“I hate Dublin so much, I’m off to prison says fugitive”
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From the front page of the 11 July 2007 Metro:
A polish fugitive on the run from the US authorities yesterday handed himself in because he would rather face jail than continue living in Dublin.
Dariuz Baranski surrendered to the American Embassy in Ballsbridge after six months on the run.
The 26-year-old has been wanted by US authorities since January, when he fled the country while out on bail.
Baranski faced up to 12 months in prison for his role in a scam which involved sham marriages between Polish women and US Navy personnel.
While serving as a petty officer aboard the USS Simpson, he arranged marriages that guaranteed the women US citizenship and the sailors additional government benefits.
He earned up to €4,500 each time for himself. But the whole operation was blown when two of the women he had arranged marriages for tried to cut in and start making money for themselves.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Services charged him with aiding and abetting entry into marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, and stripped him of his US passport.
However, Baranski used his Polish passport to flee the country before his sentencing on January 31, and decided to hide out in the country all his Polish friends were heading for — Ireland.
But he said he soon found life as a Pole in Dublin was not much better than a stint in a US state penitentiary.
He found employment through the same route many of his country men did, with a foreign worker agency.
‘It’s f***ing hell. They try to rip you off,’ he said. ‘The Polish people don’t know the language, they’re not confident, and they’ll work for €8 an hour.
‘The [the agencies] get paid €14 an hour, and pay us the minimum wage. It’s easy for the companies because they don’t have to worry about contracts or unions or anything like that, plus they can get rid of you whenever they want,’ he added.
Baranski ended up in a two-bedroom apartment on Thomas Street, Dublin, with six other people.
He now faces two years in custody, thanks to the extra charge of fleeing the US while out on bail.
He added: ‘I prefer living in the United States and, if that’s what it costs to go back and do the time in jail, then life goes on.’
He will be sent to the US on Friday.
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