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Dozens of illegal Haitian migrants discovered in St Martin


From Caribbean News Now

MARIGOT, St Martin — Police officers of French border control, Police aux Frontières (PAF), who suspected trafficking of migrants in Marigot Bay in the French part of the island of St Martin/St Maarten), discovered during a control operation conducted with support of Customs and the gendarmerie, that 52 illegal migrants, mostly of Haitian nationality (28 men, 17 women and 7 children), were piled on board a catamaran with a capacity of 12 people, which was anchored in the bay.

The three crew members, two Dutch – a man and a woman – as well as a St Lucian, all three residents on the island, were arrested and confessed to participating in human trafficking for money. Accused of belonging to organized gang and endangerment of others, they were due to appear in court on Friday in Basse-Terre, HaitiLibre reported.

According to the migrants’ testimony, gathered by the deputy prosecutor, the crew was to take them to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and some had to stay in St Martin. The price paid varied between US$1,000 and 7,000 per person.

The illegal migrants were asked to leave French territory, but no deportation proceedings were launched, the deputy prosecutor noted.

IMAGE: Marigot, St Martin. Photo: Zerokarma/Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

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