Two men also charged with failing to comply with deportation orders
Immigration officers brought four men to Summary Court on Friday afternoon, three of them charged with attempting to smuggle the fourth out of Cayman.
The charge of human smuggling was brought under the 2010 Immigration Law. Magistrate Nova Hall said she was familiar with the charge in other jurisdictions, but this was the first time such a charge had come before her.
Derrick Adlam, 47; Kemar Anthony Whyte, 31; and Lauriston David Kerr, 42; are charged with attempting to smuggle Andre Jowhill, 33, out of the Cayman Islands. They were apprehended in Cayman waters on 14 May while attempting to depart without the necessary clearance from officials.
Mr. Jowhill, who is from Westmoreland, Jamaica, is charged with illegal landing and working without a permit. He allegedly landed sometime between 1 January, 2010, and 14 May, 2011, without specific permission from Immigration officials and then “by your own admission” engaged in gainful employment without authorisation.
Defence Attorney John Furniss, who appeared with Attorney Lloyd Samson, told the court there were no charges against the men relating to any large quantity of ganja. He asked for the matter to be adjourned for a week to see whether the ganja-related inquiries had been completed and if there were any further charges.
A press release from police early last week did refer to the seizure of almost 275 pounds of ganja on Saturday night, 14 May, and the arrest of four Jamaicans in a canoe after a short chase (Caymanian Compass, 18 May).
Mssrs. Adlam, Whyte and Kerr are also from the Westmoreland parish. They are all charged with illegal landing.
Mr. Adlam, said to be the boat captain, is charged with a second allegation of human smuggling – allegedly smuggling Mr. Whyte into these Islands without the necessary clearance.
Mr. Adlam and Mr. Kerr are further charged with returning to Cayman illegally in contravention of a deportation order against them.
The magistrate asked that the charges be looked at in detail, questioning whether there was some overlap.
Crown Counsel Marilyn Brandt said the charges were a result of what appeared to be a joint enterprise to collect Mr. Jowhill. She said the men’s vessel was intercepted as they were heading out. As to the deportation orders, Ms Brandt indicated they were ordered after the men had served terms of imprisonment.
The magistrate remanded all four defendants in custody until Thursday, 26 May, when they will be brought to court again.
Human smuggling is explained in the Immigration Law as assisting or facilitating the transportation, harbouring or movement of an individual into or out of these Islands. A person guilty of the charge is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for seven years.