By SAMSON SADE
The three expatriates that illegally entered Solomon Islands on June 19, 2020, in contravention to the Orders prohibiting the entry of Yachts have been charged under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) – (Prohibition of Entry of Non-citizen) order 2020.
The remand application was made at the Magistrate court around 4:00pm on Saturday (4th July 2020).
The Crown asked for the 3 defendants to remand in custody awaiting further dealings and submitted grounds for the remand.
Lawyer representing the three defendants submitted his grounds for the trio to be released on bail.
However, presiding Magistrate Emma Garo after hearing both parties’ applications further order the 3 defendants to be remanded in custody for Monday 6th July 2020 at 9:00am. This is to give her time to make a ruling on both parties’ applications.
The MHMS in collaboration with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Customs, National Disaster Council, and Oversight Committee initially detained the three expatriates on board their yacht the night they first illegally entered the country for not observing maritime rules and regulations.
MHMS launched an investigation to address the risk and likelihood of importation of COVID-19 in Solomon Islands.
The three expatriates allegedly left New Caledonia 9 days before arriving at the Mbokona Bay – Yacht Club anchorage. New Caledonia has reported a total of 21 cases of COVID-19, the last case being reported on June 10, 2020. . The three males assessed and escorted to NRH where they underwent COVID-19 testing and have been tested negative for COVID-19.
MHMS would like to inform that this particular case is a reminder that everyone must remain vigilant and in a heightened state of alertness as the virus can potentially find its way into the country in the most unexpected ways.
The MHMS urges everyone to continue practice COVID-19 preventive measures of frequent hand washing with soap or hand sanitizer, maintain social distancing of at least 2 meter and coughing or sneezing into bent elbows and basic good hygiene. IF you are visiting nightclubs, it is important to practice these measures and follow the guidance provided by the club management and the MHMS.