Search continues in Bahamas for missing Haitians

first_imgSearch continues in Bahamas for missing Haitians Bahamian Immigration Director William Pratt has issued a warning to Bahamians who may have assisted Haitians who came ashore on the weekend.According to police reports, on Sunday afternoon, a large empty sloop was discovered in Adelaide Village on the Bahamian island of New Providence.No sign of undocumented Haitians However, there were no signs of the Haitian migrants.In an interview with the Tribune, Pratt said he was baffled as to how such a large boat could land so close to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) base and gone undetected.Head of the Department of Immigration’s Enforcement unit, Kirklyn Neely said he believes that between 150 to 250 undocumented migrants were on board the vessel.Meanwhile, as the search continues for the migrants, Neely said immigration officers on Monday apprehended 27 immigrants in an effort to obtain information on persons who landed here. The authorities believe the Haitians had help from people already on New Providence.Pratt, in issuing the warning said anyone found to be hiding them would be jailed, fined or both.Mystery how boat arrived undetected “We do not know how the boat came in undetected. We did a sweep of the main area, but the search was also extended to areas where we know a lot of Haitians are concentrated. So, for the rest of the week, we will be picking up illegal immigrants every day, whether they were on the boat or not, until we get the persons that came on the sloop. Honestly, I do not know how the boat was not seen, with it so close to the base but maybe they need to reevaluate their surveillance – but it’s quite unusual.”The total number of undocumented migrants apprehended by the RBDF for the year is approximately 1,100.The RBDF says half of these apprehensions were made jointly with local immigration and police authorities officers as well as the United States Coast Guard.For more on the missing Haitians, click the link: Search underway for capsized boat with Haitianslast_img read more