The trend of illegal migrants continues unabatedly, in this country.
This past Sunday, April 14, at 12 noon, according to official information reaching The Freeport News, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Robert Yered pulled into the Lucayan Harbour and handed over nine Cuban migrants to Bahamas Immigration officers.
Immigration Officer Napthali Cooper informed that actually Saturday, the migrants, all adult males, were initially observed by officers of USGC Cutter Yered on Cay Sal Island, in Bahamian territory. However, according to Cooper, upon seeing the craft the men ran into the bushes.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) was then notified, and in turn, requested that the USCG assist. Accordingly, permission consistent with the United States/Bahamas Comprehensive Maritime Agreement, was granted for a USCG Cutter to enter and investigate the sighting.
Cooper reported that the USCG team located the men who claimed to be Cuban nationals. It is believed they used an old 18-foot wooden sail boat with a white sail that was visible nearby on the Cay Sal shoreline.
The Cuban migrants claimed that they departed Cuba as a group on Friday destined for the United States.
After taking custody of the migrants, Immigration officials transported them to Immigration headquarters to be processed further and to be examined by the medical staff of the Disease and Surveillance Unit of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).
The Immigration department was scheduled to fly the Cuban migrants to Nassau on Monday to be detained at the Detention Centre until repatriated to Cuba.
These nine Cubans bring the total of migrants who were turned over by the USCG to the Immigration Department Freeport, to 50, for processing within the past 14 days alone.
The last reported immigration matter also involved another group of Cubans Nationals. It occurred on Monday (April 8). At 1:30 p.m. a team of Bahamas Immigration officers proceeded to the Lucayan Harbour to rendezvous with USCG Cutter Robert Yered. Officers handed over eight Cuban migrants who were intercepted near Cay Sal Island in Bahamian waters.
The group of men claimed that they departed Cuba the previous Thursday, headed also for the United States.
After taking custody of the migrants, Immigration officers transported them to headquarters where they were processed and examined by the medical staff of the Disease and Surveillance Unit of the PHA.
On Sunday (April 7), officers from the Bahamas Immigration Department proceeded to the Lucayan Harbour to rendezvous, again, with United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Robert Yered. A group of 11 Cuban migrants had been interdicted in Bahamian waters.
As per usual, Immigration officers later escorted the Cuban migrants to Nassau, New Providence on board Bahamasair to be detained at the Detention Centre until they were repatriated to Cuba.