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Posted: Tuesday 22 October, 2019 at 1:20 PM

Haitians handed over to Immigration Department

By: Stanford Conway,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE 15 Haitians, who this media house had yesterday (Oct. 22) published were in police custody, have since been handed over to the Immigration Department


    According to a police press release, officers had responded to a report some time after 6:00 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 20) that a group of persons had been found in the Bird Rock area claiming that their boat had capsized.
    As a result, 15 nationals of Haiti – 13 men and two women – were taken into custody and, yesterday, the police handed them and their documents over to the Immigration Department.
    The release stated that Head of the Immigration Department, Merclyn Hughes, disclosed that each individual would receive a medical checkup. 

    “She also stated that while her Department was taking the lead in investigating this matter, they would also be working along closely with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard,” it added.
    The police are asking persons with information regarding this matter to call the Immigration Department at 465-8470, the nearest police station or the Crime Hotline at 707.

    The police release lacked some very vital information, which have resulted in more questions than answers.

    Among those questions are:
    How close to the Shores of St. Kitts did the boat capsize?
    Was it in the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea?
    How did the occupants get to Bird Rock?
    Were the captain and crew members (if any) among the 15 Haitians?
    Was the capsized boat located?
    To where were the boat and its occupants headed?
    If they are refugees and knowing that Haiti is among the CARICOM Member States, will they be offered sanctuary or deported?
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