Thursday, September 25, 2008

84 Haitian Nationals Intercepted Near Inagua


Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers intercepted a vessel transporting 84 undocumented Haitian immigrants as they attempted to sneak into the country yesterday, authorities said.

The group included 72 males and 12 females, the Defence Force said in a statement.

"After receiving reports from the US Coast Guard of a Haitian vessel sailing north, the Marine Unit Base at Mathew Town, Inagua activated its assets and intercepted an overloaded Haitian vessel early Monday morning 16 miles off Mathew Town, Inagua," the statement said. "The migrants, who had no proper documentation, were apprehended onboard a 30-foot sail sloop and turned over to immigration authorities at Mathew Town."

RBDF officials said the vessel the migrants were traveling on had to be destroyed as it was in an unsanitary state.

The immigrants were turned over to immigration authorities.

Yesterday's apprehension was the first major interception of a Haitian vessel since the passing of Hurricane Ike two weeks ago, officials said.

Nearly 300 undocumented Haitians were apprehended by the RBDF on July 28 as they attempted to dock their wooden sloop in waters off Marshall Road, according to officials. In total, 231 men and 64 women were caught, officials said.

In other immigration news, officials from the Department of Immigration confirmed yesterday that four detainees at the Carmichael Road Detention Center escaped early Sunday morning, but two of the men were recaptured hours later.

Director of Immigration Vernon Burrows told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that three Cubans - Yosbanis Zayas Gonzales, 23; Barbaro R. Martinez Valdez, 35; Orestes Almanares Osorio, 27, and one Costa Rican, Alex Gartha, 34 - scaled the 10-foot wall of the Detention Center shortly after midnight. Burrows said Osorio and Gartha were captured around 4 p.m. Sunday in the surrounding area.

Gonzales and Valdez remained at large up to press time.

Source: TheNassauGuardian.Com

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