Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards has sent Cayma Nibbs to prison for nine months, but the offender may spend a longer time at the correctional facility if he does not pay up two separate fines.
He was fined $1,000 for illegal entry, and $33,000 for failing to declare monies to Customs.
The senior magistrate ordered that the fines be paid forthwith. Nibbs will serve an additional six months at Her Majesty’s Prison if he does not pay up.
Senior Magistrate Richards sentenced the BVI citizen yesterday while noting that he was convicted for a similar offence – smuggling – a few years ago.
“Whatever penalty he was given in that offence was not sufficient,” the senior magistrate said.
According to the prosecution, police officers were in the Frenchman’s Cay area of Tortola doing undercover surveillance on Nibbs around 10pm on July 23, 2014.
Nibbs was seen boarding an inflatable dinghy, after he arrived at the area on a scooter.
Police claimed that they observed as he sailed the dinghy towards St Thomas, USVI.
He returned to the area hours later, boarded the aforementioned scooter, and drove away.
The cops intercepted Nibbs and asked if he had anything to declare, but Nibbs reportedly said no.
It is further reported that the officers searched a backpack the offender was carrying, and a quantity of US currency was found.
Asked where he was coming from, Nibbs said he was on a sailing trip to St Thomas, but changed his mind and returned to the Frenchman’s Cay area.
He further told the cops that the money he had was to be used to purchase four scooters.
Nibbs was taken to the police station and later charged for failing to declare more than $30,000. The money was seized.
The court has ordered that the money should not be forfeited to the government as no evidence was presented to prove it was obtained as a result of criminal activity.
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