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Turks and Caicos Intercepts Boat Carrying 115 Migrants from Haiti

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 20, 2013

Above: Turks and Caicos

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A boat carrying 115 migrants from Haiti was intercepted by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Marine Branch on Tuesday morning, the government announced.

The passengers, which included 86 men and 29 women, were attempting to enter the TCI “illegally and without regard for immigration laws or regulations,” according to a statement.

“The Ministry of Border Control and Labour and the RTCI Police Force are keen on sending a strong message of zero tolerance to any individual(s) attempting to enter the Turks and Caicos Islands illegally,” the Ministry said in a statement. “In that regard, any of the above mentioned passengers identified as repeat offenders, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Ministry also said anyone proven to be involved in human trafficking would be liable on summary conviction, to a fine of $15,000 or a three-year prison term.

“It is the commitment of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands to maintain protection of its borders and to unequivocally demonstrate the resolve to ensure that safe haven will not be afforded to those who attempt to circumvent normal immigration procedures,” it said.

The government said arrangements to repatriate the migrants are “at an advanced stage” and should be completed by the end of this week.

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