Two Colombian nationals, who claimed they entered Guyana illegally because they were afraid of being murdered in their homeland, were fined and ordered deported yesterday by Magistrate Alan Wilson.
Cousins Yelton Castello and Barquen Hernan appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on illegal entry charges, which stated that on April 26, at Springlands, Corentyne, they entered Guyana by sea and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer.
The two men, who were unrepresented by an attorney, pleaded guilty.
Police Prosecutor Lance Corporal Renetta Bentham told the court that the men were held while they were outgoing passengers to Brazil through Lethem. She said they produced their passports to the immigration officer at Lethem and upon examination it was observed that there were no entry stamps inserted in them. As a result, they were arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters, Eve Leary, where they were questioned.
Bentham stated that Castello claimed that he entered Guyana to go to Brazil and then advance to Colombia.
However, Castello, who spoke through an interpreter, told the court that he wanted to go to Suriname because he was being threatened in Colombia. He added that was afraid for his life, while noting that his two older brothers were murdered in Colombia.
Hernan, who also spoke through an interpreter, said that he is a footballer and that he had left Colombia because his cousins had been killed.
Magistrate Wilson fined the men $30,000 and ordered that they be deported once the fines are paid.