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7-day visitor overstays for 15 years

The building that houses the immigration department

Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have nabbed a 65-year-old man who has been living in the territory illegally for nearly 15 years.

St Lucia native Edgar Lucien has pleaded guilty to overstaying a landing permit.

Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards fined him $1,000 for the offence.

“When the court looked at the mitigating factors such as your age, you got a fine instead of jail,” the senior magistrate noted.

Lucien was told to pay the fine forthwith or serve two months in prison.

“As soon as you get the $1,000 and pay it, you will be released,” added Senior Magistrate Richards.

Meanwhile, the court was told that the senior citizen has been under radar since 2002, but was nabbed when he tried to leave the BVI to pursue medical attention.

“I going blind and I need to see a doctor,” the 65-year-old told the senior magistrate in court.

The court further heard that, when Lucien’s optical health started to take a turn for the worse, he booked a flight to return to his homeland, St Lucia.

When he tried to depart the territory on May 24 this year, officials at the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport informed him that his passport had expired.

They further told Lucien that he would have to visit the Civil Registry and Passport Office in Road Town to address the issue.

Upon visiting that office, Lucien was told that he would have to get an emergency travel document from the Immigration Department.

It is reported that the 65-year-old then ventured to the Immigration department to obtain the emergency document.

He was detained by immigration officials, who found out that he was overstaying in the BVI.

The court further heard that Lucien arrived in the territory on August 18, 2002 and was permitted to stay for just a week. He stayed for nearly 15 years.

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