THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Department of Immigration apprehended 50 illegal Haitian migrants after their sloop landed in the Marshall Road area yesterday morning.
However, officials suspect that some of the migrants were able to evade capture by fleeing into nearby shanty towns.
Officials were alerted about the illegal landing of a Haitian sloop around 4:36am.
“When we got here we discovered that the boat would have come in between the Sea Breeze and South Beach area and we headed to the Marshall Road area where we picked up 50 so far, 35 males and 15 females, all Haitian nationals. Once you see one come you know they are coming in twos and threes so we have to be on the lookout for (more),” Immigration officer Kirkland Neely told ZNS News at the scene.
Defence Force marines and a patrol craft were immediately deployed to the area of sighting, the RBDF said. The Haitian sloop was later discovered drifting in the Sea Breeze Canal.
Defence Force and Immigration officers spent hours combing the immediate area for more migrants.
The migrants were taken to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre for processing before they will be repatriated.
Last year the government spent over $1 million in repatriation costs for illegal immigrants.
In 2013, there were 3,868 illegal migrants repatriated: 157 Cubans, 49 Dominicans, 300 Jamaicans, 3,033 Haitians and 329 of other nationalities.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has said that 1,899 Haitians came to the Bahamas by boat last year.