Bahamas detains 111 Haitian migrants aboard overloaded sloop

Bahamian authorities said Tuesday that they have detained 111 Haitian migrants found on an overloaded sloop in waters around the archipelago.

The migrants were spotted near Guinchos Cay, located between the Bahamas and Cuba. The group was composed of 92 men, 14 women and five children.

The Royal Bahamas Defense Force said the migrants will be turned over to immigration officials for processing.

The arrests come amid a surge in Haitians fleeing their country at a time of rising violence, kidnappings and increasing economic crisis. Hundreds have boarded rickety ships bound for the Bahamas, Florida or Puerto Rico, with dozens dying in recent months as the boats capsize.

Bahamian authorities said they expect to apprehend a record number of Haitian migrants this year, with more than 2,350 detained so far, compared with 249 in 2020 and 1,644 in 2021.

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