Defence Headquarters, 11 MAR. ‘24 (RBDF) One hundred and forty (140) Haitian migrants were intercepted by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force on March 11, 2024, in waters off Turks and Caicos Islands.

While on routine patrol, HMBS Bahamas under the command of Commander Alexis Brown was diverted by RBDF Operations Command Center to investigate a report of a Haitian Sailing Vessel leaving Haiti in route to Turks and Caicos Islands shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2024.   

Shortly after noon on Monday, March 11, 2024, the vessel was located a blue and red wooden sailing vessel at position 241 degrees White Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands.

A routine search of the vessel uncovered 121 males and 19 females. The occupants were apprehended and transported to South Dock Providenciales where they will be turned over to Immigration Officials for further processing and investigation.

In 2021, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos solidified their collaboration by signing a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU). This agreement, coupled with the Shiprider initiative, serves to establish a robust framework for joint efforts in border control, intelligence sharing, training, coordinated operations, and harmonized strategies to combat various illegal activities, including irregular migrant movements, human trafficking, IUU fishing, narcotic drug trafficking, and firearms trafficking. This collective effort operates within the bounds of international law and optimizes law enforcement resources and priorities.

The effectiveness of this strategic partnership was vividly demonstrated through a significant joint operation. In July 2023, resulting in the interception of a 40ft HSV carrying approximately 189 Haitian Nationals near the Turks and Caicos Islands. Subsequently, in August 2023, another successful operation led to the apprehension of an additional 145 Haitian migrants. These achievements underscore the tangible outcomes and efficacy of the Shiprider agreement in enhancing maritime security and combatting illicit activities within the region.

This latest interdiction of 140 Haitian Migrants, highlights the effectiveness of the MOU between The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. This success underscores the MOU’s role in enhancing regional cooperation and maritime security.

Amidst the ongoing turmoil in Haiti, Commodore Raymond King has taken decisive action by announcing the implementation of a southern Bahamas blockade. This strategic initiative involves deploying six surface vessels, one aircraft, and 120 highly skilled RBDF personnel. Patrol operations will concentrate on key areas, including the northern coast of Haiti, the Old Bahama Channel, and the Windward Passage, aiming to thwart any unauthorized entry attempts and uphold maritime security in the region.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial integrity of The Bahamas by maintaining a continued presence in keeping our borders secured through partnerships with local and international agencies.

Need Help? Send a WhatsApp message now

Click one of our representatives below

Public Relations
Public Relations

Media Assistance

We're Online

We're Offline

Operations 24/7
Operations 24/7

We're Available