BVI News

Fake visa holder sentenced to 26 months in prison


Richardson Gonzales Baez received a 26-month prison sentence on Monday for giving false information to Immigration officials at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport.

A breakdown of his sentence shows the Dominican Republic native receiving eight months for uttering forged documents, six months for possession of a forged visa, and 12 months for giving false information to a person in public office.

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo said she does not think a fine was not an appropriate penalty considering the collective seriousness of the offences.

She ordered that the offender’s sentences run concurrently (simultaneously). This means that Baez will spend no more than 12 months behind bars.

I’m not to be blamed

While speaking on his own behalf ahead of sentencing, Baez had told the court that the company in Santo Dominigo who furnished him with the forged documents are the ones who should be held responsible; not him.

He told the court that his reason for coming into the territory was to make a better life for his family. He said he did not intend to break the law.

He then pleaded to the court for mercy.

In response, Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo reminded him that he was the one who presented the false documents to the officials and not the company in question. She further argued that his offences were aggravated by the fact that he chose not to take responsibililty for his actions.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that on March 7, Baez arrived at the airport and presented a French passport bearing questionable information. Upon closer inspection of the document, officials noticed several inconsistencies.

The court further heard that a thorough search of Baez’s luggage uncovered another passport issued by his home country as well as a BVI visa.

The authorities also found a voter ID card, a police certificate from the Dominican Republic as well as a job letter from a construction company in the BVI among his belongings.

Upon examination of the BVI visa, there were a number of misspellings.

Other information on the document was not consistent with the BVI Civil Registry and Passport Office.

Baez was subsequently arrested and charged.

When interviewed by police, the accused reportedly said he knew that his French passport was fraudulent and admitted that he was a native of the Dominican Republic and not a French national.

“I give my passport to a relative, and when they give it back to me there was a BVI visa stamp in it,” he said.

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  1. Eagle eye says:

    One way or the next you at your destination.

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