A father and daughter from the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty on Friday after allegedly attempting to use fake visas to enter the territory.
After admitting to uttering forged documents, Leonel Calderon, 35, urged the magistrate to let his 18-year-old daughter Leonela go back to their home country instead of being given a prison sentence.
“Pass all the sentence to me,” he told Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards.
The pair, who are on remand, were ordered to return to court tomorrow for sentencing.
Mr. and Ms. Calderon arrived at Beef Island on a LIAT flight from Trinidad on March 1, Crown Counsel Melissa Brewley said during a court hearing last month.
At around 2:45 p.m., two police officers went to the airport after receiving information that two individuals were attempting to enter the territory with possible fraudulent documents, the Crown reported. The officers reportedly met with an immigration officer, who showed them the two suspect entry visas.
Both of the defendants were arrested and taken to Road Town Immigration headquarters.
The court heard that in a cautioned statement to officials, Mr. Calderon admitted that on Oct. 3, 2012 he collected a passport from a consultant in the Dominican Republic, for which he paid $1,000.
Within the passport was a visa for the Virgin Islands, the Crown alleged. Mr. Calderon said he also got a passport for his daughter, which had a visa in it as well, the court heard.
Tortola officials later contacted the Civil Registry and Passport Office to inquire about the authenticity of the documents, Ms. Brewley said.
An employee at the registry attested that Mr. Calderon’s document was an employment visa that was effective from Feb. 7, 2018 to Aug. 19, 2019 — though the visa was assigned to another person, the court heard.
Ms. Calderon’s document was also issued for another person, though it was a shorter tourist visa, the Crown said.
The stamps on both passports were not issued by the Civil Registry, the prosecutor added, reporting that the font and seal were different.