Luc Eloi, a national of Haiti found guilty of smuggling related charges was ordered deported from the Territory. Eloi’s charges arose out his participation in a smuggling ring that sneaked more that 20 immigrants into the British Virgin Islands in 2017. His deportation order was made by Acting Governor David Archer on 26 September.
The case resulted after Eloi along with BVIslander, 72 year-old Carwill Potter, smuggled migrants into the BVI. Potter pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The matter commenced on 10 April 2017 when authorities detained a group of illegal migrants at Biras Creek in Virgin Gorda. Their countries of origin included Cuba, Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic and India.
Among the illegal immigrants were Eloi, and the captain, six women and five children. The others were repatriated from the Territory in that year to their respective places of origin. It was noted that 22 of the immigrants hailed from Haiti.
During the Magistrate’s Court trial in 2018 Eloi was identified by one of the migrants as an integral player in the smuggling. He was mentioned as the interpreter and the assistant to the boat captain during the journey.
As a result he received a 44-month prison sentence from Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards after he was found guilty of smuggling migrants into the British Virgin Islands. He was also sentenced to 12 months in prison for possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct — in the amount of $1400, and 8 months for illegal entry.
In the deportation Order the Acting Governor said that it came to his knowledge that Eloi is a person not deemed to belong to the Territory and that the said Luc Eloi has been convicted of the offences of illegal entry, proceeds of criminal conduct and smuggling migrants which are punishable with imprisonment of three months or more.
Further the Acting Governor said that Eloi is a person whose presence in the Territory would, in his opinion as Governor, acting after consultation with the Chief Immigration Officer, be undesirable and not conducive to the public good.
As such Eloi was ordered to leave the Territory.