PHILIPSBURG–A 26-year-old woman was led before a Judge in the Court of First Instance on Thursday, because she had committed fraud with her grade list in her effort to obtain Dutch citizenship.
The fraudulent act in which the Dominica-born woman manually changed insufficient grades into passing grades for the Dutch-language exam, which is one of the requirements to obtain Dutch nationality, cost her dearly.
The Judge found the woman guilty as charged and sentenced her to one month suspended, with 100 hours of community service. Due to her conviction, the woman may now never be eligible for Dutch citizenship.
The Prosecutor demanded the Court to impose three months suspended, on two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service, or 50 days, in case of non-compliance.
Both the Judge and the Prosecutor stated that the woman had acted foolishly in her attempt to cheat her way towards Dutch nationality, however, her rather amateurish way in doing such was uncovered by an observant civil servant at the Governor’s Cabinet.
The woman, who currently works as a supervisor at KFC, explained she had come up with this idea because she was afraid to fail a re-exam.
She said she needed a Dutch passport because she wanted to complete her education. She had promised her mother to do so because she had never obtained a diploma, the woman said, while sobbing.
The Prosecutor said this was a very serious crime, equally serious as forging a passport. However, she did not consider this case to be grave enough to call for a prison sentence because the defendant has a young son in her care.
Attorney-at-law Sjamira Roseburg agreed that her client had lost her wits in committing forgery. However, the woman had done so to pursue an education, in order to improve her life and that of her family.
The lawyer pointed out that her client would be punished twice. She would have a criminal record and may never obtain Dutch nationality. She pleaded for her client to be declared guilty without a sentence, or to not impose a suspended sentence and to lessen the community service.
“I am surprised how you could be so dumb,” the Judge said in imposing the sentence. “Your chances of obtaining Dutch citizenship are little now, but the Court does not have any authority in this,” the Judge said.
The Court imposed a lesser sentence, due to the fact that it considered the chances of re-offending to be low.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67310-woman-forges-her-grade-list-to-obtain-dutch-citizenship