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Persons Detained after Two Migrant Boats Intercepted

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) Marine Branch Intercepted two migrant vessels as they attempted to land on Providenciales on Saturday evening.

Th e two vessel originated in the poverty-stricken Haiti.

According to reports, at around 11pm, the first vessel, a small fast boat was intercepted off Bone Fish Point but was non-compliant with the instructions of the Marine Branch Officers.

The police said despite all reasonable efforts to get the boat to stop, its captain still tried to elude the authorities, but ran aground in shallow waters.

“However, during the pursuit, the boats (police and migrant) were close to coming into contact with each other and, at that point 12 migrants jumped from the migrant boat onto the Police Vessel.

“It is not known how many other migrants made it ashore but earlier this morning (Sunday) at high tide the vessel was recovered, and one female was with the boat. It was clear she needed medical attention,” the police release said.

The police said sometime after 6a.m. Sunday, a larger vessel was intercepted and brought under control south of Providenciales, and 83 persons were detained and brought into South Dock and handed over to Immigration colleagues.

Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting was pleased with the efforts of the police.

“This was a challenging night for the border protection agencies on the TCI. I must commend our first line of defence, our colleagues in the Coast Radar Station, who detected both vessels, which allowed the RTCIPF boats to be able to respond effectively,” Commissioner Botting said in a statement.

He added: “Whilst the first vessel was non-compliant and eventually ran aground in shallow water, 13 persons were detained. The professionalism and skill of the RTCIPF Marine Branch captains and crew yet again ensured that our officers and our vessel remained safe and all that could have been done was done in attempting to stop the vessel.

File photo of a a Haitian migrant boat laden with passengers.

“The second vessel was intercepted, and 83 persons detained without incident. The public should be reassured that our border protection agencies are “working collaboratively and diligently to protect the TCI Border in the most challenging of circumstances. I commend and thank the staff from the Coastal Radar Station and my Marine Branch Officers for the difficult job they do every day, night after night.”



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