Two Cuban migrants, who were intercepted in Bahamian waters were turned over to local Immigration officers early Monday morning.
According to Napthali Cooper, Bahamas Immigration Department Grade One Officer, sometime around 9:00 a.m. Monday, October 9 a United States Coast Guard (USCG) crew, called into the Lucaya Habour and handed over two male Cuban nationals.
Cooper told this daily that the two men were in a rustic vessel, which reportedly left Cuba a few days ago and was headed for Florida when stopped by USCG.
The two males were transported to Immigration headquarters for further processing and are expected to be flown to the capital today (Tuesday, October 10) along with the 11 Haitian nationals to be detained at the Detention Centre until repatriated to their homeland.
In other Immigration news, Cooper revealed that last week Friday (October 6) and late into the evening local Immigration officers could be seen throughout Freeport, Pinder’s Point and Eight Mile Rock area conducting an intense exercise in apprehending undocumented persons residing in those areas illegally.
This resulted in the apprehension of 11 Haitian nationals – seven males and four females – all of whom were in the country without legal status.
Two of the females were taken into custody at an apartment complex in the Freeport area, after it was discovered that they were in the country illegally – having arrived in The Bahamas onboard a Haitian sloop a few months ago.
The other two females were arrested in the Pinder’s Point and Eight Mile Rock; they too were without legal status.
Four of the Haitian males were apprehended at various locations in the Freeport area and two were taken into custody in Eight Mile Rock.
The final Haitian male was taken into custody while working as a cook at a fast food takeout eatery on Queen’s Highway.
He was said to have arrived from Haiti earlier this year.
He was not in possession of a Work Permit.
The group was transported to Immigration headquarters for detention and further processing, and is expected to be flown into the capital sometime today to be detained at the Detention Centre until repatriated to Haiti.
The last reported Immigration case occurred in the early hours of Saturday (September 30) morning, when officers acting on information received relative to a group of persons believed to be Brazilians and Dominicans about to be smuggled by boat into the United States.
A team of Immigration officers were dispatched to investigate with a view to intercept.
Subsequently with the assistance of police officers from the Marine Division a private vessel was intercepted in the Lucaya area, with a total of six persons onboard – three Brazilians and three Dominicans. The six had initially entered the country legally, but their documents had since expired.
They also did not possess proper visas to enter the U.S. and were subsequently taken into custody and transported to Immigration headquarters for further processing.
Cooper added that in following the department’s mandate to rid the country of undocumented persons residing here illegally on Saturday (September 30) Immigration officers could be seen throughout Freeport visiting work sites in an effort to determine the status of all persons working. This exercise resulted in five Haitian nationals, four males and one female were taken into custody for being in contravention of the Immigration Laws.
They were transported to Immigration headquarters for detention and to be processed further. At headquarters it was discovered that four of the latter entered the country illegally by boat from Haiti; one in 2015 and three just this year. The fifth once possessed legal status which had since expired and no effort was made to renew same.
He furthered that a Jamaican national was also taken into custody in the Freeport area after it was discovered that his legal status in The Bahamas had expired. He was also transported to Immigration headquarters for further processing.
The Brazilians, Dominicans, Haitians and the lone Jamaican male are all expected to be transported to the capital sometime on Monday (October 2) to be detained at the Detention Centre until repatriated to their respective home countries.
The Immigration Department thanks the public for their assistance in providing information relative to all breeches of the Immigration Laws and encourages the public to continue to partner with the department in effectively enforcing our Laws.