A woman from the Dominican Republic was released in the custody of Her Majesty’s Immigration after serving time in prison for her involvement in a reported ticket racket targeting Speedy’s ferry company.
Yudelka Matos Mena was held last July importing more than 400 fraudulent ferry tickets valued between $12,000 and $14,000 United States currency.
When Mena appeared in court on Friday, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo sentenced the woman to six months in prison for ‘going equipped to cheat’.
The offender has been on remand since July last year, which means she has already served a six-month prison term. Expectations now are that she will be booted from the territory.
The court was told that on July 9 last year, the offender arrived in the territory through the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.
While at the airport, Customs officers searched her luggage and discovered three packages inside.
The packages contained Virgin Gorda Transport (Speedy’s) ferry tickets.
When questioned, the offender claimed that a person she only knows as ‘Juancito’ gave her the tickets in the Dominican Republic to give to her brother who was waiting outside the said airport for her.
Authorities then contacted owners of the ferry company who said they were not expecting any tickets from the Dominican Republic.
Customs officers subsequently summoned and interviewed the woman’s brother who reportedly admitted that the tickets were sent for him.
Both siblings were then detained and a report made to police.
In a subsequent police interview, the Spanish-speaking offender said when she first received the items, she checked to see if they were illegal items. She said she concluded that they were ‘just cards’.
She maintained she did not know she was transporting anything illegal.
Her brother also denied knowledge of the tickets. He claimed that he was expecting his sister to arrive with ‘decorative cards’ that he was supposed to give to a person in West End who he only knows as ‘Miguel’.
The woman was subsequently charged.
It was not said in court on Friday whether the offender’s brother was charged.
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