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Immigrants paid $5K each, left at sea by captain

Marine police on patrol in BVI (File photo)

Marine police on patrol in BVI (File photo)

BVI News Online has been informed that the captain of the vessel rescued with 20 people near Virgin Gorda last week may have abandoned the boat, and that each of the persons aboard had paid up to US$5,000 for the trip.

They were traveling from St Maarten to the US Virgin Islands – the same route that was being traversed in July by another vessel that apparently capsized, resulting in some 15 people still being lost at sea.

All of the missing persons are said to be Cubans.

Cubans also made up the overwhelming majority of the 20 persons rescued last week by law enforcement agencies from the British Virgin Islands. Three are Haitians.

“Investigation so far indicate that each of them may have paid up to US$5,000 for the trip to the US Virgin Islands, but ended up here by accident,” said an official close to the developments.

The 20 people rescued – including a male child and three women – are being held at a guest house in Road Town.

BVI News Online understands that local law enforcers received a telephone call last week, informing them that there was a vessel in difficulty at sea.

When they arrived at the location about 7pm on September 8, they spotted the 20 people in a fiberglass motor vessel close to Virgin Gorda.

“From all indications, the captain had left the boat to purchase fuel, but never returned for almost an entire day,” added the official who requested anonymity.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

12 Comments

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  1. sloppy says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    we only hear about the vessels that have sloppy planning and get caught. Its quite probable that the majority get thru…with either people or drug smuggling!

  2. hmmmm says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    i dont know…if i could save $5000 i would be doing fineeee!!!

  3. Just says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    Another example of unadulterated greed. They should be made to repay the moneys that they have caused the BVI for their “rescue” including room and board and gone way departure ticket.

  4. Bandit says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Thank You BVI for stopping them before they made it to St. Thomas

  5. Sensi says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Human smuggling has been a problem for quite some time now. Most of these people have sold everything they have to gather funds to pay to illegally enter into another country, mainly seeking a better life for themselves and their families. It’s quite disheartening to see that someone will endanger their lives and the lives of others for a quick payday.

  6. hmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    First they need to find the greedy bastard that deceived these people.
    He should be made to pay all the fines plus reimburse these people their money.
    This is real wickedness. How can you leave people out there in a boat with a child for an entire day?

  7. Sulet says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    please let these people go their way, their fate was not come to these islands but continue to San Thomas to seek political asylum in the United States as have many countries in the world let them go their destiny as not to that place where they want to go, my husband is one of those people and only eat once a day and are completely cut off, please let them follow not know what it takes to be wounded there, only to escape a tyranny and realize their dreams

  8. yaneilis says:

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    the information is not entirely true. Cubans are prisoners in a prison not in a guest house and are not giving any attention by the department of emigration.

    They are treating them as criminals for 2 weeks. families call each day for their human rights.

    We ask to be let go on bail because they can not be criminal prisoners. please .if will give a news, verify it is true. we seek support

  9. Yoly says:

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    The relatives of the 17 Cuban immigrants who are in the Majesty’s Prison at Balsam Ghut since September 8th, we ask the competent authorities to verify the procedure to follow by the Department of Immigration since so far no official has approached the group of immigrants to meet their right to seek political asylum. It is unfair and illegal to imprison human beings who have committed no crime. On this island there is no detention center for immigrants and therefore they leave them forgotten in a common prison indefinitely in subhuman conditions, without communication, without clothes to change. The meal consists of two loaves of bread in the morning and two in the afternoon.
    The families call daily and no one answer the phone, calls does not go through, they do not any information to the families. We headed to the local press as neither the office of Immigration and Prison want to attend the calls we do every day to know until when they think they will have retained this group of immigrants, we demand the immediate release and allowed them to await the response of free asylum, the family members are willing to cover all expenses of our family on this island.

    Cuban immigrants are not criminals, they do not deserve to be in a common prison, many of them are good professionals, including some teachers, doctors…artists..their destiny was not this island, they accidentally came because they were abandoned at sea … this group only seeks freedom and a life say we can not have in our country, Cuba.

    Enough of violating human rights … they can not put in jail people who have not committed any crime … please help us to release our sons and husbands now..Thanks …
    !!! Liberty for the 17 Cuban immigrants !!!

    Relatives of the 17 Cubans imprisoned in Tortola.

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