INTERCEPTION – OCTOBER 16, 2020

On the 16th October 2010, at approximately 2:45 pm, an illegal Haitian migrant vessel was spotted by the Coastal Radar Unit and subsequently intercepted by the Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force in our territorial waters just off the coast of Providenciales.

At approximately 4:54 am, the Marine branch arrived at the South Dock port where these individuals were handed over to the Immigration Department’s Enforcement Unit and Public Health officials for immediate medical assessment and transportation to the Detention Center, Five Cays, for processing.

A total of fifty-four (54) individuals were on the vessel inclusive of forty-four (44) males, nine (9) females and one (1) minor.

Agencies that were present included the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Tactical team, Ministry of Health’s Public Health team, Ports Authority team and Immigration Department’s Enforcement Unit.

All the detainees will be repatriated to Haiti on Saturday, 17th October 2020. During the course of the day, the Immigration Enforcement Unit will be conducting investigations of the detainees with a view to possibly charging persons who are suspected to be responsible for facilitating this trip.

The interception this morning brings the number of persons arriving on illegal migrant vessels for this Fiscal Year to 934 individuals.  Also, eight (8) vessels were successfully intercepted for the April – October 2020.

Spend related to detention and repatriation total US$1,206,947.48 as of October 11, 2020 for the fiscal year 2020/21.

Hon. Vaden D. Williams, Minister responsible for the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services, following the successful interception of the vessel early this morning stated that he would like to once again thank his team within the Ministry as well as the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Marine Branch for their continued diligence and commitment in stopping these illegal migrations. The Minister went on to say that it is very unfortunately that individuals continue to risk their lives travelling on over-crowded vessel to attempt to come here illegally. The Minister re-iterated once again that persons living here and have information about these illegal activities, to please come forward and provide information that can assist the TCI in eradicating this problem as it places a serious drain on the economy.

The public is also requested to continue to provide the Immigration Department and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force with tips or any information related to this or any other illegal landing. We also encourage the general public to submit information or tips anonymously in English, French or Spanish on either to www.crimestoppers.tc or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.