BVI News

St Kitts visitor caught sneaking out of BVI, sobs at prison prospect

Henry being escorted from court on Thursday.

A female visitor from St Kitts was fined $500 in the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after she was caught en route, sneaking off to St John in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI).

Helena Henry, who had visited the territory this week to attend a wedding of a family relative on Virgin Gorda was sentenced in relation to the offence of embarking on a destination outside the territory without leave of an Immigration officer.

She was ordered to pay the $500 fine forthwith or spend one month at Her Majesty’s Prison.

“If you send me to prison I don’t think I would make it. I am very sorry, Your Honour. I will never come to Tortola again,” she said after hearing her sentence.

The middle-aged woman then openly wailed in the courtroom.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that Henry arrived in the territory on October 15 and was allowed to stay for a period of three days.

Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, local law enforcement caught her on a private vessel heading to the USVI but checks revealed that she did not have the requisite permission to leave the territory.

She was subsequently arrested and charged for the offence.

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25 Comments

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  1. BEWEEAYE says:

    So what happened to the boat captain if she was being smuggled out to St John. It didn’t say she was the captain, did it ?

    Like 45
    Dislike 1
  2. I'm confused says:

    If she was going why not let her go and become a problem to another country. At least she wouldn’t be here, she was leaving the Territory.

    Like 18
    Dislike 5
    • @I'm Confused says:

      Let her go? Then the BVI will be known for letting illegals into the US. The boat Captain should be held accountable for his part.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
  3. Iconoclast says:

    As usual I’m confused again on this getting permission to leave ting. I know one needs legal permission to enter, visit and reside in the territory. However, I plead ignorance on this one. What happen to freedom of movement, choice……….etc.? What if the authority say you cannot leave without cause? Did she get in trouble because she didn’t turn in her immigration card and didn’t pay the departure and security tax?

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
  4. Mercy says:

    sad. they could have been more lenient.

    Like 6
    Dislike 12
  5. Hmm says:

    General idea is for visitors not to overstay. She was on her way out, so why the big deal?

    Like 18
    Dislike 5
    • Anonymous says:

      She was not on her way out to St Kitts.
      Big problem. It is imperative for the VI to demonstrate that th 64yeir borders are nonporous.Being the gateway for folks to pass through on their way to where they have not been invited or wanted is a danger to the world at large. It also creates inconvenience for innocent travelers…visa denials,expensive visas,lengthy wait at the ports and jaundiced eyes,suspicions all contributing to overall prejudice against specific people..ex middle eastern and updeislun folks.

      Like 21
      Dislike 4
      • Say What? says:

        Most modern countries don’t require its citizens and visitors to check out. Right? Can you name one? This isn’t a question of porous boarders. Lmao. The dialogue should be focused on approving who enters rather than arresting middle aged women and making them cry while threatening to imprison them.
        Don’t fool yourself into thinking that we actually monitor who checks out to verify their departure against their arrival. Did you ever wonder what happens to all that paperwork that is submitted on our arrival and departure?
        We need to reorganize our arrival and departure experience. There is a widely held view that our policies aren’t in line with modern realities and that our customs and immigration staff are rude. Considering the importance of our tourism industry we need to make change a priority.

        Like 6
        Dislike 3
        • two cents says:

          If you check who is leaving, you can find those that overstayed or entered illegally. To my knowledge this is not done in the VI. We need an Exit Stamp, person should pass through immigration when leaving like other Caribbean countries do. I am sure there is 100s over staying on Tortola, VG, JVD & Anegada.

          • @ two cents says:

            You are right…other than name being on manifest…immigration is NOT involved in persons leaving the BVI at marine ports…she should have had a lawyer.

  6. Queen Mary says:

    She was not on her way out to St Kitts.
    Big problem. It is imperative for the VI to demonstrate that th their borders are nonporous.Being the gateway for folks to pass through on their way to where they have not been invited or wanted is a danger to the world at large. It also creates inconvenience for innocent travelers…visa denials,expensive visas,lengthy wait at the ports and jaundiced eyes,suspicions all contributing to overall prejudice against specific people..ex middle eastern and updeislun folks.

  7. Queen Fab says:

    She thought she was heading over to VG

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  8. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmmmm! The boat CAPTAIN, what happened to him?

  9. Me says:

    Ok I’m abit confused, if I visit from Dominica to the bvi for a week and I want to go st Thomas for a day and come back (my return ticket is from BVI to DOM) can’t I go? I have a us visa by the way.

    Need someone to explain this.

    • Upright says:

      To u and Iconoclast, passengers or belongers leaving the territory on a private or Charter Vessel, the captain must check the vessel out with Customs and Immigration. The leave thing means Immigration should check the marine control document (customs & Immigration FORM) for the Captain and passengers name,you should walk with your documents when checking out, bottom line the vessel should be check in on arrival and out on departure, You can go St. Thomas for a day via Ferry and come back once your Passport is ligit. Some times the foreign country you are going to via private vessel will ask for your clearance papers from the country you depart.

  10. Hmmm says:

    Imagine bvi gave the woman 3 days stay well sah.

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  11. Taxman says:

    Good question which highlights the problem with our current policy. Let’s say you and your family of 4 are visiting Tortola for a week and you want to visitSt John got a day. You will have pay about $200 in taxes and fees to leave and re-enter.
    All this money is needed to repay the losses we incurred in BVI Airlines and other grotesque and unexplained misspending over the past 8 years.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  12. Lb says:

    How often US Coast Guard chase illegal immigrants’ boats into BVI waters for us to deal with? Very very often. We got to pay to feed and house them…we have to pay to prosecute them. We got to pay to prosecute them! Every year multiple times a year.. Instead of US coast Guard picking these people up where they catch them, they run them into BVI waters and then call the task force to go arrest them.

    Eff that. This woman was leaving the BVI. No trouble to us at all. Let her go. Let the big bad USA worry about its own porous borders. We so schupid we always bowing down to the US.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  13. mmario says:

    Iconclast, There is a process and it’s very simple. You check in you check out. In other words you leave the same way you came in through immigration.

    Any other form of departure is illegal.

    You comprende?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  14. Angela says:

    I have a question. Wouldnt she have needed a US Visa

    to enter St. Johns? Most people who have a US Visa

    usually come through St. Thomas, and then go over

    to Tortola. Cant believe she was only given 3 days

    in Tortola.

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