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Mitchell: We Are Waging A War Against Human Smuggling

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Fred Mitchell

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

AS details continue to emerge over an alleged human smuggling ring in Grand Bahama, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said the government is waging a war on the illegal activity.

His words follow pleas from relatives and family members for assistance in finding two Jamaican men, 35-year-old Dwayne Campbell, Andre Laroi Bignal, 34, and one Peruvian woman, Nelly Alva, 47.

They all allegedly went missing on December 18 along with at least three other Jamaican nationals and a man from New Zealand seeking unauthorised entry by boat into the US from Grand Bahama. The journey is said to have begun at around 8pm and involved a woman who is said to have collected thousands of dollars from each person in the group for the trip.

These latest details came to The Tribune from Danielle Rose, a relative of Andre, who said he called family members on the day of the alleged journey.

She said: “He came to the Bahamas to try to make it to the U.S by boat illegally. We, the family, have little info because he did not inform us of his plans, because he knew we would have talked him out of it.

“We, the family, are struggling. His mother is losing weight rapidly. A lot of us are trying to stay positive. I don’t want to think negative. He is his mother’s only child and has two kids of his own. We are just hoping for the best.

“I have been talking to two detectives in Grand Bahama. About four or five days ago an Officer Curtis instructed me to send authorities there photographs of the guys because there is a possibility that they are detained in a Freeport jail.

“We know without a shadow of a doubt that they would have called us by now if they made it.”

Attempts were made to contact Officer Curtis but they were unsuccessful.

A sister of Nelly, Melba Alva, raised several questions by email about the priority of the situation for government officials in the Bahamas.

She said: “Nelly Alva has been missing for 19 days and your country, your government and your police department do nothing. “(Does) the life and liberty of a person not have a price in your country? Human trafficking, slavery, (and) trafficking drugs (exists) and this government is indifferent. Everyone knows and sees the indifference of the Bahamas and nobody goes to jail for these crimes. Nelly Alva is still missing. This is terribly inhumane.”

The Tribune asked Mr Mitchell whether Department of Immigration officials are investigating an alleged human smuggling ring in Grand Bahama and if the government is doing anything to crack down on instances such as these.

Mr Mitchell said: “You should be aware that the Department of Immigration is waging a continuous war on that front.”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Why is it so hard to understand and trust Fred Mitchell's double speak?

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Gen1usBahamian 3 months, 2 weeks ago

WAR???? Really? Are these so call politicians in the Bahamas STUPID?? WAR?? These idiots are starting to sound like GWB, what the hell you mean war? Always playing offensively, what happen to preventing all this mess from happening in the first place? Lets be honest, the money from representing these "criminals" is too good. I don't know what these idiots are thinking, the more you focus on going to WAR, the more WAR you will get! How about focusing in preventative measures and peace, how about so good EDUCATION??? but lets be honest "their" education is not a problem while they're in school, however, when the drop out and become part of their lucrative money making industry, THEN they are used as talking points, DAMN POLITICIANS crooked SOB's!

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Just you be careful Minister Mitchell, cause you wouldn't want to be acting-up like you is the Turks and Caicos Islands unofficial spokesman's in Bahamaland. Don't all he talk show listeners knows that Comrade "TC" Darold, is considered the 'Unofficial' Ambassador to Bahamaland, for all the the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Josephus 3 months, 2 weeks ago

With all due respect to the families of the allegedly missing persons, when a person engages in illegal activity, they put themselves at risk. This does not say that attempts shouldn't be made to find such ones, but any frustration felt should not all be entirely directed toward the government.

My heart goes out to the families, if this story is true.

I say if this is true because some things are "interesting" about this situation. With no knowledge outside of the information I've read in this series of articles, it just seems like the events in question have a common goal of not finding the loved ones, but attacking the country where this alleged activity took place. It just reminds me of the recent Cuban crusade to character assassinate the country.

The Bahamas does a good job of ruining its own reputation. Lord knows it doesn't need others to do it as well.

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JPryce 1 month, 1 week ago

We believe these people are being captured and used for organ trafficking which I have surprising learned is a huge business. They are being killed for their kidneys and we believe the Bahamas does not want the truth to hit the media. Before Niyef's family disappeared he was approached by a smuggler named Kevin Higgins who asked him to consider letting his family sell their kidneys. Niyef was alarmed and told the man NO! The man replied saying 'I will get them another way'. Days later Niyef's family went missing after they were trying to get to the United States. All this info was given to the police in more extensive detail and still no arrests were made to even CHECK into this story. Nothing is being done! We are very aware that our families were involved into illegal activities trying to get to the United States but does that mean their lives don't count?

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JPryce 1 month, 1 week ago

Niyef Gumas is in Canada and can be reached at 1-416-731-3133. Any help is greatly appreciated. We answers. We need closure. Its been 2 whole years now. These disappearances are astonishing! My name is Jacqueline. My brother is also missing and I can be reached at 909-440-7375.

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