In less than two months ,78 foreign nationals appeared before a city magistrate to answer to immigration charges.
The immigrants were charged for entering Guyana illegally, overstaying and exiting the country without presenting themselves to an immigration officer. Those charged were Haitians, Cubans, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans.
They all made their court appearance in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts between January 13, 2020 and February 26, 2020.
For that period 51 Haitians, 20 Cubans, four Sri Lankans and three Bangladeshis appeared before a Magistrate.
In most cases the defendants charged for illegal exit were caught accessing the Takatu Bridge, located in Lethem, away from the legal checkpoint. In their explanations they said that they were unaware that they must stamp out of Guyana before leaving to visit Brazil.
Those charged for illegal entry were caught en route to Lethem,
From there the immigrants were escorted to Georgetown and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department, Headquarters, Eve Leary.
And the immigrants charged for overstaying have been in Guyana since March 17, 2018 and were only apprehended by the police on January 24, 2020.
After the defendants admitted to the charge that was read to them, the Magistrate imposed a fine of not more than $40,000, or in default imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
The Magistrate also ordered that the defendants be escorted to the nearest port of exit after they paid their fines or were released from prison. The Immigration Department provided interpreters for the cases.
The most recent case was that of four Sri Lankan men who were charged for entering Guyana illegally.
A businessman paid their $40,000 fines.. The man also offered to buy return tickets for the defendants.
They were the only immigrants who were able to secure representation from the legal aid clinic. The men pleaded guilty to the charge which stated that between January 18, 2020 and February 22, 2020 at Springlands Corentyne, Berbice they entered Guyana by sea and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer.
Weeks before the Sri Lankans appeared in court, three Bangladesh nationals were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, after they were charged for entering Guyana illegally.
They were sentenced to three months imprisonment after they admitted to the charge which stated that on January 25, 2020, at Springlands Corentyne, Berbice, they entered Guyana by sea and disembarked without the consent of an Immigration Officer.
According to information, the immigrants were apprehended in Lethem. When their passports were examined, it was revealed that the defendants had not presented themselves to an immigration officer.
It was confirmed that they entered Guyana legally via the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and were granted permission to stay for a specific period.
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
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