Colombians accused of forging visas

Two Colombian nationals, accused of forging Guyana Business Visas, were yesterday each placed on $100,000 bail after a local businessman testified in their favour.
Samir Eduardo Garcia Salazar, 27, of Bogotá, Colombia and Jamie Enrique Meneses, 52, also of Colombia, both pleaded not guilty through an interpreter, when the charges were read to them at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

It was alleged that between February 17, 2012 and March 21, 2012, at Georgetown, with intent to defraud, they conspired with person(s) unknown and forged two Guyana Business Visas, number 270 and 272, dated February 17, 2012, purporting to show that the visas had been issued to them by the Central Immigration and Passport Office, knowing it to be false.

Attorney Peter Hugh, who represented both men, made an application for reasonable bail to be granted. He said that the defendants have never been convicted and had no pending matters. He added that they entered Guyana through Imbaimadai, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, to meet with businessman, Andre Poonai, seeking to sell agricultural machinery.

Hugh said that the Colombians were later intercepted at the Ogle International Airport. He added that if granted bail, they will stay at Lot 111 Barr Street, Kitty.

Poonai, when given a chance to speak, told the court that he operates a rice cutting business in Berbice. He said that he brought the two men to Guyana to invest in business with him.

Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt said that the men had no criminal record in or out of Guyana and as a result he had no objections against bail being granted.

Magistrate Judy Latchman granted bail in the sum of $100,000 each and the matter returns to court on October 31 for statements.

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