Coral Harbour Base, 09 DEC. ‘19 (RBDF): A joint maritime operation between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Police Force, Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos Islands (OPBAT), and the United States Coast Guard on Saturday past resulted in the apprehension of 39 Haitian nationals in the southern Bahamas.

The migrants (26 males, 13 females) were spotted on an isolated cay off the south eastern coast of Great Inagua earlier in the week. Because of the rocky terrain,  efforts to reach the migrants by land and sea proved difficult. However, a US helo was dispatched to assist in removing the migrants.

The migrants were eventually removed from the cay and turned over to Immigration officials in Inagua for further processing.

This is the second group of migrants to be caught in Bahamian waters within the past month. On November 8th, a total of 58 undocumented Haitian migrants were apprehended near Deadman’s Cay, Long Island aboard a 40-ft sloop. They have since been charged before the courts and repatriated.

The state of the art Kelvin Hughes long range coastal radar installed at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Base in Inagua has proven to be effective in the fight against illicit activities. There has also been an increased maritime presence by Defence Force assets with the support from the  USCG Aerial reconnaissance. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to defending the territorial integrity of The Bahamas.

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