(Trinidad Guardian) A Guyanese mother of one, who served a five-year jail term for trafficking cocaine in T&T and has now been charged with breaching a deportation order, was yesterday advised to write to President Anthony Carmona to ask for a presidential pardon in order to continue living in this country. Anita Bisnauth, 43, was fined TT$1,000 after pleading guilty to living in T&T without the written permission of the Minister of National Security and when a deportation order was in effect.
Standing before Magistrate Cheron Raphael in the Port-of-Spain Third Court, it was a smiling Bisnauth who was ordered to pay the money within three months, or serve ten days’ simple imprisonment. In handing down the sentence yesterday, Raphael considered the five months Bisnauth had already spent in custody since her arrest last September.
Bisnauth was arrested at the Immigration Division, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, on September 14, minutes after she applied for an extension of her time here. The court heard from Sgt Gale Charles that Bisnauth had applied for residency in 1991 under an amnesty programme, but had left Trinidad in 1996 to tend to her ailing parents in Guyana.
Having stayed out of the country for more than three years, Bisnauth reapplied in 2001, but before the application could be determined, she was convicted for cocaine trafficking and sent to jail for five years. After serving her time, Bisnauth was deported to Guyana on November 28, 2006. Following this, Bisnauth returned to this country on a date unknown, using a different surname. As a result, immigration officials were unaware that a deportation order against her existed.
It was only when she applied for an extension last September that the authorities learnt her true identity. Bisnauth’s attorney, Nicole Basraj, said Bisnauth was married to a Trinidadian and had returned here to care for her 18-year-old daughter. Basraj admitted Bisnauth had used a “new” surname so the authorities did not detect anything amiss. She added that Bisnauth believed she would not have a problem being allowed back in after a certain length of time had passed.
After imposing the sentence, the magistrate told Bisnauth another deportation order was in effect and she would be sent back again. However, she told Bisnauth she could write to the President asking for her record to be wiped clean if she wanted to continue living in Trinidad. Bisnauth’s husband, who was in court yesterday, vowed to ensure the fine was paid within the stipulated time.