By Monique Washington
An EC$25,000.00 fine has been imposed on a man who was found guilty trying to import a semi-automatic pistol, riffle and ammunition into the Federation.
Caldre Chapman was arrested and charged on October 2014 after a shipment arrived from the United States with his name and address written on it. He was charged with nine charges handed down by Customs. He was then bailed in the sum of EC$30,000.00 with two sureties.
Caldre Chapman’s case began Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at the Magistrate’s Court in Charlestown, Nevis after being rescheduled numerous of times. Chapman pleaded not guilty to the charges brought forward by the Customs Department under the Customs Act 19 of 2014. Four (4) counts of attempting to evade customs; two (2) counts for importing firearms; two (2) counts for importing ammunition and making a false declaration, which were committed on Monday, October 06, 2014 at Long Point.
Chapman was given two options, either to have his case heard at the Magistrate’s Court or to have his case heard at the High Court. Chapman chose the Magistrate’s Court and he was represented by Natasha Grey.
After a day of testimonies, the Police Prosecution headed by Erita Collins- Percival rested its case. The Magistrate, Yasmine Clarke, stated that she would render her decision in a week. On March 16, Magistrate Clarke found Chapman guilty on five charges; two (2) counts importing firearms; two (2) counts importing ammunition and making a false declaration. Magistrate Clarke dismissed the four (4) counts of evading customs.
The Magistrate however, questioned the Police Prosecutor as to why the police did not lay any charges on Chapman. Upon questioning a police official, Nevispages gathered that the police did not lay any charges on Chapman due to the recommendations passed by the then Director of Public Prosecutor, Travers Sinanan.
Chapman was fined EC$5,000.00 on each count to be paid in six months or face up to two years in prison.