The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services and the Immigration Department, is pleased to announce the departure from the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) of five (5) Sri Lankan nationals to their home country.

The five persons, originally part of a group of twenty-nine, were intercepted by Officers of the Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force on 19th October 2019, while seeking to enter the TCI illegally, aboard a Haitian sloop.

The departure of this group follows that of an another group of six (6) that departed the Islands as part of an ongoing investigation in May 2020, and an Indian national returned to India, late December 2020. The group of five arrived in their home country today 8th April 2021, and are currently in quarantine at a designated hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister responsible for Immigration, in his comments on the matter, stated that he wants to thank all those involved in this exercise and he named a few: The Director, Derek Been, and the Immigration Department in particular Assistant Director of Immigration, Peter Parker; Senior Immigration Officer, Paul Lewis; the Enforcement Unit of the Immigration Dept.; the Police and the International Organization of Migration (IOM), Jamaica.

Hon. Musgrove further encouraged persons involved in illegal migration to cease this illegal behavior, as they will be caught and prosecuted.

With the departure of these five persons, a total of sixteen (16) Sri Lankans remain in the TCI awaiting outcome of their applications for asylum.

Three of these cases are currently with the Governor's Office for consideration on appeal, after being refused by the previous Minister of Immigration.