Charged for Human Smuggling Print E-mail
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Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:00

Irma Hilda alas AzmitiaOn Wednesday, March 20th, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with 5 counts of assisting another person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport and 5 counts of unlawful possession of documents. In court, she wasted no time and pleaded guilty to all offenses before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr.

Magistrate Lucas informed her of the penalty for the offenses where she could have been imposed a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years. But since it was her first offense, he fined her $1,000 for assisting a person to remain in Belize with a $5.00 cost of court to be paid forthwith or in default 1 year in prison.

For the other 4 counts of assisting a person to remain in Belize, she was fined $3,000 each plus the cost of court for each. For the five counts of unlawful possession of documents, she was fined $500 plus $5.00 cost of court. All told she was fined $15,550.00 in fines all to be paid forthwith.

A removal order was also granted by Magistrate Lucas for her removal as soon as she either pays the fine or serves the time.

According to authorities, on March 10th, 2013, 3 Salvadorans arrived in Belize via the PGIA on a Tropic Air Flight from Flores Petén; two of the three persons were reportedly with their grandmother, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia. According to authorities, she presented a notarized letter of authority to travel with the children and had reservations to stay at the Global Village Hotel in Ladyville and was granted stay in Belize.

On March 12th, 2013, another trio of Salvadorans arrived in Belize, on tropic Air from Flores Petén Guatemala; however, officers noticed their circumstances to be similar to the previous arrivals and became suspicious and Immigration Officer Carlos Amaya was alerted of a possible trend and was directed to the Global Hotel in Ladyville where it was discovered that the three persons who had arrived in Belize on March 10th, 2013, had already checked out of that hotel.

Based on those findings, the second group was not allowed to enter the country and returned on the same Tropic Air back to Flores, Petén Guatemala.

On March 17th, 2013, Immigration Officers at the PGIA reported that 6 people were intercepted and they were escorted to the police.

There, officers responded and found 5 minors and an adult. They included Azmitia and her two grandchildren and three other minors.

When their travel documents were requested by authorities, she handed over 5 Guatemalan passports instead of Salvadoran passports to Immigration upon seeking entry.

She did not have her passport only a Salvador identification card, which had already expired.

She told authorities that she was only to send off the children to the USA.

Her passport was later found in Room #233 at the Siesta Inn hotel located on the Phillips Goldson Highway during a search by Immigration authorities.

When the passports were examined, they were found to have fraudulent USA visas affixed to them they were verified to be fraudulent by United States Embassy personnel in Belize.