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44 Cubans, 11 Americans picked up

  • Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers apprehended 44 Cubans and 11 Americans yesterday. Photo: Ahvia J. Campbell

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Jan 06, 2017

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The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) apprehended 44 Cubans and 11 Americans yesterday.

Senior Lieutenant Clinton Johnson said 12 Cubans were found on the Cay Sal Bank.

“While on the Cay Sal Bank, we started a search of the Anguilla Cays,” Johnson told reporters yesterday.

“After conducting the search, we came across eight more Cuban nationals which we added to the count that we had.

“Once we completed the transfer of persons from [the Anguilla Cays], we went back to Cay Sal to conduct another search and then we proceeded to Elbow Cay.

“On our way to Elbow Cay, we intercepted two American fishing vessels that were in our waters illegally.

“We took those boats back with us to Elbow Cay.

“We conducted a search of Elbow Cay where we found 24 more Cuban nationals.

“We then escorted those two American fishing boats into Bimini and we made our way back to Nassau with the 44 Cuban nationals.

“There were 11 Americans. Six were on one boat and five were on another.”

The immigrants were turned over to immigration officials.

Johnson said the RBDF marines do their best with limited resources.

“The challenge we face is that there is a lot of real estate to cover and we have limited resources, but we try to utilize it the best we can,” he said.

“We have threats on both borders.

“Haitians often come up from the south and Cubans come up basically from the eastern side.

“To cover that amount of real estate with the vessels that we have is a constant challenge.

“... We are pulled in a lot of different directions trying to deal with the various different tasks the RBDF has, but the new ships we have help us to cover the ground a lot better than we did before.”

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