Posted on

German man pleads guilty to entering SVG illegally

German man pleads guilty to entering SVG illegally


A German national will return to court today for sentencing on an immigration charge.{{more}}

Thirty-one-year-old fisherman Kai Berg appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday this week and pleaded guilty to entering the state by boat and disembarking without the consent of immigration, on April 10, 2014, at Cumberland Bay.

According to the facts, on October 18, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard was on sea patrol along the Leeward coast when they were informed by a customs officer that there was an occupant on a yacht behaving in a hostile manners towards her.

Members of the coast-guard boarded the yacht and questioned Berg. He informed the officers that he was from Germany and that he arrived in April.

The court was also told that Berg came to St Vinent in November 2013 and was given one month to stay in the country, which he did, before returning in April 2014, without immigration consent.

Berg’s attorney Israel Bruce told the court that his client, who has Polish ties, came to St Vincent to enjoy its beauty and tranquility.

“After he arrived in April, he experienced engine problems. What he did was to carry out the most immediate threat and that was fixing the engine problem,” Bruce said.

He added that Berg only rectified the engine problem about a week ago.

“His intention was to enjoy the bliss here, but was marred by the work on the engine. Had it not been for the engine problems, he would have gone to the authorities and regularised himself,” Bruce continued.

Bruce said it was never his client’s intention to violate the laws of the country and noted that Berg was prepared to leave the country within 24 hours now that the engine is fixed.

However, prosecutor Glenford Gregg told the court that Berg is the holder of German and Polish passports – each bearing a different name.

Gregg further stated that Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) has been contacted to ascertain information about Berg’s status.

Gregg had requested that magistrate Carla James grant a week’s adjournment, but Bruce objected.

He said it is the duty of the prosecution to expedite such matters and noted that his client would be in custody too long because of the long weekend.

The magistrate agreed and set the matter down to be heard today.(KW)