A man who entered the Cayman Islands illegally on a boat importing ganja has been sentenced to six months imprisonment with a recommendation for deportation.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats heard on Monday that Kemar Paul Williams had landed at East End in October last year and had hitchhiked to West Bay.
Although he faced no charges for importation, the court heard the boat was carrying the illegal substance and three other passengers.
Williams was arrested on May 30 in a joint operation between immigration and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
Magistrate Foldats said the starting sentence for an illegal landing was nine months imprisonment but he reduced the sentence by one third because of the guilty plea.
Williams previously had received permanent residency through marriage although it had been revoked when he divorced.
A similar sentence was handed to Fideus Nichardo Bailey last week for the same charge. Magistrate Foldats reduced Bailey’s sentence to four months’ imprisonment for his guilty plea and for surrendering himself to police.
Magistrate Foldats said illegal landing was a very serious charge in the Cayman Islands.
He said Williams had performed “a very suspicious entry on a ganja boat,” although he had not been charged with a drug-related offense.
“This sort of entry into our country affects our border control,” Magistrate Foldats said. “We are a small island … our sentences are very serious.”
Magistrate Foldats said it was important to send a message to anyone trying to enter the Cayman Islands illegally that they would face harsh penalties.