By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO Haitian men yesterday denied allegations that they hoodwinked their government into giving them Haitian passports, which police claim they both used in a bid to gain legal status in The Bahamas.
John Doe aka “Ricardo Phillips”, and Joel Ceus aka “Ceus Joel”, pleaded not guilty to claims they fraudulently obtained Haitian passports bearing the names of their aliases earlier this year.
Concerning Doe, of Golden Isles Road, it is alleged he defrauded the Haitian consulate of a Haitian passport sometime between January 25, 2015, and October of this year. Ceus, of Prince Charles Drive, is claimed to have defrauded the Haitian embassy of a passport on July 17.
Doe, 36, was further charged with being caught in possession of both a forged Bahamian birth certificate and a fake Uriah McPhee Primary School letter of attendance that bore his alias on January 25, 2015.
He was further charged with uttering those false documents to officers at the Department of Immigration on Hawkins Hill on the same dates.
Then, sometime between January 25, 2015, and October of this year, Doe allegedly tried to obtain naturalisation from the government by fraudulent means.
Given their not guilty pleas, Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans adjourned their matters to February 2020 for trial. Bail was denied and they were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) in the interim.
However, given her uncertainty about their legal status, Magistrate Vogt-Evans said a status check needed to be made on both men, which would take place in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Ceus’ attorney, Crispin Hall, indicated that his client was detained in the state’s custody from October 24, and as such a writ of habeus corpus had been filed in the Supreme Court against the government.