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9668: Haitians Apprehended in Bahamian Waters (fwd)
From: Daniel Schweissing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Released Saturday, November 17, 2001 at 09:59 am EST by Perry Scavella
By PERRY SCAVELLA
Guardian Staff Reporter
Royal Bahamas Defence officials reported that 106 males and 21 females
were discovered on board a
40-foot vessel in Bahamian waters, 20 miles west of Hall Pond Cay in the
Exuma chains. According
to RBDF reports the immigrants were at sea for six days and showed signs
of dehydration .
They were transported to the Coral Harbour Base in New Providence, where
they were released into
the custody of Immigration officials who transferred them to the Detention
Centre, Carmichael Road,
for further processing.
In an interview Vernon Burrows, Director of Immigration, said that prior
to the capture of these
illegal immigrants, 164 Haitians national were repatriated on Tuesday and
another 114 Haitian
nationals were repatriated on Wednesday. He explained that despite the
efforts of the Immigration
Department, unless the economic efforts in Haiti changes for the better
there is nothing they could
"People will continue to risk their lives in search of a better way of
life," Burrows said.
He noted that a repatriation excercise would take place next Tuesday.
According to immigration officials, approximately 260 illegal immigrants,
this includes the 127
immigrants captured, are detained at the Centre with Haitians immigrants
making up the majority of
the population. There are 17 different nationalities in total at the
Centre. They include: 163 Haitians;
45 Cubans; 20 Jamaicans; seven Chinese; and five Serra Leoneans. In
addition there are three
Dominicans, three South Africans; two Ghanians, Nigerians, and
Ecuadorians; and one Kenyan,
Gambian, Nicaraguan, St Vincent, Peruvian, American, and Swailand. In
total at the Centre there are
111 males, 47 females, and two children.
Last Tuesday, 66 Haitian nationals on board a 70-foot vessel were captured
in rough waters South
of Gordon's, Long Island by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
According to RBDF officials the 52-men, 11 women and three children were
detained at the
Community Centre in Clarence Town, Long Island where they were transported
to the Detention
Centre in New Providence and later repatriated to Haiti.
According to U.S. paper, The Herald, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide last Tuesday visited
a sea side area in Haiti where it was reported that hundreds of shacks
were burned down and gangs
have been battling for control of the area. According to reports President
Aristide went to victims in
the burnt area to promise them that his government would spend about
$50,000 to help them
With the arrival of illegal immigrants in the Bahamas, the large majority
being Haitian nationals,
Immigration officials revealed that each repatriation cost The Bahamas
about $30,000, plus five to
seven dollars per day to feed and house them at the Detention Centre on
Earl Deveaux, Minister of Labour and Immigration revealed in March that
The Bahamas has spent
approximately, $422,000 for the first three months of this year in
repatriating over 2,000 persons.
Additionally, Director of Immigration Vernon Burrows noted that in 2000,
5,801 persons of diverse
nationalities were repatriate to their respective countries at a cost of
CAPTION: The Royal Bahamas Defence Force captures 127 illegal Haitian
immigrants on a 40-foot
vessel 20 miles west of Hall Pond Cay in the Exuma chains around 3:30 a.m.
Friday. Pictured RBDF
officers escorting the illegal Haitian immigrants off patrol craft HMBS
Inagua at the Coral Harbour
Base. RBDF photo by Leading Seamen Mark Armbrister.
Copyright (c) 2001 by Nassau Guardian
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