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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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Venezuelan jailed for ‘spiritual’ bullet

A VENEZUELAN migrant who was arrested outside the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair, while queuing up to be registered under government’s amnesty, has been sentenced to two months' imprisonment after a bullet was found hidden in a religious pouch he was carrying.

Alexander Adrian Tinoco Senclar pleaded guilty to ammunition possession before magistrate Rehanna Hosein in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Senclar was arrested early yesterday morning at the Oval when police searched his wallet and found a round of 9 mm ammunition in a red pouch. He told the court the pouch was a gift from his brother to ward off evil spirits.

Speaking with the assistance of a court-recognised translator, Senclar said the spirit guard was part of the Maria Lionza cult, one of the most widespread religions in Venezuela, which blends African, indigenous and Catholic beliefs.

Hosein was told he was not aware the item would be considered illegal in TT. Police prosecutor Sgt Azard Ali told the magistrate the offence was serious and far too prevalent and asked for a prison term to be imposed.

Hosein said ignorance of this country's laws was not an excuse and told Senclar he should have asked before he brought the item.

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