Daniels Pleads With Court To Fine Clients

BVI Platinum News | 8 Opinions
Published: July 21, 2017 4:25 pm AST
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Defense Attorney, Stephen Daniels made a very brief submission of mitigating factors today, July 21, on behalf of his clients, concluding with him requesting that the court fine his clients, rather than imposing a custodial sentence.

Rachelle Emrith, 29, and Allan Birju, 44, both nationals of Trinidad, who are facing smuggling charges, made an appearance at the Magistrate’s Court today.

During his submission, Daniels told the court, over which Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards presided, that Birju performed a limited function, adding that it was an opportunistic deal for the accused, who was doing the act for monetary gain.

Daniels offered the same mitigating facts for Emrith, but noted that she was evidently the one behind the plan to smuggle the money out of the country.

He informed the court that to truly make an impact, the pockets of the defendants would be the ideal target, as punishment to their deed. He encouraged the court to impose a fine on both his clients.

In response, very sternly, Senior Magistrate Richards noted that she was not convinced the actions of the defendants warrant a fine over a custodial sentence.

She said, “I’m going to hit them; I’m going to take all I can.”

Meanwhile, the charges of assisting another to retain the benefits of criminal conduct, that were originally brought against both defendants, were withdrawn.

Senior Crown Counsel Garcia Kelly informed the court that the Director of Public Prosecution’s office has chosen to withdraw those specific charges against the two.

Both originally pleaded not guilty for the charge.

According to court records, the charges that remain are possession of proceeds of criminal conduct in the amount of $9,488 against Birju, and engaging in smuggling, possession of proceeds of criminal conduct in the amount of $58,050, and failing to declare monies to customs against Emrith. Both originally pleaded guilty for these charges.

The charges stem from an incident at the T. B. Lettsome International Airport, on July 4, when the two were found attempting to smuggle over $60,000 cash.

Emrith was found with $58,050 strapped around her waist and on her back end side, while $9,488 was found in Birju’s pockets of two sets of pants he wore.

Both will return to court on Tuesday, July 25, for sentencing.
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