September 24, 2012
women fined for overstaying in the bahamas
A Jamaican woman told a Bahamain court last Wednesday she was reluctant to return to Jamaica because she witnessed an incident and threats were made against herself and her family to remain quiet.
According to a report in the Bahamas Tribune, Jackie Anderson, 34, of Trelawny, Jamaica, told Magistrate Saboula Swain that it is common in Jamaica for witnesses to criminal incidents to be harmed or killed if they go to the authorities.
Anderson and co-accused 25-year-old Sally-Anne Brown of Kingston pleaded guilty to the charge of overstaying.
Anderson, who went to the Bahamas on June 14, was granted 15 days stay by immigration officials.
Brown, who went on June 1, was given 30 days. Both pleaded guilty and admitted to overstaying.
Immigration prosecutors read the facts concerning how the two Jamaicans were arrested.
On September 17, a team of police and immigration officers acted on a tip that led them to a wooden house in Governor's Harbour.
Officers went to the back of the house after hearing shuffling and noises coming from there.
They accosted three women who had run into nearby bushes, and another woman who was hiding in the bathroom of the house.
The passports of the women were checked, which revealed that the two accused, Anderson and Brown had overstayed their time.
They were arrested and sent to Nassau where they were sent to a detention centre. Both accused accepted the facts read by the prosecutor.
Brown's attorney, Joseph D'Areuil, asked the magistrate to be lenient on his client who had no intention of breaking the laws and would have got an extension for her vacation if she had known where to go.
Anderson was then allowed to talk before being punished.
"I witnessed an incident and I come here to get away," she stated.
"In Jamaica,?" Magistrate Swain asked.
"Yes, in Jamaica," Anderson answered, If I go to the authorities, they say they was going to hurt me and my family. That's how they do it over there in Jamaica if you go to the authorities, they kill you," the Trelawny native said.
Magistrate Swain fined both women $2,000 or face a sentence of two years in jail.