BVI News

Fine my client, don’t imprison; HMP overfilled, understaffed — attorney

Kirk Hughes being escorted from court on a previous occasion.

Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin has been urged not to imprison ‘wealthy’ Anguillan visitor Kirk Hughes because Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut is overcrowded and under-staffed.

Hughes, an overseas hotelier, admitted to the court last week that the $45,831 found in a number of local properties he had rented are proceeds of crime. It was not said what sort of criminal activity Hughes was involved in.

While representing the offender in court on Monday, attorney Leroy Jones sought to persuade the court to fine his client and have the near-$50,000 sum forfeited to the territory.

The attorney argued that local government would effectively benefit more if his client was fined rather than imprisoned because, if sent to prison, the territory will be burdened to have the offender housed and fed.

Jones further argued that his client is ‘remorseful’ for the offences.

Magistrate Benjamin is scheduled to sentence Hughes on October 4.

Guilty plea

Hughes had pleaded guilty to overstaying, failing to declare monies to Customs, and being in possession of proceeds of criminal conduct.

The funds in question were dispersed among three rental properties on Tortola and inside the offender’s vehicle.

He was also said to be an accomplice in smuggling six Hispanic migrants in the territory between August and September of this year. He, however, was not charged with smuggling.

It is reported that local law enforcers caught up to Hughes because a number of those illegal migrants named him as their contact and “gang leader”. They were all arrested and charged.

The illegal migrants were subsequently fined $1,000 each or spend in default prison sentence of two months.

Visitor spreads nearly $50K worth of ‘crime money’ across Tortola

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  1. Punishment says:

    This man admitted to the Court that the monies are proceeds of crime, so why shouldn’t he spend jail time like all the others who are there for crimes.
    Not only did he not declared this money to Customs, he overstayed in the territory and to add to all that, he was involved in smuggling illegal Immigrants.
    Charging him a fine is not punishment. That’s a slap on the wrist. He should be sent to Prison to serve time and the money forfeited to the Crown.
    If you do the Crime, be prepared to serve the Time.
    There’re folks in Prison for petty crimes for example “child support” that should be release after a while to make room for guys like this Anguilla guy who has been involved in more serious crime. Find a space for him.

    Like 35
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    • Okay Then says:

      Did you NOT read that he was NOT charged for smuggling? If it was justified don’t you think they would have charged him? Proceeds of crime- what is the first thing comes to mind? As an example…If someone is found with 10,500 and because it was not reported to customs….that is considered criminal conduct right? There are many ways one can have money in their possession that ar proceeds of crime which does NOT have to do with the first thing that comes to mind

      Like 6
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    • People says:

      The report said…..He was said to be an accomplice. It should have read….It was said

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just my two cents. Petty crimes place a monitoring device on their leg and confine them to house arrest. Let their families feed and house them while they serve their punishment. Why should the people support a vacation for these people at Balsum Ghut. As far as a fine for serious crimes, NO!! Do the crime be prepared to serve the time. If you make punishment just a fine the wealthy will not care or the drug dealers will not care and the worst that they look forward to is a fine. El Chapo would be very very happy to pay a fine and be released from prison. Wake up people. You are going to turn the Territory into crime central with these absurd decisions.

    Like 13
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  3. Strupes says:

    Young boys got sent jail for a dime bag with a plant in it….. Stop the BS lock his a** up

    Like 16
  4. Finally........ says:

    dis man in tola since Dec,saw him many times by d pier pump….check d ladies there….hmmmmp

  5. Please says:

    Jones people like you care nothing about this place. So BVI will set a precedent that if you come in and spend crime money you will get a slap on the wrist.

    He can be fined , imprisoned and deported if need be. I really dont know how some of you lawyers live with yourself. The BVI is already blacklisted for money laundering and here the sh..t you going to court to ask for.

    Like 7
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  6. Concern East says:

    Damnnn 3 HOMES. it hard to find one With These High Rent

  7. Real Talk says:

    He was a—– and d—— —- the US
    for I—– d—- s——— …hence he is a habitual o———- .

    Like 2
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  8. VI gyal says:

    He needs to be fined and deported. He does need to go up in our prison for us to feed him.

    Like 5
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  9. brup says:

    Young boys got sent jail for a dime bag with a plant in it….. Stop the BS lock his a** up


    place banana republic
    buy your way out of anything
    attracts more scum, benefits to corrupt few
    kills the tourism that employ the many

  10. send him home says:

    Make half a million out of him and send him back for Anguilla to feed.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  11. Jj homes says:

    Its a British country he from and i don’t think he can over stay in another island thats British somebody anybody please explain

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