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Jul 11, 2019

5 More Belizeans Charged for Alleged Involvement in Human Smuggling Case

Five additional persons have been charged and arraigned for their alleged involvement in a case of human smuggling that was intercepted by police on Tuesday afternoon. It is being categorized as human smuggling and not human trafficking because it is believed that four Honduran nationals—two minors and two adults, who illegally entered the country—were being transported from the west of the country to the north, where they would have crossed the Mexican border undetected. But their luck ran out because police were tipped off and they were stopped in their tracks. The foreign nationals remain in custody pending immigration charges, but today, Enrique Morales, Ervin Arevalo, Neycia Gomez, Juana Arevalo and Felicito Galvez were hauled before the courts and charged with Facilitating the Commission of an Offense. It is the same charge that was slapped against Human Services Department employee Sergio Guerra and Edwin Nah on Wednesday. All seven individuals were detained on Tuesday on the Crooked Tree Road in the company of the four Hondurans. Following the arraignment today, attorney Hurl Hamilton, who has been retained by all seven, shared his concerns about the charge levied against his clients.


Hurl Hamilton

Hurl Hamilton, Attorney

“These seven individuals, including the two from yesterday, they are not charged under the Trafficking in Persons Act; they are charged for Immigration offenses. So it has nothing to do with the Trafficking of Persons Act. The difference is that they are charged for immigration offenses under the Immigration Act.”



“Like illegal entry?”


Hurl Hamilton

“Again I am happy that you brought up that point. Facilitating the Commission of an Offense; what is the offense? We don’t know. It’s premature; I don’t want to get too much into it, but in my humble view, my respectful view, it has to be attached to an offense. Facilitating what? We don’t know. As a matter of fact, we don’t even have a fact sheet to say well there is some sort of cogency or lack thereof in the evidence. So I am at a loss. What offense? I don’t know, quite frankly. Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know what the prosecution has; it’s premature at this stage, it’s very embryonic stages. But we are going to find out shortly.  We are going to come back on the seventeenth of September where we are to get full disclosure and then we move on from there.”


All five were given bail of three thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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