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HomeNewsArchivesTwo Found Guilty in BVI After Eight Die in Smuggling Accident

Two Found Guilty in BVI After Eight Die in Smuggling Accident

A British Virgin Islands High Court jury on Monday found two Haitian men guilty on eight counts of manslaughter and one count of smuggling immigrants in connection with a Dec. 5, 2010, incident in which eight people died when the boat bringing them to Tortola hit the rocks, the Tortola-based www.virginislandsnewsonline.com reports.

Initial reports indicated two of the eight were children, but the Tortola Internet newspaper put the number of children at four. All but two of the dead were found in the water, according to the report, and those two were discovered in the boat, which sank after it hit the reef, officials said just after the wreck.

Another 25 people survived the wreck and were repatriated to their native countries.

Roro Eduorne was believed to be the captain of the 26-foot vessel that hit the rocks at Tortola’s Brandywine Bay. Renold Plasimond was a crew member. The prosecutor claimed that Eduorne was the first man off the boat after it ran aground, but that he and Plasimond worked together.

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The prosecutor told jurors that Eduorne quickly went ashore, paid a local resident to use her cell phone and called St. Maarten to report on the crash. Plasimond did provide some aid to the passengers.

It appears the vessel left from St. Maarten for the Virgin Islands. According to www.virginislandsnewsonline.com, one of the passengers told the jury she paid $2,500 for the trip that was supposed to end in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After the U.S. Coast Guard spotted the boat, the captain made a run for Tortola.

Sentencing of the two men is expected to take place on Friday.

The trial began Oct. 24.

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