#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 12, 2018 – Three planes loaded with illegal Haitian migrants were arriving at the Providenciales International Airport tonight from Grand Turk as 38 new migrants were captured, with the huge help of the US Coast Guard.
Thirty-six years after the start of Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, aka, OpBAT – the US Coast Guard continues to prove itself a valuable partner in foiling illegal boat landings and this time 38 people were found circling Grand Turk around 9:55 a.m., Saturday.
The 29 males and nine females were brought to shore by joint forces including the Turks and Caicos Islands Police and the Immigration Department. After processing, the group boarded three special flights – two nine seater aircraft and one 19-seater bound for Provo from Grand Turk; the illegal Haitians will be held at the detention center and eventually repatriated.
Police media liaison officer, Takara Bain, said while they too have heard reports of an illegal landing on Thursday and another on Friday, the boat intercepted Saturday morning was the only confirmed unauthorized vessel detected in Turks and Caicos waters.
Magnetic Media was on the scene when the migrants landed at PIA; they were escorted, by officers in an orderly fashion, directly from the first two planes to a waiting bus.
Images of the scene at sea were provided by members of the public.
By: Deandrea Hamilton