Siblings Caught Living in Belize Illegally Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:00

A brother and sister have been deemed prohibited immigrants and though the brother is out on bail the sister has been kept on remand since she is believed to be a flight risk.   

33-year-old Giovanni Gonzalez Franco and 27-year-old Jessica Gonzalez Franco appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, June 13, to face a charge of staying illegally in Belize.   Allegations are that Jessica arrived in Belize in November of 2013 and her last extension was up to January, 2014. Giovanni arrived in December of 2013 and was given permission to remain in Belize until May 14, 2014. They were picked up after police responded to a dispute at a Belize City residence. During their investigation into the dispute, police spoke to the siblings and asked for documents which they could not produce. Checks with the Immigration Department proved that they had both overstayed their time. The siblings were arrested and charged after being deemed prohibited immigrants.

In court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Friday, Giovanni pleaded guilty to being in Belize illegally and his sister chose to challenge the Immigration Department’s evidence against her. Since she is not legally in Belize, she was denied bail. Giovanni was fined $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court fee which he was ordered to pay immediately. He paid his fine and is being assisted by the Immigration Department with an extension to remain in Belize. Jessica is on remand at the Belize Central Prison as she awaits her trial which is set for July 10.