BVI News

Accused smuggler claims engine trouble caused him to drift in BVI waters, court hears

Crawford Sabaroch — the 53-year-old Dominica native accused of smuggling nearly a dozen illegal immigrants in the territory days ago — reportedly told local law enforcers he encountered engine troubles and inadvertently drifted into BVI waters.

He is charged with being engaged in smuggling as well as illegal entry and was not made to plea during his virtual appearance before the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.


Allegations are that members of a joint task force were conducting border patrol duties on June 25 when they received a report and proceeded to Prickly Pear Island to investigate.

While en route to the island, the officers reportedly met with the accused alone on his vessel which was located north-west of the outer island.

It was during that encounter Sabaroch allegedly told the law enforcement officers he started experiencing engine trouble while at sea in St Barths and had been adrift since June 23.

When further questioned, he said he was unaware that the territory’s borders were closed.

Haitians found

Following their conversation with the accused man, police commenced a search of the said island and six persons from Haiti were found. They were found taking refuge in a generator room on the island, the court heard.

The following day, an additional search was done and four more individuals were found — two on Prickly Pear and another two on Leverick Bay in Virgin Gorda.

Alleged smuggler identified

The court heard that during the probe, one of the Haitians told the officers they were coming from St Martin and a white yacht dropped them in the territory.

The vessel was later identified and they were all taken into custody. The accused was not given bail because he has no status in the territory.

He will be placed on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison. Meanwhile, the 10 illegal immigrants are currently at Paradise Suites Hotel pending deportation.

Sabaroch, who is unrepresented, is scheduled to return to court on July 23.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Parent says:

    dey lie, to flipping lie.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  2. Yeah, yeah says:

    The fail engine defense is not going to work. He clucking like a wet rooster because he got caught… Is he one of those people responsible for bringing all kind of diseases into the BVI? G4 the new strain of swine flu is the next pandemic.

  3. Engine!? SAILBOAT says:

    This was a sailboat (I saw it). Your engine does not work – SAIL!!! This boy needs a good slap on the side of the head. Then send he home!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  4. Doh says:

    Easy to verify. Check the engine. Call his bluff.

    Meanwhile the belongers he [allegedly] smuggled in are walking around town already. Sigh.

  5. Desperate says:

    They should make him repay the Haitians their savings – imagine how desperate they must have been to commission this guy to get them to a new life!

  6. His blood!!! says:

    he needs more than a f***ing slap they should lost his a** in jail. you that age and won’t change your life I wish he sees these comments. he will never change until he gets his *****!

Leave a Comment