in Ireland on a student visa, that she legally works 20 hours a week at a cleaning job to help support her new baby and has no other trappings of wealth. She also sends money home to an older child in her sister”s care.
The judge’s decision saved her from paying a fine that could be as high as €36,000. He could also impose a five-year jail term instead of or along with this fine.