Albania nationals – Valdet Tafhasaj and Fatlind Cenaj – have been each fined $1,000 for illegal entry into the British Virgin Islands.
Tafhasaj, a 37-year-old construction worker, and 18-year-old student Cenaj were fined after pleading guilty when they appeared before the Magistrate’ Court on Friday.
The fines are to be paid by February 14, 2020. If the Albanian offenders fail to pay, they will spend 60 days at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Magistrate Ayana Baptiste DaBreo ordered that the offenders remain on remand at the adult penitentiary until the fines are paid.
Just passing through
Ahead of their sentencing, the Albanian offenders’ attorney Leroy Jones told the court that his clients were just in-transit through the BVI and urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The BVI was not their intended and final destination They were just passing through,” Jones told the court, adding that his clients were remorseful.
The men, through an interpreter, said their final destination was the United States.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that the duo along with Venezuelan national Rafael Josue Torres Guerrero — who was fined $1,000 for entering the British Virgin Islands illegally on Thursday – arrived into the territory via boat at Trellis Bay.
The court heard that while on mobile patrol on February 3, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force spotted a go-fast boat entering the Beef Island-based harbour.
The boat was void of light, and three persons were spotted onboard.
The trio later disembarked and entered two separate vehicles in the parking lot and left shortly after that.
The police followed the moving vehicles and intercepted them at Lambert in East End.
They were later transported to the Road Town Police Station where police discovered that they had no entry stamp permitting them legally into the Territory.
They were arrested on suspicion of illegal entry and brought before the court.
Prior to their appearance on Friday, the Albanians were made to appear on two previous occasions. But their matter failed to progress on those occasions because the court had trouble sourcing and Albanian interpreter.
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