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Boat with 140 Haitian Migrants Intercepted

A photo released by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force shows some of the migrants travelling on an intercepted boat heading for the TCI.

A boat transporting 140 Haitian migrants was intercepted Monday Morning, March 11th, 2024, in a collaborative between the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The interception was carried out by the Bahamas vessel HMBS LL Smith, with support from members of the Turks and Caicos Regiment and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force serving as ship riders.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Specialist Tactical Operation) Mat Newton provided details of the operation, stating that information from the United States Coast Guard had alerted authorities to an illegal sloop heading towards the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The intercepted vessel was carrying 121 males (including two minors) and 19 females (including two minors).

Following the successful interception, the irregular migrants were brought ashore to Providenciales for processing by the Immigration Task Force.

Assistant Commissioner Newton emphasized the commitment of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) to collaborate with regional and international partners to dismantle operations orchestrated by unscrupulous individuals.

Expressing gratitude for the diligence and professionalism of the HMBS LL Smith's crew, Assistant Commissioner Newton highlighted the ongoing partnership aimed at safeguarding territorial waters and borders. The cooperation is facilitated by the TCI-Bahamas Shiprider Agreement, which allows ship riders from the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas to board each other's law enforcement vessels or aircraft.

Under the Shiprider Agreement, these officers are empowered to enforce laws related to people trafficking, illegal migration, narcotics or firearms trafficking, and unregulated fishing in the respective territories.


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