Defence Headquarters, 1 July. ‘23 (RBDF): A joint operation involving the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, resulted in the interdiction of a 40ft HSV with approximately 189 Haitian Nationals onboard in waters near Turks and Caicos Island.

RBDF surface asset HMBS LL Smith along with 2 members of the Turks and Caicos Regiment and Police Forces onboard, made the interception of the 40ft wooden vessel on Saturday July 1 at approximately 1 pm. The 141 males, 46 females and 2 children all appeared to be in good health and will be turned over to the Turks and Caicos authorities for processing.

This interdiction serves as the first under the Ship Rider Agreement signed by both countries in 2022, and highlights the continued collaboration and partnership the two countries share. It is a legal arrangement between two countries that allows one country’s law enforcement personnel to board and operate on a vessel of the other country for specific law enforcement purposes, and typically involves a host country granting permission to a foreign country to have its law enforcement personnel, such as Coast Guard or Navy officers, embark on a vessel flying the flag of the host country in order to conduct activities related to maritime security, counter-narcotics operations, or other law enforcement operations.

It is the intent of Commodore Raymond E. King, to work more closely with local law enforcement agencies and regional partners through joint operations as well as information sharing as a force multiplier to address current and potential challenges. The RBDF remains committed to guarding our heritage.

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