Seventeen Venezuelans were jailed when they appeared at the Siparia Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29th March and Wednesday 31st March, 2021.
They were all charged for several offences including illegally entering the borders in contravention of the Immigration Act and Public Health Regulations. They all received custodial sentences ranging from 14 days to six weeks’ imprisonment.
The drivers in the group, ELIOMAR DANIEL MALALU SOTOLLIO and JOHANSON JOSE JAIMEZ CARPIOS were additionally charged for aiding and abetting the others in illegally entering the borders, as well as driving without a certificate of insurance. Carpios was also charged for driving without a permit. The vehicles driven by the two men which were used to facilitate the illegal entry, were seized by an order of the court.
The group was arrested on March 21st 2021 by officers of the South Western Division and Emergency Response Patrol (ERP). Around 9 am, based on information received, the officers conducted a stop and search exercise along the SS Erin Road, Siparia. During the exercise, they stopped a green Toyota Corolla driven by Sotollio and a black Nissan Tiida driven by Carpios. Checks revealed five men, four women and two infants in both vehicles. They were all arrested after they were unable to provide evidence that they had legally entered the country.
Based on additional information received, the officers proceeded to Quarry Road #1, Siparia, where they found other Spanish-speaking persons hiding in some bushes. They were also unable to provide evidence of legal entry into the country and were arrested. They were all subsequently charged with the offences.