They arrest 10 Haitians and 2 Dominicans when trying to reach Puerto Rico

Ten Haitians and two Dominicans were detained earlier this week by the US Coast Guard after being detained by the agency while trying to arrive illegally in Puerto Rico, it was reported this Thursday.

The arrest of the ten Haitians, seven men and three women, and the two Dominicans, who were identified as smugglers from the trip, took place in the Mona Channel, near Isla de Mona, an islet west of Puerto Rico, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

As the agency explained, it was last Sunday when, during a preventive surveillance by US Border Patrol (CBP) agents, a suspicious vessel was sighted five nautical miles (9 kilometers) west of Mona Island.

Given this, the officers notified the sighting to agents of the Coast Guard in San Juan, whose dispatch then dispatched a boat, which reached the suspicious 25-foot (8-meter) vessel.

After their arrest, the group of immigrants was embarked by the agents, who gave them food, water, basic medical attention and shelter.

However, the group was later transferred to another Coast Guard vessel.

In addition to the detention of the immigrants, two other men of Dominican nationality who were traveling with the group were arrested for smuggling and handed over in Mayag├╝ez (west) to CBP officers from the Ramey Base, in Aguadilla (northwest).

The ten Haitian detainees were later sent to the Dominican Republic between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to then be repatriated by the Dominican authorities.

"For those who consider taking a risk on an illegal trip that crosses the Mona Passage, do not do so by sea."warned the commander of the Coast Guard in San Juan, Capt.Gregory H. Magee, in the statement.

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"They will be repatriated and returned to their country of origin or could face charges. These trips are dangerous and it is not worth risking your trip on them and even less putting it in the hands of smugglers, who do not value your safety or well-being.", Magee emphasized.


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