By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE wave of migrants from Cuba taking the treacherous journey to Florida continues to persist, and to date some 50 Cubans intercepted in Bahamian seas have been brought to Grand Bahama in the last two weeks.
An immigration official confirmed the Immigration Department has so far processed a total of 50 Cuban migrants in the last 14 days alone.
The latest group was spotted last Friday on Cay Sal Island and brought to Freeport on Sunday afternoon, immigration officer Napthali Cooper said.
According to reports, the US Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered arrived around noon with nine Cubans who were turned over to officers at the Department of Immigration.
Mr Cooper reported that the migrants were all men who were initially spotted by a USCG aircraft on Cay Sal Island on April 12.
“Upon seeing the aircraft the men ran into the bushes,” he said.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was initially notified and requested assistance from the USCG. Through the United States/Bahamas Comprehensive Maritime Agreement, a USCG cutter was allowed to enter and investigate the sighting.
Later in the evening, a USCG team went ashore on Cay Sal Island and located nine men who claimed to be Cuban nationals.
According to Mr Cooper, the Cubans told officials they had departed Cuba on Friday, April 12, in the rustic sailboat and were headed to the US.