A 48-year-old man was, on Friday, jailed for three months for making a false declaration in order to obtain a Guyana passport.
Michael Sookraj of Friendship Public Road, East Bank Demerara, confessed that, on June 20, 2019, at the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Georgetown, for the purpose of procuring a new passport, he signed a written document stating that he was Lloyd Sookraj.
The man appeared before Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Police Prosecutor, Ceon Blackman, told the court that Sookraj received his first passport and went to the island of Curacao.
However, the defendant overstayed for three years and was deported to Guyana earlier this month. His passport was blacklisted and he was given a three-year ban from entering Curacao.
On June 20, 2019, the defendant went to the Central Immigration and Passport Office and applied for a passport with the name ‘Lloyd Sookraj, who is his brother.
Blackman noted that Sookraj was nabbed after he produced his brother’s documents and the immigration officer realised that he was not the owner of the documents.
He was arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters and while there, he cooperated with investigators.
The defendant told the magistrate that he was living in Curacao for the past three years and had a child with a woman. However, when he was deported to Guyana, the mother of his child died and the child was left in the care of his sister.
Since his passport was blacklisted, Sookraj said he decided to “tek a chance” and used his brother’s identity to get a passport so he can travel to Curacao to look after his three-year-old son.
“You know it was wrong and you attempted to do it,” Magistrate McGusty told Sookraj as she explained that he had other options rather than committing a crime.
“It was a chance I was willing to take for my son,” Sookraj said in his response to the magistrate.
The magistrate told Sookraj that based on his honesty and the fact that he did not waste the police and the courts’ time, he would be sentenced to three months imprisonment along with a fine of $25,000.