On Monday evening, around 80 Haitian migrants were apprehended by Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marines. They were responding to reports of the migrants’ illegal landfall from earlier in the day.
The RBDF marines intercepted a Haitian sailing sloop near the top of the Exuma chain. The 40-ft vessel was in the waters a few miles west of Beacon Cay.
Authorities found about 80 Haitian migrants on board, who were then transported to the capital and turned over to immigration officials.
This isn’t the first time illegal migrants have been caught around Exuma. In January, the RBDF apprehended nearly 100 illegal migrants in three separate incidents. This was around the time of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ deadline for illegal immigrants to leave the country. They had a choice of leaving voluntarily, face deportation or apply for legal status.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has been doubling down on their patrols of the waters. Their new security strategies are in an effort to crack down on people engaging in drug, human, gun, and wildlife smuggling. They’re also trying to crack down on poaching of marine resources by both local and foreign fishermen.