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7 J’cans among 14 held by US Coast Guard in Florida


FLORIDA, United States (CMC) – Seven Jamaicans were among 14 Caribbean nationals suspected of involvement in a human smuggling venture off the south coast of Florida, who were held by the United States Coast Guard last week, it was reported yesterday.

According to coast guard officials, the suspects – two Bahamians, seven Jamaicans, two Haitians and four from the Dominican Republic – were nabbed last Wednesday in a 29-foot vessel about five miles off West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Some passengers were brought ashore for further investigation of potential criminal charges by Homeland Security Investigations, and the remaining passengers were repatriated to the Bahamas Friday,” the coast guard said in a statement.

The US Coast Guard said a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (CBP AMO) aircraft notified Coast Guard Station Miami watchstanders of the suspected smuggling vessel about 12:20 am.

“Wednesday’s case spotlights the great work done every day by Air and Marine and our DHS (Department of Homeland Security) partners,” said John Priddy, executive director of the AMO Southeast Region. “With our integrated operations, we get the job done and protect our homeland.”

Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said crews have interdicted 78 Bahamians, eight Jamaicans, 182 Haitians, 194 Dominican Republicans compared to fiscal year 2020, October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020, in which crews interdicted 194 Bahamians, four Jamaicans, 418 Haitians and 1,117 Dominican Republicans.

 

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