Anguillan hotelier Kirk Hughes has been fined $56,000 and will spend months at Her Majesty’s Prison for his leading role in a few Immigration and financial-related crimes in the territory.
Hughes was fined $55,000 for failing to declare monies to Customs. If he fails to pay that fine, he will spend six months in prison.
He was slapped with a five-month prison sentence and a $1,000 fine for overstaying in the territory. The offender will serve an additional 30 days at the Balsam Ghut-based penitentiary if he does not pay the fine.
Hughes was further sentenced to another eight months imprisonment for the $45,831 that he admitted was the proceeds of crime.
Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin also ordered that the near-$50,000 sum be forfeited to the territory. The cash and vacuum seal machines that police confiscated from his rented properties on Tortola is also to be forfeited to the BVI.
Hughes’ mandatory prison sentences are to run concurrently (at the same time). But, the default sentences to be imposed if Hughes does not pay his fines will run consecutive (one after the other) to his mandatory prison sentences.
Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin said with the continued reoccurrence of similar crimes in the British Virgin Islands, the tourism industry could be negatively affected.
She said the crimes were serious and, thus, the sentences were suitable to his level of culpability.
Local law enforcers caught up to Hughes because he was named as an accomplice in smuggling six Hispanic migrants in the territory between August and September of this year.
Hughes was also caught with more than $45,000, spread across three rental properties on Tortola and inside of his vehicle. He was subsequently arrested and charged.
Attorney Leroy Jones represented the Anguillan offender.
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