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Aug 6, 2020

Stricter Penalties for Border Jumpers

Dean Barrow

Border jumpers are giving rise to an increase in the number of cases especially so in bordering communities.  Government will also be going to the House to amend legislation to curb the contraband hustle.  The full force of the law will come down on anyone caught with contraband goods; these persons will be charged as border jumpers. The PM says these draconian laws are meant to discourage the illegal activity.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Currently, it is three months in the first instance and then a year for second or subsequent offence. We are going to increase that three month penalty to six months. Also, we are perhaps not by way of the SI because I am not certain that we can do that by means of subsidiary legislation but we are going to go to the House and we will make that border jumping offence – if you are charged with the offence of border jumping you will not ultimately to get bail from the Magistrate’s Court. You will have to go the Supreme Court. Again, as an indication of how absolutely seriously we are treating what has been happening with impunity ever since the lifting of the last state of emergency. Anybody found in possession of any contraband item will be treated as a border jumper and charged as a border jumper. We are advised by the Attorney General’s Ministry that we can do that by way of the regulation. In any event, we are going to go to the House on the next occasion and we are going to amend the principal legislation so that, we can, in cases where as things now stand people are found in possession of contraband and customs would detain the contraband articles but then the offenders can make some arrangement to pay three times the duty or three times the value of the goods and be allowed to go free – that is absolutely going to change. If you are found in possession of Corona Beer, for example, that seems to be one of the favorite of the pictures that are posted on social media. Corona Beer seems to be the star of those pictures. Well you post pictures with Corona Beer and let us trace that to you and let us find you in possession and you are immediately going to be charged as a border jumper. People will say perhaps that this is extremely draconian – it is meant to be!”

 

There will be more from the PM’s press conference later in the newscast.


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