ORANGE WALK TOWN, Mon. June 17, 2019– Seven of twelve undocumented Cubans were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of illegal entry into Belize. Reliable reports to us are that four of them pleaded guilty and were fined $2,000, which they had to pay immediately to avoid a 6-month prison sentence, and it was ordered that they be deported afterwards.
Three others remain in custody pending application for refugee status.
Police said that last Wednesday morning, June 12, twelve undocumented Cubans were busted in an early morning raid in San Antonio, Orange Walk District.
Authorities believe that the Cubans were smuggled into the country.
The bust occurred when police saw a van traveling at high speed on the San Antonio Road, heading in the direction of Santa Cruz Village.
Although the van was moving, when the driver saw police coming, he jumped out and fled in some bushes. Police discovered nine adults — 6 males and 3 females — inside the van, along with three children.
The adults were all eventually handed over to the Immigration Department and charged with illegal entry and failure to produce a visitor’s permit.
Later, an order will be sought for their removal from Belize after they have paid the requisite fine for the illegal entry.
If they are unable to pay, they will have to serve a six-month prison sentence before they are deported to their home country.