PHILIPSBURG–A 39-year-old human smuggler rom St Lucia, Marcellus Ledwin Mangal was sentenced to twenty months by the Court of Appeals on Monday.
He was originally sentenced on June 29, 2011 to three months for his involvement in the November 14, 2010, human-smuggling operation during which 10 persons of Cuban descent were transferred from St. Lucia and Dominica to St. Maarten, with the United States as their final destination.
The Cubans paid a lot o to be transported on board the Braveheart.Mangal was the second captain.
The human smuggling operation was uncovered while the Cubans were transported on St. Maarten in a taxi bus.
The Prosecutor’s Office had demanded 30 months for Mangal at the Court of First Instance. Taking into consideration that he had spent 10 weeks longer than permitted in a cell at the police station, Mangal was granted a reduction of 12 months on his 15 month-prison sentence by the lower court.
Solicitor-General Taco Stein asked the Appeals Court to request 20 months during the December 11 appeal hearing.
According to one passenger “.., I paid US $7,000 to reach the United States, including $4,000 for the boat trip. We paid the two captains. We were sitting around the table with six persons and the two captains.
The Joint Court found it proven that Mangal had been involved in people smuggling in his capacity of second captain of the vessel, which had ten Cuban nationals on board. These persons were not in possession of the required travel documents and had paid vast amounts to be taken from St. Lucia and Dominica to St. Maarten, the Appeals Court stated.