THE Department of Immigration successfully prosecuted four Jamaicans, two men and two women, who were found in the country after their visitor’s visas had expired.
The two men, the department said in a press release, were working illegally when they were arrested.
The immigrants were prosecuted at a hearing on July 17, according to a press release from the department.
The two men, Richard Brown and Steven Whyte, were arrested on July 13 after the expiration of their visitor’s stay of 14 and 15 days, granted on February 19 and April 6 respectively. Brown was found at Universal Barbershop working as a barber while Mr Whyte was found at T & T Automotive working as a car wash attendant.
Neither was in possession of a valid work permit authorising them to engage in gainful employment, the department said. As a result, they were charged with overstaying and engaging in gainful employment contrary to Sections 28 (1) and (3) and 29 (1) d and (2) of the Immigration Act. They were convicted on both charges and were fined $1,500 or three months imprisonment on each charge. The sentences are to run consecutively. Additionally, early deportation was recommended.
The two women, Alison Marie Johnson and Lucille Veronica Simpson, were arrested on July 8 and July 14 after the expiration of their visitor’s stay of six days granted on 25th April 2014 and 14 days granted 7th September 2014 respectively. As a result, they were both charged with overstaying and were both fined $1,500 or in default of payment, will have to serve a three-month prison term. Deportation was recommended upon payment of the fine or completion of custodial sentence.
According to the department, the fines have not been paid yet and all persons are remanded at the Department of Correctional Services.
The department reminded companies and employers that only Bahamian citizens, holders of resident spousal permits and certificates of permanent residence with the right to work are permitted to engage in gainful employment.
All others must apply for a work permit granting the authorisation to work. Employers are further reminded that employing persons illegally is in direct contravention of the Immigration Act and persons doing so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.