On the 28th December 2020, at approximately 3:07 am 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 (Sea Guardian) in our territorial waters approximately four (4) miles off the coast of Providenciales.

The vessel, approximately twenty-five (25) feet long, was subsequently tugged to South Dock, Providenciales by the Marine Branch and individuals were handed over to the Immigration Department’s Enforcement Unit and Ministry of Health’s Public Health officials for immediate medical assessment and transportation to the Detention Center, Five Cays, for processing. Other supporting agencies including the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Tactical team and Ports Authority were available to assist

A total of twenty-six (26) individuals were on the vessel inclusive of eighteen (18) males and eight (8) females.

This interception over the weekend brings the number of persons arriving on illegal migrant vessels for this Fiscal Year to nine hundred and sixty-eight (968) individuals.  Also, nine (9) vessels were successfully intercepted from April – December 2020.

Hon. Vaden D. Williams, Minister responsible for the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services, stated that he would like to thank his team within the Ministry as well as all the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force for the continued hard work and dedication they display in protecting the Turks and Caicos Islands borders.

The Minister went on to say that persons living here who have information about this type of illegal activity to please come forward and provide information that can assist us in eradicating this ongoing problem as it is very costly to the Turks and Caicos Island, as well as to prevent persons from taking this very dangerous journey.

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 or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.