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Venezuelan chef gets a chance on work permit charge
A Venezuelan chef who claimed to have cooked for the Prime Minister was yesterday reprimanded and discharged when he appeared in court charged for working without a valid work permit. Carlos Alexis Mejia Montes, 31, cried as he stood before Magistrate Marcia Murray in the Port-of-Spain First Magistrates’ Court.
Montes and Jesus Daniel Mendez, 37, also of Venezuela, were arrested at Trader Jack’s Restaurant, MovieTowne, Invaders’ Bay. Both men pleaded guilty yesterday. The court heard that around 5.15 pm on April 24, immigration officials visited the restaurant after receiving information and arrested both men after they failed to produce valid work permits.
Attorney Amanda La Caille, who represented Montes, said her client possessed a valid work permit which had been issued in the name of Bella Italia Restaurant, Trincity Mall, and had been helping train graduates of the MUST programme. La Caille said Montes’ work permit was valid for two years and will expire later this year.
Accepting the explanation offered to the court, Murray later reprimanded and discharged Montes after learning he had worked under the misapprehension that his work permit allowed him to be employed at other establishments other than the one in whose name the permit was issued.
Mendez, who was represented by attorney Vince Charles, was fined $700, to be paid forthwith, or he will have to serve four weeks’ hard labour. Murray also rejected a copy of the work permit application submitted by Mendez’s employer. Richard Chootoo of the Immigration Division laid the charge.
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