Fines for carrying false passports

POSTED: 11/1/12 11:50 AM

St. Maarten – Two defendants were sentenced in the Court in First Instance for possession of a false passport.
Germene Pierre, a 29-year-old kitchen help from Haiti was sentenced to the standard fine of 300 guilders, but the court made 200 guilders of this amount conditional with 2 years of probation.
Pierre, who said she had never been to school and that she is unable to read, claimed that she had obtained her passport at a government building in Porte au Prince in Haiti and that she had paid $200 for it. An investigation revealed that the passport has already been used in 2009 and that at that time it had contained a visa for the Netherlands Antilles. From the defendant’s passport, that page was missing.
Attorney Shaira Bommel said that there is insufficient proof that her client knew the passport had been tampered with, while prosecutor Georges van den Eshof noted that the defendant was lying in court.
“You don’t have to be able to read to notice the deficiencies with this passport,” Judge Tamara Tijhuis said. “You have stated that you always carry your passport with you so you must have known about this.”

The second defendant on a similar charge, Randy Alberto Guillermo Sosa was not in court because he has been deported. On September 16 he was caught at the airport with a passport issued in St. Kitts and Nevis that showed color-differences. Guillermo Sosa had attracted attention because he had booked for two different flights – one to Santa Domingo and one to Toronto – with two different passports. He claimed he had received the false passport from a friend. Judge Tijhuis sentenced the defendant conform the prosecutor’s demand to a 300 guilders ($167) fine.

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