By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
EIGHT Haitian men who were caught residing in the country without the required legal documents were each fined $300 on Friday.
Ellison Auguste, 34; Johnson Auguste, 40; Kervens Odeus, 29; Canavil Marceus, 36; Jean Metinor, 38; Vilsaint Jean, 35; Justin Louidor, 35; and Esner Tamas, 51, were arrested in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera after they were accused of entering the country without the leave of an immigration officer.
Each of the men pleaded guilty to one count of illegal landing when they appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney.
The prosecution said immigration officials and police officers conducted an apprehension exercise in the Tarpum Bay and Rock Sound areas of Eleuthera on January 19. During their operation, the accused were approached by officers who asked them to show proof of their status in the country. When they could not, they were detained and taken to the island’s immigration office. After a brief interview there, they were cautioned for the offence and transferred to New Providence to be charged.
On Friday, Auguste, speaking through an interpreter, told the magistrate he prayed to God that he would not return to the country the same way he came in. Odeus also said he was sorry for coming to The Bahamas illegally and would not do it again. All of the men said they hoped when they returned to Haiti, they would make better decisions so that they would be able to come back through legal means.
After listening to their comments, Magistrate McKinney fined them all $300 or one month at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services. He said after the fines were paid or the sentences were completed, the men would be turned over to the director of immigration who would determine whether they would be deported or not.