A 33-year-old father of four yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charge of harbouring prohibited immigrants when he appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
It was alleged that on February 10 at Ogle, Ferose Rooplall, a carpenter of 7 Ogle Front, East Coast Demerara, aided, assisted or procured Ronnie Jose Pierez and knowingly kept him in Guyana without obtaining the necessary permit for him in Guyana.
Rooplall’s attorney Gregory Gaskin asked for bail to be granted in a reasonable sum. According to Gaskin, not even the virtual complainant (VC) in the matter, who is Venezuelan, knew that a crime had been committed. “My Worship,” said Gaskin, “my client is a Good Samaritan; he took Mr. Pierez who does not even know English properly into his home.”
Police Prosecutor Denise Griffith had no objection to bail. She however stated that Pierez had no legal document which would have allowed him to be in Guyana.
Griffith further argued that “it is implausible in this enlightened day and age for Mr. Gaskin to expect the court to believe that his client would just take a total stranger into his home when none of them know each other’s language efficiently.”
Rooplall was placed on $40,000 bail and his matter was transferred to the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court for February 27.