A Dominican Republic man who reportedly provided false information to a public officer to obtain a BVI visa has been sentenced to 12 months at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Victor Pimedo Santos’ sentence will begin from the date he was first placed on remand — February 19.
Through an interpreter, Santos apologized and urged the court for mercy, pointing out that he is the father of four children.
But Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo said the court does not want to send the message that people can break the law and get off easily.
She said the sentence is aimed to protect the territory and to deter Santos and other like-minded offenders from perpetrating these types of crimes.
The magistrate said Santos’ sentences would have been 18 months imprisonment. But that time was discounted to 12 months in light of his early guilty plea.
The court is now to determine whether the roughly $3,000 that was found on Santos at the time of his arrest should be forfeited to the territory. That decision will be made on July 11.
Notably, Santos was also slapped with two other charges – personation and possession of an irregular document. However, those charges were dropped.
What prosecutors say happened
The court heard that on January 15 this year, a BVI visa application containing false information was submitted for Santos.
Prosecutors said the document indicated that he had never travelled outside of the Dominican Republic, he never previously held a passport, nor has he had any previous convictions. As such, the visa was granted to him.
The court heard that on February 12, Santos travelled to the territory via the TB Lettsome International Airport. During a search of his luggage, documents bearing the name of ‘Angel Louis Dias Roman’ were allegedly uncovered.
It is alleged that a US driver’s license, a Puerto Rican birth certificate and bank cards bearing the aforesaid Puerto Rican name was also found among his documents.
He was subsequently denied entry and immediately arrested. During an interview with police, the accused allegedly confessed that he had been to St Maarten and the US Virgin Islands via similar means.
The court heard that he also told police that he withheld information when he applied for a BVI visa application. It is said that he further admitted that the fake name on the documents in question was illegally obtained so he could live and work in the countries as mentioned earlier.
He also confessed to previously owning a passport but denied having a criminal record, the court was told.
The court further heard that Santos allegedly held a lengthy criminal record and had been deported on two occasions from a United States territory.
Santos was unrepresented.
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