The three foreigners who illegally entered the country in a yacht from New Caledonia last month have been fined by the Honiara Central Magistrates Court today $6,000 each with the boat owner ordered to pay an extra $100.
The trio: Mathew Adam Carter, Charles James Ewan Glenny and Braeton Hunter Mitchell were found guilty by Chief Magistrate Ema Garo – who in her ruling states that the circumstances of the offending by the defendants in this case should be dealt with by a way of a fine.
“I impose a fine of $6,000 each on the defendants. All fines to be paid before 24 July 2020 and in default six months imprisonment,” Garo ruled.
Furthermore, Garo ruled that the owner of the boat, Carter be fined $100 because he had allowed his passengers to leave the boat. This is in regards to the Customs and Excise Act. Under the Act the maximum fine is $200.
Garo says because of the guilty plea that he had entered and being a first offender she imposed a $100 fine to be paid by Carter 4pm on 24 July 2020.
Meanwhile all three were found guilty with one count of prohibition of entry of non-citizens contrary to the Emergency Powers (Covid-19) (Prohibition of Non-Citizens).
On the 19 of June this year, the defendants entered Solomon Islands from New Caledonia in a yacht namely Mo’Chilse illegally, during the emergency period without exemption by the Prime Minister’s Office or the Covid-19 Oversight committee.
On arrival, the three defendants left the yacht and went ashore firstly into the Point Cruz Yacht Club. The court was told that two of the defendants went inside the club and spoke to the administrative officer and asked her information about Honiara. They also asked about where the Solomon Islands Customs and Immigration offices and any BSP bank ATM.
Customs and Exercise officers were later alerted and their four Customs offices immediately dealt with them.
Matthew, Charles and Brateon were arrested at 10.30pm that night and were taken to the National Referral Hospital for COVID-19 testing. Their test results were negative. The trio then spent 14 days in quarantine at the Honiara Hotel and upon their release on July 3rd were arrested by police and charged.
The defendants, all used an addresses in Spain, were represented by Honiara private lawyer Andrew Radcliffe whilst the deputy director of Public Prosecution, Andrew Kelesi stood for the state.