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Change of heart! Tambu Frett declines to testify

- insists smuggling USVI man was 'humanitarian act'
Tambu Frett has suddenly opted not to testify in the case against him in the Magistrate's Court and will be sentenced on Friday, May 22, 2020 for the charges against him. The Magistrate's Court was held on May 20, 2020 at the Road Town Police Station, with some participants via Zoom. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Tambu Frett, along with an already sentenced Bryan D. Bolan, was found entering the Virgin Islands while the borders were closed and a curfew in place on Friday, April 3, 2020. Photo: Facebook/File
Mr Tambu Frett, along with an already sentenced Bryan D. Bolan, was found entering the Virgin Islands while the borders were closed and a curfew in place on Friday, April 3, 2020. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Virgin Islander Tambu Frett declined to give evidence to the court in his defence and through his lawyer, E. Leroy Jones, maintains that when he smuggled Bryan D. Bolan, a USVI resident, into the Territory on April 3, 2020, it was purely a 'humanitarian act'.

Frett had previously told the court that he wanted to testify and be cross-examined by Senior Prosecutor O'Neil Simpson, on the 30 telephone conversations made public during the previous Newtown Hearing.

The telephone records implicated Frett and other persons in a smuggling ring.

Addressing the court on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Jones said his client is standing by his previous submissions and "he asks this Honourable Court to proceed to sentencing."

Senior Magistrate Tamia N. Richards then quizzed Jones on whether his client insists he was not paid for the smuggling operation on April 3, 2020.

Jones said his client instructed him they will stand by their initial statement that it was an act of humanity for no pay.

Jones also said his client is maintaining he is not part of a smuggling operation, despite the WhatsApp conversations revealed by the court.

Show mercy

The attorney, in addition, asked the court to be merciful when sentencing his client.

Jones said, Frett is the father of four children, and it was his first run-in with the law.

He said Frett is sorry for his actions on that day.

WhatsApp convos.

During the Newton Hearing, the UK expert said he pulled 30 WhatsApp conversations pertinent to the case, where Frett, along with other men, held talks to smuggle persons into the Territory.

One such conversation was with a Jerome Hopkins Jr, who owned the boat that Frett used to smuggle in Bryan D. Bolan.

Notably, Hopkins's lawyer Valerie Stephens-Gordon, in a previous court appearance, said there was nothing to indicate that her client had knowledge of what his boat was being used for when Frett loaned it, and they would be objecting to the boat's forfeiture by the state.

Voice notes between Frett and Hopkins; however, painted a different story.

In the voice notes, the court heard Frett inquiring from Hopkins if they were working for that particular day.

Hopkins replied: "Looks like four."

Meanwhile, a man referred to as Brice Todman from St Thomas was also in conversations with Frett.

Todman said there were two women who were interested in Frett's services, one he referred to as a Spanish girl and a Yankee woman.

He said: "I go give she your number and let she call you," he said, pointing to the Yankee woman who appeared to be willing to travel.

He added, however, "She gotta make sure the money right."

To which Frett replied, "Okay. Collect the money you have to collect."

Frett had pleaded guilty previously to Smuggling, Illegal Entry and Breach of Curfew. His co-accused Bolan is already serving his time in prison for the offences of Illegal Entry and Breach of curfew.


In an attempt to defend his client, Jones cross-examined the DPP's witness on whether his client ever spoke of money exchange between himself and Bolan as per the phone records.

The witness admitted that there was no reference made to it. He said, nonetheless, that there were references to money made in other conversations and, according to his research, illegal runs from the USVI would cost between $800 to $1,000.

Jones was attempting to keep the arguments solely on April 3, 2020, when his client was caught by the authorities.

The court was subsequently adjourned for sentencing on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 11:00 AM.

2 Responses to ‚ÄúChange of heart! Tambu Frett declines to testify‚ÄĚ

  • asking for a friend (21/05/2020, 14:53) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why he changed?
  • lol (21/05/2020, 22:47) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did he ever commit to doing anything ? Or the DPP stated he would take the stand ? Tell that. Friend you asking for to stay woke.

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