By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
FIFTY Haitian migrants were apprehended in the southern Bahamas and returned to Haiti over the weekend.
The operation was a joint effort between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the United States Coast Guard, according to a statement from the RBDF released yesterday.
The 60-foot Haitian sloop was spotted in the southern Bahamas by a USCG aircraft on Friday.
The RBDF vessel HMBS Kamalamee was deployed to investigate along with the USCG cutter Reliance.
The Reliance ultimately intercepted the sloop approximately 50 miles west of Inagua and retrieved all 50 migrants.
The sloop then "entered Cuban territorial waters where it was intercepted by Cuban authorities."
The Reliance repatriated all 50 migrants to Haiti.
On March 28, the RBDF arrested 89 migrants who were discovered in a sloop 16 nautical miles southwest of Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera.
In a press release later that day, the RBDF announced that the immigrants would be processed for repatriation to Haiti after they had been handed over to Immigration authorities in Eleuthera.
Up to March 28, 281 migrants had been apprehended for the year, according to the RBDF's records.
These include the arrests of 69 Haitian migrants off Long Island in January and the apprehension of 188 others off southern Inagua in March.