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Marine Branch Intercepts Illegal Migrant Vessels

The Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force intercepts two vessels transporting illegal migrants in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to the information arm of the police force, both vessels were detected and reported by the Coastal Radar Station, resulting in what they described as ‘swift responses’ by both the Sea Guardian and Sea Protector vessels.

“One of the illegal vessels, which was intercepted at 2:20 am, refused to adhere to instructions issued by police officers to stop. Officers engaged a number of tactical maneuvers forcing the illegal vessel to stop,” the report said.

The report added: “The vessel, a dark blue fiber-glass 27ft was powered by two outboard engines and was transporting 44 illegal migrants, (comprising) 34 males and 10 females.

“The vessel was subsequently towed into South Dock where the illegal migrants were handed over to the Immigration Task Force. The vessel was handed over to Customs officials.”

The police said the second interception took place around 5:35am, in the vicinity of the Caicos Marina and Shipyard.

One hundred and seventeen illegal migrants – comprising 93 males and 22 females were taken of the boat, the police said. They were later handed over to the Immigration Task Force.

Commenting on the interceptions, Acting Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams thanked those involved in the operation for what he described as their their ‘yeoman service’ in ensuring the borders of the TCI remain protected.

“This is indeed great work exhibited by officers of the RTCIPF alongside our local teams and international law enforcement partners. This is a classic example of coordinated teamwork and the results of such,” Adams said.

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