Conspirator admits helping women pay test bribes

| 29/01/2019 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A woman who has admitted her part in a conspiracy at the immigration department, in which people from Spanish-speaking countries seeking work permits pass their English test even though they don’t speak the language, told a court on Friday that she helped four of her relatives get jobs and organised bribes. She told them they would need to pay US$800 (CI$600) to one of the civilian defendants in this case to get through the test, but she said she never took any money herself.

The woman, who is from the Dominican Republic, was working at a George Town bar when she learned that a customer at the bar had helped her co-worker who couldn’t speak English to get through the test. Speaking through an interpreter, the cooperating witness told the court that she had then helped to get at least four other women through the tests through this other defendant, who was taking the payments directly from the women.

Most of the women appeared to be cousins of the co-conspirator, who said that she had shown their pictures to her boss and the owner of another George Town bar, both of whom had decided that the women in question were “pretty” and they would take out permits for them. In another case, the woman said she secured employment for a relative in a West Bay hair salon, where the owner had agreed to give the woman a job if she took care of the permit costs and other expenses herself.

The woman told the court that in all of the cases it was one of the defendants (who cannot be named for legal reasons but is also from the Dominican Republic) who had organised their tests and taken them to the airport after they had managed to defer their test times from arrival to a slightly later date.

She said all of the woman paid him directly when he collected them in a black SUV and she did not take any of the cash. She told the court that before any of relatives had arrived in Cayman, she had made it clear the money was to be given to the man arranging the tests and not her.

Explaining how the arrangements were made, she said the man told her he had a contact at immigration and whenever she needed to get someone through the test, she just had to message him via WhatsApp or call him with the details of the women and when they were arriving. The man had also told her that the women should give him the money when they were picked up to go for their tests.

The woman also made it clear that none of the women she introduced to the defendant could hold a conversation in English, and in one case the woman knew no English at all.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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