396 Unlawful Migrants Intercepted

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Earlier today, Immigration officials were notified that a vessel carrying 396 unlawful entrants from the Republic of Haiti was intercepted in the vicinity of Cay Sal by the United States Coastguard.

The Ministry of Health’s surveillance team has been notified and the customary screenings will be conducted.

In anticipation of an increase in migrant interceptions, last month the Department of Immigration in collaboration with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force completed work on a temporary processing and detention facility in Inagua. This facility can temporarily house in excess of 800 persons.

The intercepted migrants are presently en route to Inagua where they will be handed over to Defence Force and Immigration personnel. Additional officers and supplies will be provided by HMBS Lawrence Major which was dispatched from the Defence Force Coral Harbour Base this afternoon.

Through its law enforcement agencies and international partners, The Bahamas Government continues to work assiduously and continually to address the irregular migration problem. The Department of Immigration is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the intercepted migrants are repatriated as quickly as possible.

The Bahamas maintains an organised system to allow for the lawful entry and orderly processing of applications for lawful entry into The Bahamas. This is the only process by which persons should enter The Bahamas. Persons entering or remaining in The Bahamas outside our laws will be returned to their home countries. A further update will be provided to the public as soon as more details become available.