On Saturday morning, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force was successful in apprehending a Haitian sailing sloop attempting to gain entrance into the southern Bahamas.

HMBS LEON SMITH, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Stephen Rolle, was on patrol in the southern Bahamas when it intercepted, boarded and subsequently detained the vessel some 30 miles southwest of Great Inagua. The vessel which originated from Île de la Tortue, Haiti, had a total of 87 migrants – (72 males 12 females and 3 children) onboard. .

The vessel was sighted and reported to the Defence Force’s Operations Command Center by a USCG fixed wing asset which was also operating in the area resulting in the apprehension by HMBS LEON SMITH. The Defence Force has been involved in the apprehension of 1,200 migrants mostly Haitian nationals for the year.

They will be turned over to the relevant authorities for further processing.

This latest apprehension is in keeping with the Commander Defence Forces’s continued commitment to maximixe use of resources to monitor our marine and coastal territory to prevent poachers, trafficking and smuggling of people, wildlife and illicit goods through our borders. Updates will follow as information becomes available.

Photo shows: An Aerial view of migrants onboard Haitian sloop in the southern Bahamas.

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