Suspected Boat Thieves/Smugglers Caught

The Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have apprehended two men on suspicion of boat theft and possible drug and/or human trafficking purpose.


The boat was reported stolen from a Leeward Marina dock on Sunday. Police found the vessel laden with huge jugs of gasoline and food supply after it run aground on a sandbank on the south-eastern end of Providenciales. The police reportedly apprehended the men as they tried to free the vessel.


The boat is said to be owned by a building contractor on Providenciales, who has been doing some work on Parrot Cay. It is reported that the captain of the boat, after returning from Parrot Cay on Sunday evening, docked the boat at the marina. However, on return Monday, found it missing from its location.


He reportedly contacted the contractor to query whether he had removed it. But the answer was no. The theft was reported to the police. The Marine Branch, which was later contacted, announced that the boat was in their possession, and two suspected thieves in custody.


NewslineTCI was informed that surveillance camera recorded the two men, dressed in black and decked out in masks, entered the premises before speeding away in the boat.


At the publishing of this article, the boat was still in the possession of the Marine Police. It is observed that the men may have obtained gained commandeering of the vessel by hotwiring it, as the ignition wires were found dislodged from its sockets.


Both engines on the vessel reportedly suffered damage.


“It appears that they stole the boat for either human trafficking or drug smuggling purpose,” a source told us.


In recent times, human traffickers have been applying a faster mode of transportation than their conventional sloop trafficking, as over the past few months, local authorities have apprehended engine boats packed with undocumented migrants mainly from Haiti.


On August 30, three Jamaicans were arrested after members of the Marine Branch intercepted a 21-foot blue and white vessel off Bay Cay. An undisclosed amount of cash was also seized.


It is unclear as to whether they were involved in human trafficking or drug smuggling.


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