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UPDATE - Immigration Officer allegedly transported Brazilians in his taxi

The Brazilians were held on February 11, 2011. Photo: VINO.
A Customs dog was used to sniff the Brazilians luggage. Photo: VINO
A Customs dog was used to sniff the Brazilians luggage. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Brian Henley, an Immigration Officer, who is now slapped with two counts of breach of trust for stamping the passports of 13 Brazilian nationals in February, allegedly paid $40 to his alleged accomplice and used his taxi to take the said individuals to a guest house in Cane Garden Bay.

This was disclosed in the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon, Wednesday October 19, where he along with his alleged accomplice Clarence Fahie appeared for the first time since their arrest yesterday.

Fahie, a Customs Officer is charged with one count of breach of trust. The duo was not required to plea before Magistrate Tamia Richards.

In light of this, they were offered bail in the sum of $70,000 with two signed sureties each, surrendered travel documents and report to the police station in their respective communities on Mondays and Fridays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

In disclosing the facts, Principal Crown Counsel (ag) Tiffany Scatliffe stated that on January 14, 2011 it is believed that an unknown number of nationals entered the VI in an unknown vessel, and six days later – January 20, the US authorities received information that a boat was leaving Cane Garden Bay en-route to the USVI.

The vessel was intercepted by US officials the following day and subsequently four persons were nabbed. When questioned, the individuals revealed that their passports were stamped in the Virgin Islands by an Immigration Officer. Officers were able to determine the signature to be that of Henley, the court heard.

Investigations also indicated that the four individuals were not properly cleared in the VI. The following month, on February 10 it is alleged that Henley met the vessel MV Paint In Black at Village Cay marina where he cleared 13 Brazilians. The court heard he contacted Fahie to assist him.

It is alleged after he cleared the Brazilians he used his personal taxi to transport them to a guest house in Cane Garden Bay. However, on February 11, through an anonymous tip, Customs and Immigration officers swooped in on the guest house and took the 13 individuals into custody.

They were subsequently interviewed and repatriated to their homeland. According to Ms. Scatliffe, Village Cay is an unauthorized port of entry and if an officer had to clear a vessel, permission had to be granted from the Chief Immigration Officer or Commissioner of Customs. But from all indications, there is no documentation from either Customs or Immigration for the vessel to be cleared.

The Principal Counsel (ag) also noted that MV Paint In Black came from St. Marteen and according to the Brazilians they each paid $1,000 to get a BVI stamp.

Henley’s version of events

Henley, who lives in Cane Garden Bay, said he received a call from “somebody stating to be an agent from overseas” that a vessel will be arriving in the VI on February 10 and wished it to be cleared at Village Cay.

On the said day, while at the bar at Village Cay, the father of five said he was approached by MV Paint In Black captain. He told investigating officers that he contacted a Customs Officer (Fahie), and he and the boat captain went to the Road Town ferry terminal where he met with Fahie.

The accused man further stated that he provided the Customs Officer with the marine control documents whom he allegedly give $40.

After the transaction he took the captain back to Village Cay where he was informed that the Brazilians wanted a taxi to a hotel in Road Town, but he persuaded them to use a guest house in Cane Garden Bay. He charged them $80, he claimed.

As for him not informing the Customs or Immigration heads, Henley told the investigating officers that it was normal for him to proceed without informing anyone, hence he did not see the reason to report or inform anyone of his actions.

Fahie’s version

Meanwhile, Fahie, who has been a Customs Officer for over 25 years said he was notified by Henley that he needed his help in clearing a vessel on February 10. He was told this on February 6.

The Customs Officer said on February 10 he was contacted by Henley to meet him in the RT ferry terminal parking lot, where it is alleged that Henley entered his vehicle and handed him the marine control documents.

However, the father of four added that he never gave clearance “because certain things were not matching up to the manifest”.

To this end, he told Deputy Commissioner of Customs certain things because he was fearful but wished to remain anonymous. Furthermore, when he was interviewed by his boss Wade Smith, Fahie said he destroyed the documents because he knows Mr. Smith does not like him. He also told the police he did not gain financially from what occurred.

Both men are 50, with Henley living in Cane Garden Bay and Fahie in East End. As for the status of the file, Ms. Scatliffe said it is not fully completed. Therefore, a mention date November 14 has been set aside for a court hearing.

The maximum sentence for Breach of Trust is seven years.

Henley is represented by Stephen Daniels while Patrick Thompson defends Fahie.

23 Responses to “UPDATE - Immigration Officer allegedly transported Brazilians in his taxi”

  • sloooow (18/10/2011, 13:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This was a long time in the making, how did it take until now for them to be arrested?
  • National (18/10/2011, 13:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here we go again! Government officials trafficking humans for their own selfish gain. Have mercy Lord...
  • right on (18/10/2011, 16:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I going stay in my house before they kidnap me and sell me for money and thing is possible they rate this country going Tortola is getting out of hand and that's a shame
  • right on (18/10/2011, 16:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I going stay in my house before they kidnap me and sell me for money anY thing is possible the rate this country going Tortola is getting out of hand and that's a shame
  • ooooo (18/10/2011, 18:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    marlon and claude lost 2 votes there boy!
  • Peter Crumble (18/10/2011, 19:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All cause of NDP rule! They put da country in mess! Lets vote VIP al the way!!
    • dude (19/10/2011, 15:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      2003-2007 was NDP the rest VIP they were in government 15 yrs & 25 yrs...not even a top could put on a spin like that lol
      • Strupes (20/10/2011, 13:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Matter of fact.... this shouldn't be blamed to any Government. People just bad mind, especially the Custom one from the East. Bad messed-up mind.
  • Peter Crumble (18/10/2011, 21:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bvi islanders in slave trade, how ironic...
    • Confucius (19/10/2011, 06:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Peter Crumble, both of your comments were entirely uncalled for. Firstly, what the hell does human smuggling have to do with the NDP or any other political party? How can you blame the NDP for this? Secondly, this case has nothing to do with the "slave trade" ~ it is Human SMUGGLING not TRAFFICKING. There is a BIG difference! Do us all a favour and educate yourself just a little bit will you! STRUPES! I swear that you and that other moron (V.I.P. Loyalist) are working for the NDP because all you ever manage to do is to illicit sympathy for their cause, and that ultimately works against the VIP. So if you are truly in favour of the VIP, I suggest you shut the heck up! If you are in fact working on behalf of the NDP ~ consider your efforts to date having been a job well done!
      • Agree!! (19/10/2011, 09:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Well Said!! They just need to shut up!!
      • Mmm (19/10/2011, 16:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        True those two bloggers, they actually make you hate the VIP (even if you didn't hate them before) as if they secretly working for the NDP for
      • NDP Loyalist (19/10/2011, 16:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
  • Polo (18/10/2011, 23:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well saw look trouble for me
  • Ready for election (19/10/2011, 07:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did anyone said when those drug boys got arrested did anyone said that VIP lost vote. Did anyone said let us vote NDP all the way. We do not have to tell anyone one how to vote. The people of this territory know how to vote. They will take all the facts and got to the poll. In the first Preston Stoutt, second Alvin Christerper, third OJ Smith, fourth Mark VAnterpool, fifth Deloris Christerper, sixth Alver Maduro, seventh Ronnie Lettsome, eight Nolen Penn, ninth Deven Osburn. The at large will be Dr. Smith, Ronnie Skelton, Archie Christin, Shana Smith.
  • happy (19/10/2011, 15:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Fahie there goes your pension, hope you been saving some of that extra money. Ha HA HA
    • so leave he (19/10/2011, 23:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      scatter your backside the man is yet to be proven guilty...
    • top dog (20/10/2011, 09:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      hush your behind..celebrating another man's done fall..u damn fool!
  • Dem Say (19/10/2011, 17:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    brian boy how you get in this mess/ You told me you had nothing to do with this thing!
  • Queen Mary (19/10/2011, 18:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now now now what is going on in my lil lil country? Are things so bad that government workers must do these things on the side?

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