NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force apprehended 185 Haitian migrants off Little Inagua on Friday.
In a press statement yesterday, the RBDF underscored increased enforcement as the country’s southern borders remain an area of concern.
“The RBDF has been implementing measures to address threats and challenges of
the influx of migrants from Haiti, especially as the southeasterly winds become more favourable for an easier sojourn into the Bahamas from Haiti and also in light of the more than two months of demonstrations that the neighbouring country has been experiencing in recent times,” read a press statement.
The migrants were apprehended during a joint operation by the RBDF, Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos, and Turks and Caicos authorities shortly after 11pm.
OPBAT is a tripartite agreement between the US, Turks & Caicos and Bahamas.
“While on routine patrol, an OPBAT helicopter spotted a 30-foot low profile,
wooden vessel at 5:00 pm approximately 24 NM off Little Inagua with an
unknown number of persons onboard,” read a press statemement.
“Turks and Caicos authorities, OPBAT and the Defence Force Operations were immediately alerted, and each entity directed an asset assigned to the area to intercept.”
It continued: “A total of 84 persons were taken aboard the USCG Cutter, which will be transferred to the TCI authorities, and the 101 migrants onboard HMBS BAHAMAS will be transported to Mathew Town, Inagua for further processing by Immigration authorities on that island.
“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is actively monitoring changes in illicit trends
and patterns which are expected to occur and for which the RBDF must anticipate,
adapt and adjust for proactively.”