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91 Caught In Migrant Operations

One of the boats intercepted by the Defence Force. Photo: RBDF

One of the boats intercepted by the Defence Force. Photo: RBDF

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

THE ROYAL Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) apprehended nearly 100 illegal migrants in three separate incidents over the holiday weekend.

In the first incident, RBDF officers caught 76 Haitian migrants on Saturday in waters near the Exuma chain.

It is the third group of Haitians to be captured in The Bahamas in recent weeks and came the day before Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ December 31 deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave the country voluntarily or face being “aggressively pursued and deported”.

In mid-December, Dr Minnis reiterated the call, saying undocumented migrants must leave the country by the end of the year or apply for legal status.

According to the RBDF, while on routine patrol on Saturday, HMBS Cascarilla under the command of Lieutenant Commander Clinton Johnson, apprehended a 40-foot Haitian sloop near the southern end of the Tongue of the Ocean, 20 miles west of the Exuma chain.

The migrants were taken into custody and turned over to Department of Immigration officials.

Also on Saturday, officers took six undocumented immigrants into custody after they were discovered at a local resort on North Bimini.

According to reports, shortly after 11am, officers acting on information went to the resort and discovered six immigrants, five males and one female, all from Ecuador.

They were handed over to the Department of Immigration.

Hours later, early on Sunday morning, nine foreign nationals were turned over to a RBDF patrol craft by a tanker off Grand Bahama.

The foreign nationals, one Haitian-Bahamian and eight Chinese, were retrieved from a partially submerged vessel by the crew of the passing tanker approximately 17 miles southwest of Grand Bahama.

The RBDF’s base at its Northern Command operations in Freeport was informed of the incident and one of its patrol craft took the foreigners into custody and they were later handed over to Immigration authorities in Freeport for further investigation.

THE RBDF said the latest apprehensions come as it continues to unfold its coastal and maritime security strategies to interdict people engaged in drug, human, gun and wildlife smuggling, in addition to poaching of marine resources by local and foreign fishermen along with a recent increase in boat theft.

On December 23, the RBDF apprehended 87 Haitian migrants on a sloop near Great Inagua. Three days later, a RBDF Harbour Patrol Unit vessel, while on routine patrol, stopped a vessel off Montagu Beach in New Providence with 14 foreign nationals on board.

The foreigners, several of whom arrived in country as passengers aboard an international airline, were from the United States, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Colombia. No Haitian nationals were among this group.

Last week the Department of Immigration deported 114 Haitians.

According to the head of the Department of Immigration’s Enforcement Unit, Kirklyn Neely, the Department of Immigration deported nearly 7,000 people in 2017.

The Department of Immigration intensified its apprehension efforts in November after a large empty sloop was discovered on the shoreline of Adelaide Beach.

One month later, a boat “loaded” with Haitian migrants landed near Clifton Pier, about three miles from Coral Harbour. Immigration officers and other authorities spent the following days combing the area for the migrants. The RBDF said 57 people - 43 men, 11 women and three children - were taken into custody and transported to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre as a result of that sloop landing.

Comments

birdiestrachan 9 months, 2 weeks ago

They have no respect for the PM. The same people to whom he has given a dead line are sending for their home people. To come, Because they know he is not serious. instead of leaving, They are coming. The joke is on the PM/

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jamaicaproud 9 months, 2 weeks ago

birdie Happy New Year. I gues we both have never ever been in a situation where we would even contemplate making such a journey.

Let me assure you, any Jamaica found on these boats has to be a criminal. Why? Because Jamaicans with sufficient funds can stay in Bahamas visa-free for 90 days. Therefore any Jamaican who pays thousands for such a treacherous journey has to be hiding from the law or previously been deported, lock them up.

As for the Haitians, may God have mercy on that country.

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sheeprunner12 9 months, 2 weeks ago

A Jamaican just went to court for "hiking a ride to Miami" on a go-fast boat with Bahamian drug dealers (caught in Andros) ......... BOL

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sheeprunner12 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The Immigration Department needs to go and pick up Louby Georges and make him show them where the other 10,000 illegals are in this country ........ He says they are not leaving without a fight ......... Is that sedition?????? or treason??????

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Emac 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Treason...But only in the Bahamas. Bahamians are too damn soft. Only talks!

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SP 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Louby Georges is an enemy of the state and should have his citizenship revoked as an example to all the rest of his kind!

Why we tolerate his sedition is beyond comprehension.

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jackbnimble 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If anyone was paying attention, homie flew to Haiti just before the 31st and posted a picture of himself on social media in what he refers to as "the homeland".

I smell a rat with this one. Probably over there looking for the so-called Haitians born in the Bahamas and deported to give Fred some more ammunition to frustrate the Government.

He is not loyal. But I'm not sorry. They sell our birthright to these ungrateful persons for a song.

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Aegeaon 9 months ago

Guess what? He's isn't no enemy, he just wants humane treatment. That's all.

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Reality_Check 9 months, 2 weeks ago

For every one illegal alien apprehended at sea, 10 make it through to our shores thanks to the gross incompetence of the leadership of our defense force and law enforcement authorities, not to mention our bungling immigration officials and two-faced politicians.

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sheeprunner12 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Haitian children who are born to a Haitian parent will always be Haitian ....... that is the leopard rule (and the Haitian Constitution) ........ Why are we wasting our nationality on them?????

They grow up with Haitian parents, speaking Creole and living their culture ....... It is a waste of time to believe that these people will ever be loyal to The Bahamas ....... so are the other Caribbean people who are here ......... They are only playing us for fools...... Just listen to Fred Smith and Louby Georges if you need proof of how these half-breeds feel about our country.

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SP 9 months ago

Get it right. Fred Smith and Louby Georges are NOT half-breeds. According to the Haitian constitution, there is no such thing as half-breed Haitians.

Anyone with ANY Haitian lineage qualifies for Haitian citizenship so Smith and Georges are 100% Haitian regardless.

Donald Trump has it right. Anyone that entered the U.S. illegally no matter how long ago is still illegal and must be deported.

Brent Symonette "regularizing policy" for illegals just because they evaded immigration for decades is an insult to our intelligence!

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