BVI: Punish me, release my daughter, says guilty father

(BVI NEWS) – “Pass all the sentence on me,” Leonel Calderon told the court while trying to absolve his 18-year-old daughter, Leonela, from serving any further time in prison.

The father-daughter duo was caught trying to enter the territory with fake BVI visas this month.

Both pleaded guilty to uttering forged documents when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards on Friday.

But, after answering to the charge, the now-convicted father asked the court to punish him and deport his daughter to their homeland in the Dominican Republic.

He claimed that his daughter was still in high school and has ‘heart problems’.

“I apologize to the territory and to the court. We have families. We are human – we committed an error,” the 35-year-old father said as his daughter wept in court.

The offenders were subsequently remanded until their sentencing hearing on March 23.

What happened

The offenders reportedly arrived at the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on March 1.

Upon arrival, Immigration officers discovered that the visa stamps in their travel documents appeared suspicious.

Immigration officers subsequently apprehended the father-daughter duo for questioning.

The court heard that during the Immigration interview, the father claimed his passport had been stamped with a BVI visa when he collected the travel document from the British Consulate in his homeland last October.

He told local law enforcers that he also collected one for his daughter, Leonela.

Visa numbers already assigned

But, BVI authorities contacted the said British Consulate and were told that no visas were issued to either accused persons.

Further checks reportedly revealed that the BVI visa numbers in both the father and his daughter’s passport had already been assigned to other persons.

The court heard that when the British Consulate in the Dominican Republic received a copy of the visas in question, they said the stamp, font, and seal used in the fake visa were visibly different from their own.

The father and daughter were subsequently charged.

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