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Guyanese finds himself in rough waters

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A Guyanese national was on Tuesday, March 22, fined $1,500 forthwith, failing which he would spend three months in prison, after he pleaded guilty to entering the state without notifying immigration officials on February 3, 2011.{{more}}

Presard Dhanraj appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, March 22, and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Dhanraj was charged along with Vincentian Monty Samuel, who pleaded guilty to knowingly landing a prohibited immigrant by boat. He, too, was fined $1,500.

The facts read out in court stated that the boat, which Samuel, a sea captain, claimed was a 60 foot trawler, docked in Mayreau on the said date, and Samuel only declared six other crew members on board to immigration, but omitted mentioning Dhanraj.

Acting on information received, Immigration authorities went on board the vessel and found Dhanraj, who had no travel documents that would allow him entry into the country.

In his explanation to the court, Samuel said Dhanraj was a stowaway and he only discovered him after the boat had long left Guyana. Samuel also stated that he panicked when he arrived in Mayreau because Dhanraj did not have any travel documents.

Magistrate Browne, however, said he did not believe Samuel’s story.

Dhanraj, however, had a completely different story. He said that Samuel always knew that he was on board because he was a crew member. “He just trying to deny it. We used to drink and eat all thing. He took me on as a workman on his boat,” Dhanraj stated.

Dhanraj said he only wanted to make money to feed his family and it was his first time working on a boat.