Luis Fernando Chuya Tinizhanay (21) and Nancy Viviana Alvarez Jimenez (21), faced Deputy Chief Magistrate Debbye Ferguson on Tuesday at the Freeport Magistrate’s Court. Both of them pleaded guilty of the charge.
Tinizhanay and Jiminez admitted that they came to the Bahamas in preparation to be smuggled to the United States. As a result, they were charged with overstaying in violation of the Immigration Act.
On February 21, Tinizhanay and Jimenez were seized in Freeport. They were caught with an expired seven-day grant stay which was granted by an immigration officer. The two Ecuadorians acknowledged and admitted that they were making preparative measures to be smuggled.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Ferguson ordered each of them to pay a sum of $3,000 or be sent to prison for the span of two years. Subsequently, the Ecuadorians will be sent back to their homeland whether they pay the fine or be sent to prison due to their custodial sentence.
On the other hand, Mark Henry, 45, a Guyanese was also arraigned on Monday due to the same reason. Magistrate Charlton Smith charged Henry who is also in violation of the Immigration Act.
Henry, with Rufus Allen being his legal counsel, similarly confessed to being guilty of the charge. Last November 5, 2007, Henry was caught in Freeport after the expiration of the 14-day stay given to him by an immigration officer.
He declared that he arrived in the Bahamas by legal means after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. However, he stayed in the country without updating his status as a visitor. He also did not try regulating his status.
Magistrate Smith ordered Henry to pay a sum of $2,000 or to serve four months in prison. In the end, Henry paid the fine and was deported back to Guyana by the Immigration Department.