Pakistani nationals fined, ordered deported over forged passports

Two Pakistani nationals, who claimed to be refugees, were fined and ordered deported on Thursday after using forged passports to enter Guyana.

Arshad Mehood Mughal and Ashan Riaz Mughal were brought before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in Georgetown and read separate charges of forgery.

Arshad, 40, was charged with knowingly uttering a forged Republic of Italy passport to Collin Lovell, a representative of Fly Jamaica, on March 21st at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

The passport, in Arshad’s name, bore his photo and purported to show that it was issued by the Republic of Italy.

Ashan, 35, is alleged to have uttered to Lovell a Republic of Spain passport, knowing same to be forged, on the same date and at the same place.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charge.

The court heard from prosecutor Arvin Moore that the men would have arrived in Guyana from Brazil via Lethem, on February 28th, 2017, and were granted a month’s stay. On March 21st, when they checked in at the CJIA, destined for Canada, it was discovered that their passports were forged. Checks with Interpol revealed that the passport being used by Arshad was reported lost or stolen and belonged to someone else. It was also discovered that Ashan’s passport was also reported lost or stolen and when attempts were made to contact the authorities in Spain there was no response.

The defendants apologised to the court for their actions and requested that they be sent back to Brazil.

When asked by the magistrate what they were doing in Brazil, the men said they were refugees and that Ashan is also a student there.

The court also heard that the men purchased the passports in Dubai for US$9,500.

Chief Magistrate McLennan later fined each man $100,000 with the alternative of an 8-week sentence in jail if he is unable to pay.

Subsequent to paying their fine or serving their sentence, they are to be deported through the nearest port of exit.

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