U.S. officials arrest three Bahamians off Miami

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The United States Coast Guard arrested three Bahamians who were a part of a group of migrants and suspected human smugglers on board a 26-foot vessel, 12 miles off the coast of Miami on Saturday.

The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement on the arrests on Wednesday.

According to U.S. authorities, the group also included seven Haitians, two Ecuadorians and one Bolivian.

The suspected human smugglers were not identified.

The group was transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Sunday.

“These migrant smuggling operations and ventures seek to exploit our maritime border and the short distances between Caribbean nations like The Bahamas and The United States,” said Commander Luis Rodriguez, the Coast Guard’s 7th District response duty officer.

“It is through our close interagency and allied networks that we are able to interdict, safely embark, and send a clear message that those attempting to enter the country illegally by sea will be returned to their country of origin, and this case is no exception.”

When contacted yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said an official report of the incident had not come before him as yet.