Five Haitian Nationals Charged With Illegal Entry in Bahamas

haitian immigrants 1NASSAU, Bahamas–Immigration officials hauled seven Haitian nationals into a Bahamian court in the last two days, five for illegal entry and two for overstaying.

Five of them appeared before Magistrate Debbye Ferguson on Tuesday alleged to have arrived illegally.

Police picked up one of the women at an apartment on Sunday and turned her over to immigration. Another two women and two men were picked up on that day in the Dover Sound area.

They were all turned over to the Department of Immigration.

Immigration officers retrieved the sixth immigrant outside the terminal at the Domestic Section at the airport who had just come in on a commercial flight from New Providence on Sunday.

Officers questioned the man, who was reportedly waiting for a pickup, and asked him to produce his passport.

It was then that it was discovered that he had been admitted into the country via New Providence in October and granted a 14-day stay. But he had overstayed.

The five who were charged with illegal landing pleaded guilty, were fined $300 or faced one year at Her Majesty’ s Prison.

The one who appeared before the magistrate charged with overstaying also pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $3,000 or two years.

They all pleaded with the magistrate to allow them more time to seek the money to pay the fine and it was granted.

Magistrate Ferguson ordered the immigrants be deported immediately upon payment of the fine.

Four of them managed to pay and were flown out to the Detention Centre Wednesday afternoon.

As for the two who remained, the woman will begin her three-month sentence for illegal landing and the male is to start his three-year sentence in prison immediately.

On Tuesday, police took another female Haitian in custody after performing its normal inspections at the mail boat.

The woman had reportedly just arrived on the mail boat that morning and after she was asked to produce her passport it was discovered that she had been admitted in the country via the capital for 30 days back in November.

She, too, was handed over to police and had her day in court on Wednesday before Deputy Chief Magistrate on the charge of overstaying.

The 22 year old was convicted and fined $200 and was to be deported once it was paid.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Jones also warned the young woman not to take her conviction lightly.



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