Illegal business broken up

Cayman Islands
immigration officials have arrested and fined a man who they said was operating
a paving business without proper permits.

The American man was fined $20,900 for several offences related to running the
business. Immigration officers said they included working without a work permit,
as well as illegally employing three other people without
permits.

Officials said they received a tip that an individual was completing
commercial paving contracts for local businesses. Following an investigation,
the offender was arrested while attempting to leave the country from Owen Roberts International Airport.

“This
case was unusual because of the scope of his operation,” said Deputy Chief
Immigration Officer Gary Wong. “He rented heavy equipment and services from
local companies and actively solicited business.” 

Mr.
Wong said the man admitted his guilt and opted to have his case dealt with
administratively, paying the large fine rather than face court
proceedings.

Under
the administrative fine provision, a fine can be double or triple the normal
cost of an annual work permit. When people are fined and leave Cayman they must
be given special permission before re-entering the
country.

However, Mr. Wong also noted that certain offences such as human
smuggling and illegal landing will not be dealt with administratively and will
be referred to the courts.

The penalty for
overstaying is a fine of up to $20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
Penalties for work permit offences range from CI$5,000 to $15,000 and
imprisonment of up to one year. Fines can be significantly higher when dealt
with administratively.

Earlier this month, Immigration enforcement officials reported that
almost $136,000 in administrative fines has been collected since July. 

Eighteen people are now facing court charges for overstaying and having
falsified documents, while 14 others – including some local employers – are on
bail pending results of ongoing investigations

“These
offences will not be tolerated,” said Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans.
“After undertaking several accommodating initiatives over the past year,
including an immigration amnesty and a series of educational district meetings,
my staff is now conscientiously enforcing the laws and regulations.”

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