Ricardo Don-Hue Gardiner, Minster of Border Control and Labour, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Government, said:
“I am pleased to announced that we have already apprehended four illegal immigrants who attempted to gain access to the TCI in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday, 17 February 2015. Their sloop, which could have held 30-40 persons, whom we are presuming were illegal Haitian migrants, came ashore on the Island of Providenciales at approximately 2.00am today.
“TCI immigration and police officers are on the scene, in the vicinity Five Cays Beach, and are continuing to search of the local area for these illegal migrants which will see them apprehended and repatriated in due course. I would take this opportunity to thank our immigration and police officers for their work in swiftly catching these four people, who will help us with our enquiries before being repatriated. This search for others will clearly include those areas of the TCI which are already home to legal Haitian migrants and further afield across the Islands.
“It is a matter of some concern to me that this vessel was not identified by our coastal radar station, which has previously enjoyed significant success in helping us track suspicious vessels, to apprehend, and to send home, hundreds of would be illegal immigrants from Haiti over the past two years. It is a disappointing to have this fine record tarnished in the manner. I will, of course, be investigating why this happened and will report further on this at a later time - our focus for the moment must understandably be upon the pursuit of those who arrived here illegally this morning.
“Both the TCI Governor and I have made several representations to the Haitian authorities, including their Consul-General here in the TCI, to do more to prevent their nationals travelling here illegally. We will continue to maintain this pressure.
"Anyone with information can contact the Police anonymously on 911 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1-800-8477. Tips can also be submitted anonymously in English, French or Spanish on either www.crimestoppers.tc or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.”