Seventeen Venezuelan nationals received jail sentences when they appeared at the Siparia Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29th March and Wednesday 31st March 2021.

According to official police reports, they all were charged for several offences including illegally entering the borders in contravention of the Immigration Act and Public Health Regulations. They all received custodial sentences ranging from 14 days to six weeks’ imprisonment.

The Police Service confirms that the drivers in the group, ELIOMAR DANIEL MALALU SOTOLLIO and JOHANSON JOSE JAIMEZ CARPIOS, had additional charges—aiding and abetting the others in illegally entering the borders, as well as driving without a certificate of insurance.  Carpios also was charged for driving without a permit.

The vehicles driven by the two men, which were used to facilitate the illegal entry, were seized by an order of the court.

The group was arrested on March 21st, 2021, by officers of the South Western Division and Emergency Response Patrol (ERP).

Around 9 am on that date, based on information received, the officers conducted a Stop and Search exercise along the SS Erin Road, Siparia.  During the exercise, they stopped a green Toyota Corolla driven by Sotollio and a black Nissan Tiida driven by Carpios.  

Checks revealed five men, four women and two infants in both vehicles.  They all were arrested after they were unable to provide evidence that they had legally entered the country.

The police officers also received additional information that led them to Quarry Road #1, Siparia, where they found other Spanish-speaking persons hiding in some bushes.  Those persons also were unable to provide evidence of legal entry into the country and were arrested. They all were subsequently charged with the offences.