Even as the search is on for a Dominican republic national who escaped a quarantine facility, Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley said authorities will enforce all penalties.
Providing details of the escape, the Minister shared that on Sunday, December, 2020, a native of the Dominican Republic travelled to the BVI and was subsequently refused entry by Immigration at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.
He said that the passenger was then transported to Wyndham Tortola (Lambert Beach Resort) where he was expected to quarantine and await the scheduled departure from the Territory on Monday, December 21, 2020.
"Unfortunately, routine checks of the passenger’s room revealed that he had left the room and possibly left the resort," the Minister stated.
He said he is aware that the incident has brought a level of unrest and fear to the public, especially considering the possible effects of COVID
"I would like to reduce those fears by informing you that upon arrival the passenger did undergo the on-arrival PCR testing which I can report was a negative result. While this negative test result may bring some level of relief, the fact that he has broken the law and remains at large is still of great concern for us as a Government as it should be for you as a people," the Minister stated.
He outlined that the passenger has broken several laws set to protect you the people.
"We will not stand for this! The Immigration Department with the assistance of the Joint Task Force has begun extensive operations to locate the gentleman and enforce all penalties appropriate for this level violation. It is also my hope that you the public will assist in sharing any information you may have pertaining to the whereabouts of the individual, or anyone that you think has information or is harboring him," the Minister stated.
Hon. Wheatley also reminded that Cabinet has considered and approved the increase of the fine stipulated in Section 20(3) and 20(5)(a) of the Immigration and Passport Act for the fine stipulated in Section 47(2) of the Immigration and Passport Act.