Thirty-three Haitian nationals caught at Hole in the Wall
Written by: Canishka Alexander
31 Aug, 2012
On August 10, thirty three illegal Haitian nationals were caught at Hole in The Wall. Among the thirty three captured, two were females. According to Immigration Superintendent for Abaco, Arneth Rolle-Hannah, the immigrants left from Port au Paix, Haiti on August 5. When found five days later, they were in fairly good condition with one or two persons suffering from dehydration.
Later that afternoon, Immigration officers took them to the Marsh Harbour International Airport to transport them to the Detention Center in Nassau.
By August 12, officers from the Marsh Harbour Police Station and the Department of Immigration joined efforts to arrest another thirty five Haitian immigrants.
According to Sgt. Troy Knowles of the Marsh Harbour Police Station, they received an anonymous call around 8:30 a.m. regarding a vessel headed toward Bakers Creek with Haitian nationals aboard. When officers arrived on the scene located between Bustick Bight and east of Leisure Lee, persons began fleeing into the bushes. They soon observed a white sailboat pulling away from the shoreline and heading north toward the Guana Cay Channel.
During their search, police and immigration officers apprehended nineteen migrants: fifteen males and four females. Among the females found, there was one who was six months pregnant. Fortunately, no children were discovered.
The illegal immigrants were first transferred to the police station and subsequently turned over to the Dept. of Immigration. Sgt. Knowles said that the search continued at Bakers Creek for more illegal persons, and another sixteen were discovered. There were ten males and six more females found.
“Based on information received from persons who would have seen this boat going into the Bakers Creek area is that the boat was smoking at the time and appeared to have been fully loaded with at least 60-80 persons on board,” he revealed. “So right now there’s still an outstanding amount of persons either in the bush areas or who’ve already been picked up.”
Sgt. Knowles said that several persons were dehydrated after travelling on board the vessel, which had left Haiti since August 8 arriving on Abaco at 7 a.m. that morning. Their search also uncovered bags of clothing and identification cards.
Sgt. Knowles thanked all officers involved in the apprehension of the illegal Haitian nationals as well as the public for their assistance of food and water for the migrants.
Three Bahamian males of Haitian descent were arrested in reference to this matter, and they are assisting police with the investigation. No charges have been brought against them at this time.