Real estate developer’s proposal to girlfriend went off the rails after the Bahamas immigration authorities denied her entry
A Miami-based real estate developer said his proposal plan was derailed when a bigoted immigration officer denied his girlfriend and her sister entry to the Bahamas on suspicion they were sex workers.
Hal “Nuby” Sears, 64, planned to propose to his girl during a nine-day trip to the Bahamas, during which they planned to stay on a 22-foot yacht.
Darina Pînzaru, 25, and her sister Ina, 36, from Moldova, were refused entry due to “prejudice” and sent back to London, Sears told the New York Post.
Sears, who met Pînzaru in Romania last summer, said officials turned her and her sister away after they arrived in the Bahamas in February, saying, “I know why you’re here.”
“It was so horrible what they went through. It’s incomprehensible. They were pre-assessed,” he told The Post.
Darina Pînzaru (pictured), 25, and her sister Ina, 36, were denied entry to the Bahamas because an immigration officer falsely accused them of being sex workers
Hal “Nuby” Sears, 64, was waiting for Pînzaru and her sister at the airport when he said he was told by an official, “They’re not inside, they’re outside.” Sears said he planned to propose to her during the trip
“The only justice we want is an apology from the Bahamian government,” Sears said. “But we’ll never get it, so at least we want others to know they’re at risk of this kind of nefarious prejudice — there’s no other way to describe it.”
The original plan was for the two Pînzarus and ten other guests to join Sears on his $5 million Pershing 7X yacht on a voyage that would take them through the Bahamas and to Turks and Caicos.
Sears told The Post he had been waiting for the couple to arrive, but when Ina was about to get her passport stamped, Darina ran into trouble.
Ina said they were both sent to an immigration office where they were confronted about their plans and asked if they had money and a place to stay.
“We were treated like criminals,” Darina told The Post. “They even threatened to put us in jail.”
After texting Sears to let him know what was happening, he called for help from the Four Seasons’ Ocean Club resort where he was staying and the hotel’s head of security arrived, the Post reported.
They both spoke to the chief immigration officer who they said showed no signs of movement.
“They’re not in, they’re out,” Sears recalls the official. “I have information, they’re not coming in.”
The two sisters had arrived in the Bahamas to spend time on Amici, a $5 million Pershing 7X 70-foot yacht (pictured)
Darina (pictured) said she and her sister were treated like animals and most likely judged Moldovan
Ina described how they took phones, laptops and bags from the sisters and even took their fingerprints.
“Do you have the financial means to stay in the Bahamas?” Ina said she was asked. “I said, ‘Yeah, of course we have, we have cash, cards, no problem.’
“She apparently spoke to this lady, the head of immigration,” Ina told The Post. And she came out, took one look at us and said, “They’re not going in.” That’s all.’
“So far no one has explained anything to us,” Ina said. “While we were sitting outside, this lady, the head of immigration, came out and she said, ‘Yes, I know your culture, I know why you are here,'” Ina said. “We don’t want you here, and you’ll never set foot on Bahamian land.”
The two were then put on another plane and sent back to London.
Sears says he later filed a complaint with the Bahamian embassy in London on behalf of the two sisters, but has not heard back yet.