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Dozens of illegal migrants captured

Authorities believe more at large

Twenty-eight migrants were captured by authorities yesterday, some of whom were believed to have sailed on a sloop that landed illegally on the shoreline of Adelaide Village on Saturday, according to authorities.

A team of over 70 defense force and immigration officers scoured New Providence in search of the undocumented migrants, going door-to-door in key areas such as Rock Crusher, Chippingham, Adelaide and Carmichael.

The widescale search led officers into bushes to two shantytowns off Carmichael Road.

Several undocumented migrants were found hiding.

One man was found holed up in a closet of a small home in one of the shantytowns.

He resisted arrest, but was taken in despite the effort.

Others who were captured, such as a woman with a small child, were escorted by officers to an awaiting immigration bus without objection.

A total of two children were taken in.

During the roundups in another shantytown, a woman took off running.

Officers later discovered that she ran to retrieve her documents.

Solomon Clarke, officer in charge of yesterday’s immigration operation, said the scope of the search went beyond those who landed on Saturday.

The 28 migrants were transferred to the Carmichael Road Detention Center.

According to Kirklyn Neely, who heads the Department of Immigration’s Enforcement Unit, the migrants captured included Haitians, Jamaicans and Columbian nationals.

The empty sloop, which was a hairbreadth away from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) base, was large enough to carry between 150 and 250 people, according to authorities.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames insisted yesterday that law enforcement cannot stop 100 percent of illicit activity in The Bahamas.

“It doesn’t happen in any country this world over,” he said.

“If it happened, then we would not have an immigration problem.

“The thing is how can we learn from this?

“That ought to be the discussion, not who we beat up.”

Ultimately, Dames said his ministry must drive intelligence, something he said has been lacking for too long.

The illegal landing comes weeks after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Minnis said all illegal migrants have until December 31 to become regularized or be “aggressively pursued and deported”.

Authorities will continue their search for additional migrants, Clarke noted.


Dames: Impossible to cover entire nation

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