vendredi 22 août 2014

Escaped Prisoners Feared To Be Among Detained Haitian Refugees

ROYAL Bahamas Defence Force officials have picked up more than 200 illegal Haitian migrants in two separate incidents that took place between Tuesday and Wednesday.
After the arrests, officials expressed concern that some of the immigrants might have been a part of the group of criminals who took part in a prison break in Haiti earlier this month.
According to officials, at 7:46 pm Tuesday, while on routine patrol, HMBS Arthur Dion Hanna apprehended 124 Haitians aboard a white 55-foot sailing sloop 26 miles west of Flamingo Cay, near Ragged Island.
The 100 men, 16 women, and eight children were taken into custody and subsequently taken to the Coral Harbour base where they were handed over to Immigration officials for further processing.
A little over 12 hours later, at 8am Wednesday morning, defence force marines stationed at the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park apprehended 100 Haitian nationals aboard a sailing sloop 10 miles southwest of Warderick Wells Cay. Officials believe even more immigrants were still in the area.
When The Tribune arrived at the Coral Harbour base yesterday afternoon, 80 of those migrants were on base before being turned over to Immigration officials for processing. At the same time, defence force officials had been sent to retrieve the remaining migrants.
While being handed over to immigration officials, one of the Haitian nationals, a lady, apparently fainted and had to be carried onto the bus by immigration officers. Her present condition is not known.
Up to press time, no final count of the immigrants picked up in the second exercise had been given.
While speaking with reporters, Senior Lieutenant Ricardo Barry said the Defence Force had “no confirmation” that some of the migrants might have been some of more than 300 prisoners who recently escaped from a prison just outside the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
It is a big concern for us, and it’s something that we’re mindful of,” he said.
At this particular time the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is working in concert with Immigration and our medical team to ensure that persons coming into Coral Harbour are secure.”
The Tribune received reports that some of the migrants might have been “hostile”, however the officer said he had “nothing on record” about any resistance or hostility from the migrants. RBDF Commodore Roderick Bowe, in a press statement, issued his thanks to the Cuban Border Guard, the United States Coast Guard, the warden at the Exuma Land and Sea Park and the mail boat community “for their assistance” in the two apprehensions.

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