A Colombian national on Tuesday appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts slapped with fraud and illegal entry charges.
Forty-eight-year-old Luis Eugenio Marcia Torres of Colombia, made his first appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. Torres through a translator pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on May 20, at Moleson Creek, Springlands, Corentyne, with intent to defraud, he uttered to a Police Constable, a Colombian passport in favour of himself.
The passport contained a forged arrival and departure stamp, having being granted a Republic of Guyana tourist and business visa of the said passport purporting to show that it was issued by the Central Immigration and Passport Office, knowing same to be false.
Torres however admitted to the other charge which read that on April 14, at Charity, Essequibo, he entered Guyana by sea and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer.
The foreigner was represented by Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat, who told the court his client arrived in Guyana on April 14 on vacation. The lawyer stated that Torres passed through immigration when unknowing to him, a forged entry stamp was placed on his passport. According to the lawyer, it was not until Torres attempted to leave Guyana via Moleson Creek that he realised the error.
Fung-A-Fat told the court that his client acknowledged his guilt for overstaying his time in Guyana. However, due to his lack of knowledge of the English language, he fell prey to scammers. Torres was granted Gy$50,000 bail for the fraud charge and fined Gy$20,000 for illegal entry.
He is scheduled to return to court on June 1.