396 Haitian migrants detained near Bahamas
The U.S. Coast Guard has detained a boat carrying 396 Haitian migrants near the Bahamas in one of the biggest human smuggling incidents in the region, Bahamian officials said.
The migrants were detained close to the far-flung Cay Sal island located between Florida and Cuba, immigration officials in the Bahamas said in a statement Sunday.
They said the migrants will be processed on the Bahamian island of Inagua and later repatriated.
Nicole Groll, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman, told The Associated Press on Monday that the interdiction happened Saturday afternoon and involved a 50-foot boat.
“It was grossly overloaded and very much unsafe,” she said.
No further details were immediately available.
Thousands of Haitians are fleeing a spike in gang violence and deepening political instability in a country that currently has no democratically elected institutions.