Following the recent expeditious repatriation of over 60 Haitian refugees who landed in Jamaica, a group of Haitians fled their vessel on Sunday after landing on Long Road beach in Portland.
Reports state that the group landed and fled in the middle of the night, leaving behind items of clothing in their vessel that belonged to male and female adults as well as children. The 28-foot sailboat was later burnt by members of the local ministry of health, with the police launching a search for the missing Haitians.
It is not yet clear how many refugees were aboard the boat, but the authorities have so far captured eight. The refugees, plus a local taxi driver, consisting of five males and four females, were apprehended by the police in Hope Bay in West Portland on Monday while travelling in a taxi.
No child was discovered by the police during the interception of the taxi. Taken into custody with the group of refugees was a male Haitian national.
It is believed that the man who has been living in St. James for over two years assisted the refugees in their escape from Long Road Beach. According to reports, the refugees are currently being processed by the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).