On a route used by smugglers involved in the illegal trafficking of people, police authorities in a British overseas territory found the remains of 20 people in a boat adrift, a kilometer and a half offshore.
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The police of the Turks and Caicos Islands they assured that the investigators of the case were trying to determine the cause of the death of the individuals, between whom were two children. What’s more, They are trying to establish the identity and origin of the deceased.
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Thursday morning a group of fishermen sighted the small boat and alerted the authorities, who towed it to the mainland.
Trevor Botting, the local police commissioner, reported that the ship appeared to be coming from outside the Caribbean and that authorities did not believe that its final destination was the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Investigators are working to establish the identities of the deceased and how they died. This work will take some time. But whatever the circumstance, it is a tragic situation in which many people perished. And our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost a loved one. We will do everything possible to identify them and get in touch with their families ”, Botting assured the Daily Mail.
The commissioner highlighted the work of the police. “This incident was a human tragedy and a very harrowing scene. However, my agents acted with professionalism, humanity and care in the disturbing work they did to recover the deceased ”, manifested.
The Turks and Caicos Islands They are located in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, north of the island of Hispaniola, where Haiti and the Dominican Republic meet. The archipelago is often a magnet for desperate Haitians seeking to flee a poverty-stricken nation. In addition, this territory is used as a transshipment point by human traffickers, since it is about 1042 kilometers southeast of Miami.
A day after the discovery of the 20 bodies, a boat with 43 Haitian immigrants was intercepted by the police off the coast of the archipelago. The boat was towed to the port with 34 men, eight women and a minor on board, who were handed over to immigration authorities for later repatriation.
In June 2020, a Sri Lankan-born Canadian citizen named Srikajamukam Chelliah pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges before a Turks and Caicos Islands judge. The man was sentenced to 14 months in prison and was later extradited to Florida, where a court sentenced him to 32 months in prison for conspiring to smuggle people into North America. According to investigators, Chelliah was captured in command of a ship carrying 158 people bound for the United States.
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