Cubans arrested over illegal landing

| 02/10/2008

(CNS): The Department of Immigration said that officers from its Enforcement Section arrested three Cuban nationals for the offence of illegal entry during an operation on Wednesday night (1 October). Immigration said the Cubans were arrested without incident and requested to be returned to Cuba, but did not say whether the three claimed asylum.

Immigration also said that further investigations revealed that the three men were part of a group of Cubans who stopped at Grand Cayman enroute to Honduras on 29 September.

 “The arrest of these Cuban nationals highlights the need for continued vigilance when Cuban vessels arrive in the Islands,” said Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, who pointed out that it is an offence for members of the public to assist or connive in the illegal landing of persons and stated that his department will investigate to determine if members of the public played a part in the three Cuban nationals illegally landing in the Islands.

The Immigration Law sets tough penalties for assisting a person to land illegally in the Islands, including a fine of $50,000 or imprisonment for up to seven years.

Although eyewitnesses reported to CNS that a group of Cubans were offered some assistance when they landed at Spotts Beach, they also reported that the Cubans went on their way.

Officials stated that 12 other  Cuban migrants, whose vessel arrived off Cayman Brac earlier this week, are still sheltering there from inclement weather but that they intend to soon continue their sea journey to Honduras.


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