One day after they were apprehended in a joint effort by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Police, Immigration, and the United States officials, 89 Haitian Nationals were charged before the courts in Eleuthera on Thursday, March 29 for violation of the Immigration Act. The 89 migrants (11 children, 14 females, and 64 males) were apprehended by HMBS Cascarilla during a joint operation with local Police from Eleuthera on Wednesday morning approximately 16 nautical miles southwest of Governor’s Harbour. The Defense Force craft transported the migrants to the mainland Eleuthera where they were handed over to Immigration officials. They were all charged with illegal landing, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to conditional deportation. The Haitian migrants were then deported to Haiti from Rock Sound aboard a chartered BahamasAir flight.
An additional 2 Haitian nationals were also charged before the courts in Eleuthera after their 30- ft cabin cruiser was apprehended by the Police officials off Half Moon Cay. HMBS Cascarilla was called in to assist and transport the Haitian nationals to mainland Eleuthera where they were handed over to immigration officials. One of the Haitian nationals did not have the proper documentation to legally reside in The Bahamas and was charged with the Illegal landing. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail and will be referred to Immigration Department for deportation after serving his time. The other Haitian national who possessed a spousal permit was charged with harboring an illegal
person. He was given a 1-year imprisonment term, a $3,000.00 fine, and his vessel was also seized. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial integrity of The Bahamas and keeping our borders secured.