Originally: Bahamian police arrest 48 Haitian immigrants

Bahamian police arrest 48 Haitian immigrants
19 août 2004
Source : Caribbean Media Corporation news agency, Bridgetown, in English 1830 gmt 18 Aug 04

Nassau, The Bahamas : The number of illegal Haitian migrants currently being held in detention in the Bahamas has risen to 194, with the arrest early [on] Tuesday [17 August] of close to 50 illegals caught fleeing their troubled homeland.

The group, comprising 45 men and three women – all undocumented Haitian nationals – was intercepted at sea aboard three 35-40ft vessels.

A press release issued from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) base on Wednesday stated that the officers were on a routine patrol in the Central Bahamas in their 60-foot vessel, HMBS Inagua, when they spotted the group in the vicinity of Elbow Cay, Exuma.

The incident occurred around 0200 [local time].

The illegal migrants, who according to the release appeared to be in good health, were arrested and taken to the RBDF Base where they told officers that they were at sea for four days.

This is the largest number of Haitian nationals to be apprehended at sea in several months, amid the ongoing political turmoil in Haiti.

The group was scheduled to be processed in preparation for their repatriation to Haiti.

Between the months of January to June, the Bahamas government says it has spent about 80,000 US dollars repatriating 980 persons, including 730 Haitians, 164 Jamaicans, 30 Cubans and others.