Two Venezuelan nationals were earlier today fined $20,000 each for illegally entering Guyana. Flagner Lagabani, 27, and Leslie Abrigo,18, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
The sisters both pleaded guilty to the charge which stated that on July 23, 2016 at Charity on the Essequibo coast, they entered by sea and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer.
Being unrepresented, Lagabani told the court that she came to Guyana in search of her younger sister who was being abused. Abrigo told the Court that both of them had been abused and badly beaten in Guyana, and claimed that she was unaware that it was illegal to enter Guyana without relevant documentations.
However, the prosecution contended that the duo travelled to Guyana via a smaller boat and did not seek permission for entry into Guyana from the immigration office. Following their entry, they were seen on September 13, 2016 in Linden by police ranks and were unable to produce documents to verify their legal status in Guyana. As such, they were apprehended and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters and later charged.
Regarding the sisters’ claims, Chief Magistrate McLennan called for an immediate investigation.
The two Venezuelan nationals were fined $20,000 each or a default of four months imprisonment if they fail to pay the fine. They will be escorted to the nearest port of exit after paying their fine or serving sentences. (Ramona Luthi)