By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
TWO Bahamians were arrested after 10 illegal Haitian immigrants were discovered at a residence in the Freeport area on Friday night.
According to reports, immigration officials received information that the group of Haitians were preparing to be smuggled into the United States.
Napthali Cooper reported that around 9.30pm a team of officers along with police went to a residence in Hudson Estates after receiving information concerning a group of Haitians residing there. Mr Cooper said a search revealed six men, two women and two minors. He said two Bahamian men, one of whom was the homeowner, were also arrested and taken into custody, along with the 10 Haitians.
“The Bahamian homeowner appeared surprised at the amount of persons discovered in his home, even though he lived there,” Mr Cooper said. He said that none of the immigrants could produce proof of their legal status in the Bahamas, and told officers that they had recently travelled to Grand Bahama from New Providence.
Further investigations, he said, revealed that the group was waiting to be smuggled to the US and had reportedly paid an unnamed individual for the trip.
Mr Cooper said the Bahamas Immigration Department is considering bringing charges against the group and homeowner in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court. He warned that Immigration Department wished to advise the public that it is an offence to harbour illegal immigrants in one’s own or another dwelling place.
“The Immigration Department is committed to investigating all such reports and will haul all persons before the courts who are found to be harbouring illegal immigrants,” Mr Cooper said.