Nearly 300 Haitian Migrants Detained

Some of the Haitian migrants who were apprehended. Photo: RBDF

Some of the Haitian migrants who were apprehended. Photo: RBDF


Tribune Staff Reporter


NEARLY 300 Haitian migrants in three different groups were apprehended in the southern Bahamas over the weekend.

The migrants' arrests were a result of three separate operations by law enforcement off southern Inagua Sunday night.

The migrants are currently being held in Mathew Town, Inagua.

According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the RBDF vessel HMBS Durward Knowles led the first operation when 100 Haitian nationals were apprehended.

The second group of migrants were detained as a result of a joint operation between a RBDF patrol craft and the US Coast Guard; 86 people were apprehended in that exercise.

According to a RBDF press release, the third group of migrants were taken into custody "following a joint interdiction effort by local law enforcement and members of the Inagua community."

This occurred "after the vessel landed on Lantern Head Point near the southeast coast of Great Inagua after 8 pm (Sunday) night." Seventy-five people were apprehended at the time.

As a result of these efforts, 261 migrants are currently detained in Mathew Town, Inagua.

According to the RBDF, these successful operations are a result of efforts to "strengthen" a multilateral approach to southern border security.

"These latest arrests are a result of the strategic intent of the commander (of the) Defence Force to strengthen the partnership with local and regional partners in securing the southern border of the Bahamas as a top priority in keeping with the Bahamas government's intent," the RBDF said in a press release.

The RBDF noted Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said on Sunday, at the RBDF's annual church service, that many persons engaged in illicit maritime activities gain access through the country's southern borders.

Mr Dames reiterated the government's intent to augment borders in Inagua and Ragged Island, "to sustain long term air and sea operations in this region."

"These bases are located at strategic choke points for anti-poaching, migrant and drug smuggling operations," the RBDF said.

Last month, 25 Haitians were apprehended in New Providence by law enforcement.

In January, the RBDF arrested 70 Haitians on board a 40ft sailing vessel east of Wemyss in southern Long Island. In 2017, "the defence force apprehended or assisted with the apprehensions of some 1,300 migrants," according to a February RBDF press release.


TigerB 4 days, 6 hours ago

I hope they can get them to court in a timely manner, or they will hear from Fred Smith. Good job


jackbnimble 4 days, 5 hours ago

Jesus. At this rate we’re eirher going to get rich just from the fines or go broke building enough prisons to hold them because theyre coming by the hundreds and can’t pay the fine.


joeblow 3 days, 15 hours ago

If the government would understand that they do not have adequate deterrents in place, the flow of migrants will continue. The courts must uphold the constitution and not allow the offspring of haitians (with non-Bahamian parents) who entered the country illegally to get citizenship. Secondly they must increase the fines for illegal landings. They must systematically destroy shanty towns into which these illegals find ready refuge. Lastly they must confiscate the goods acquired by illegals in this country to send a strong message to deter continued migration. Will they do these things in the national interest? Probably not!


TigerB 3 days, 14 hours ago

I often ask why they even bring then back... they more closer to Haiti then Nassau, work a deal or something with Haiti Govt and just off load them back to Haiti, and blow up the boat


Well_mudda_take_sic 3 days, 11 hours ago

The U.S. is a big beneficiary of these illegal immigrants being apprehended in our waters and should be doing much more than they have been doing in terms of financial assistance, making vessel and other equipment resources available, and leaning on the Haitian government to do much more at their end to stem the flow and facilitate easy, cost effective, repatriation.


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