BVI News

USVI man smuggled into territory to spend lockdown with pregnant girlfriend, court hears

US Virgin Islands (USVI) resident Bryan Bolan was reportedly smuggled into the British Virgin Islands to spend the 14-day lockdown with his pregnant girlfriend, the Magistrate’s Court has been told.

Bolan, who was charged with Breach of Curfew and Illegal Entry pleaded guilty to those offences alongside BVIslander Tambu Frett who pleaded guilty to Breach of Curfew, Illegal Entry and Smuggling.

The men made appearances before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards via a Zoom call in a makeshift courtroom at the Road Town Police Station on Monday.

They are scheduled to reappear on Tuesday for sentencing.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that around 2 pm on April 3, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) received information pertaining to Frett.

As a result, the Marine and Intelligence units of the RVIPF proceeded to commence surveillance operations in separate locations.

Acting Director of Public Prosecution Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit told the court that the officers reported that they witnessed a rubber dinghy leaving the Baughers Bay Marina dock with a sole occupant around 4 pm.

The boat was further observed heading towards Peter Island before turning in the direction of Norman Island before heading to St John, USVI.

The vessel then passed Flanagan Island and disappeared behind St John, the court heard.

This information was reported to the RVIPF Marine Base where officers proceeded by boat towards St John and waited in the channel between St John and Flanagan Island.

While at that location, they observed the same dinghy travelling on the back of St John heading towards Norman Island with two occupants on board.

The court further heard that police pursued the dinghy and signalled it to stop using its siren and lights, but the captain did not stop and increased its speed of the boat.

The vessel was eventually intercepted in BVI waters outside the Pirate’s Bight on Norman Island with Frett captaining the boat and Bolan in the passenger seat.

The Acting DPP said officers searched the boat but nothing illegal was found. The men were also searched. Frett had $5,700 in his backpack while Bolan had $6,020 in his pants pocket.

They were subsequently arrested and cautioned.

Frett’s story

The court heard that Frett, 37, a Little Dix Hill resident and heavy equipment operator, claimed he went to Jost Van Dyke (JVD) where he was ‘liming’ when he met Bolan who asked him for a lift to Tortola.

During a police interview, Frett gave several stories, such as going to JVD because he was ‘bored’. He later admitted that he went around Flanagan Island and St John looking for dinghies.

Bolan’s interview

During Bolan’s interview, he was reportedly evasive and refused to answer pertinent questions, Scatliffe-Esprit said.

He insisted that he was on JVD and claimed to be in the territory from March 12, but the latest Immigration stamp in his passport revealed that he came into the BVI on that day and was given up till March 16.

He also claimed to have a girlfriend living in Greenland, who was insisting for him to come to see her because she did not want to spend 14 curfew days by herself.

Bolan also claimed that the cash that was found on him was from working at the Nest Bar in Huntums Ghut. However, he admitted that he did not have a work permit.

The men stopped cooperating with police when they were asked who could verify that they were on Jost Van Dyke.

Send him back!

The Acting DPP said due to the high volume of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases in the USVI — which has resulted in including one death — and the lack of stringent measures on their borders like the BVI, she wants Bolan to be slapped with the maximum fine and ‘immediately repatriated’ back to the USVI.

I’m sorry

Addressing the court, both men said they were sorry for breaking the laws.

“I want to say I am sorry for what I did. I just wanted to get to the house to be with her for the 14 day period … because if anything happened to her, she had no one to help her. I’m sorry and I beg for your mercy,” Bolan said.

His co-accused, Frett said: “I am very sorry for what I did. I am sorry to the government, to the court, to the police officers. I am not a bad guy, I try my best to be as good as I can be.”

He continued: “It was a friend of a friend who told me that he needed to come over. It was no payment or nothing like that. My friend needed help. I know I was wrong … please don’t give me no custodial sentence. I promise you will not see me in this kind of place again.”

Leroy Jones represents Frett, while Stacy Abel represents Bolan.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

29 Comments

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  1. Liars says:

    Story is false fooling the judge..

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  2. OMG says:

    They broke the law… lock them up. send the usvi man to the usvi.

    Like 7
    Dislike 4
    • DAVE says:

      The USVI man lived tortola for nearly all his life. He even went school there and played sports. Put them to work the streets or something cleaning the place is good. bring the community back to some sort of place to love to be in. Paint buildings, take up garbage, fix basketball courts, clean beaches or somethings.

  3. Haha says:

    Zoom has been found to be lacking in many security areas and is a gold mine for hackers. Somebody in Russia probably selling the judges identity on the dark web right now. C’mon BVI we can’t be using any old app for government business.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
  4. Yes man says:

    Them captain will be pardoned, you know why

  5. What!!! says:

    Serious crime if he were infected could infect us all no thought for others needs serious jail time and confiscate boat.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  6. Tom says:

    I’m windy about the money? That’s a chunk of change. Was the boat “empty” on the way there?

  7. Tom says:

    I’m wondering about the money? That’s a chunk of change. Was the boat “empty” on the way there?

  8. G. L. Perdereaux says:

    Give them a chance, everyone makes mistakes. Any of you would of done the same. Some people quick to pass judgment while they themselves are doing the same maybe even worst, only difference is you’ve not been caught as yet.

    Like 18
    Dislike 7
    • Forgiveness says:

      ????????

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Reprehensible says:

      Both those men committed a serious crime against the BVI and should be given maximum fine and time. The borders were closed for a public health reason to try and protect the health and lives of the people of the BVI. WHAT FRETT DID IS A VERY SERIOUS CRIME and should not be taken lightly. It is obvious based on the money on both men Something fishy is going on. It is obvious the money was over 10,000 so they divided it up so that it would not be confiscated by Government. They are not sorry. They are only sorry they got caught

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
  9. ?? says:

    Even though it’s not that much, who rides around on a boat with $11,000. Come on now be serious.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  10. Be for real. says:

    Even though it’s not that much, who rides around on a boat with $11,000. Come on now be serious.

  11. Good Kid says:

    I don’t know abt the Bolan kid but the frett boy is always working or with his kids riding around. These are family guys they may be rough around the edges but at the end of the day family comes first….especially in the east. Hopefully the judge sees it was an honest mistake in judgment at the time.

    Like 6
    Dislike 6
  12. Anonymous says:

    My question is if they have the virus what about their families and this could result in another 2 weeks of shutdown which the territory cannot afford. They know they were wrong and the money? Something does not add up. But I still feel sorry for the guys. Tiring times everyone is going through.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  13. Constance says:

    My question is if they have the virus what about their families and this could result in another 2 weeks of shutdown which the territory cannot afford. They know they were wrong and the money? Something does not add up. But I still feel sorry for the guys. Tiring times everyone is going through.

  14. Shutdown? says:

    It could cost lives

  15. Anonymous says:

    From &live in Florida…can i travel to usvi for lockdown? I’m working from home& rather quarantine there.

  16. Jane says:

    This man has a wife and (2) children living at home in St Thomas I could imagine how hard it is for his wife . This man just came back from Florida a few days ago before trying to get to the bvi

  17. Yosimite Sam says:

    Confiscate the money and the boat. Burn both. Sentence both to 60 days for fleeing and evading.
    Justice served.

  18. Michael J. says:

    This made me smile. Love still exists today. So much crime, killing and heartlessness around, and this is a breath of fresh air to hear there is still love around that makes people do the impossible, just to be around for the one you love. He was running TO his responsibility, and not AWAY from it; unlike so many parents do these days. He should be commended, and not incriminated.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  19. Anonymous says:

    not from here

  20. not from here says:

    jail them simple

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mercy mercy mercy ,this posed a serious risk to citizens so though we can identify with the humanitarian and compassionate intent it must be discouraged in light o the danger. NOW THESE CREATURES must be discouraged from this behavior and because its Easter perhaps crusifiction is in order,they can be left hanging out on good friday following a good solid dunking in the AM

  22. Really tho says:

    That amount of money really isn’t a big chunk of change considering no one really knows how long this lockdown is and the need to support several members of a family with food water etc. Also the cost of living is much higher in the USVI you know it’s islands right and cost more to freight there and lack of resources now so that’s even more inflated. Also against the grain I agree with some of you, anyone of us would do the same thing if we were in the situation. Half y’all sitting at home quarantined and complaining. Some of us still have to work in this death sentence DAILY to provide for guess who…. some of you as well. Empathy goes a long way.
    Also talking about quarantined and could get infected. Do you guys have any idea how many people are still not heeding the warnings and gathering, fishing, swimming? Going to the damn store or gas pump and breathing the same air could infect you for longer. Do you really ignorantly believe only another two weeks? Give me a damn break .

  23. Belonger!? says:

    Amazing how the IQ of the BVI police changes when there are BVI locals and ex-pats charged with crimes together. They act dumb as a bag of hammers trying to figure out simple facts (bags of money, illegal entry/exit, people smuggling). ‘I see nothing here, let the man free’. You think this knucklehead is going to stay in quarantine? What could go wrong? No real hospital and only 6 ventilators in the country. We in for a rude awakening!

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