Female Venezuelan nationals charged with illegal entry

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Nine Venezuelan nationals appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, January 15, 2018, charged with entering Guyana illegally.

Martha Lisba, 48; Rosiris Navas, 20; Creyz Martinez, 20; Tovar Francis, 20; Marlenez Sanchez, 25; Scarley Lamus, 28; Zuleiby Grando, 25; Morlenis Moreno, 20 and Vannessa Martines, 35 were all charged with entering Guyana by sea and disembarked without presenting themselves to an Immigration Officer between the month of September 2017 and January 5, 2018.

The unrepresented women, with the aid of an interpreter, pleaded guilty to the separates charges and were each fined $30,000 or default four-weeks imprisonment.

The women told the court that they sought refuge in Guyana due to the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela. Marlenez Sanchez told the court that the cost of a passport in her country is US$500, while the average Venezuelan earns US$10.

She begged the Magistrate not to be deported and noted that they are working to send money to their starving families in Venezuela. The Magistrate, however, ordered that they be deported after paying the fine or serving their prison sentence.

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