Seven migrants charged with illegal landing; Bahamian charged with harboring them

Seven migrants charged with illegal landing; Bahamian charged with harboring them

GRAND BAHAMA, BAHAMAS — The Department of Immigration said yesterday that seven Haitian migrants were charged with illegal landing and one Bahamian man was charged with harboring them on Wednesday, January 13.

The group of migrants, including six men and one woman, was apprehended onboard a motor vessel by immigration officials on Sunday, January 10, 2021 in the Tynes Bay, Grand Bahama area, according to immigration officials.

They appeared before Magistrate Debbie Ferguson to answer to the charge of illegal landing, contrary to Section 19 (1) of the Immigration Act.

“The charge was read to the defendants with the assistance of an independent translator,” the Department of Immigration noted.

“Each defendant, through the translator, verbally stated to the court that the charge was understood as read. Upon pleading guilty, they were all ordered deported as soon as practicable.”

However, the Bahamian who was charged with harboring the migrants pleaded not guilty to his charge and was ordered remanded to the Bahamas Department of Corrections until March 8.

“His subsequent request for bail was denied as this was his second appearance before the sitting magistrate for a similar offense,” the department said.

“Magistrate Ferguson further advised the defendant that he could seek bail in the Supreme Court.”