Cayman cops involved in TCI target on Haitian migrants

| 26/03/2018 | 26 Comments
Haitian migrants

RCIPS TFO Greg Banks briefing TCI senior command prior to land operations

(CNS): Officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service were involved in a joint operation with British and Turks and Caicos Islands police last week targeting Haitian migrants trying to enter the TCI. Officials said that the TCI government had asked for assistance following a “serious upsurge in illegal migrants arriving on the islands from Haiti”, the poorest country in the region. The RFA Mounts Bay was dispatched to the area along with the RCIPS helicopter, which was there for a week providing support to the TCI authorities.

Officials said the RCIPS helicopter “was instrumental in operations to capture a large number of illegal migrants” and claimed there was a  deterrent effect with a dramatic decline in new arrivals. The helicopter returned to the Cayman Islands Friday after repairs to TCI’s coastal radar were completed, again allowing the territory early warning of inbound migrant sloops.

The operation was fully funded by the UK Government and details of the RCIPS involvement were kept confidential until now for operational security reasons, the local authorities here said. Acting Governor Franz Manderson and Premier Alden McLaughlin were consulted in advance of the deployment and provided their full support to the TCI government.

Haitian migrants

Scenes of Crime Officers deployed to the beach by helicopter

Head of the Governor’s Office Matthew Forbes said, “The threat posed to the Turks and Caicos Islands was serious and a fast response was critical. The RCIPS Air Operations Unit is regarded in the region as highly professional and capable and the support that they and the RFA Mounts Bay provided to TCI enabled the situation to remain under control. I should like to pay tribute to the unit for the way in which they responded so quickly and readily to help a fellow territory.”

Steve Fitzgerald, Unit Executive Officer at the Air Operations Unit, said his team was  pleased to help bring the situation under control until the TCI radar was repaired. “The crew are experienced operating in the territory following their deployment there after Hurricane Irma last year. We always receive a very warm welcome,” he added.

Turks and Caicos Islands Governor Dr John Freeman thanked the Cayman Islands for the help.

He added, “We extend our sincerest thanks to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) for the deployment of their helicopter and crew to the Turks and Caicos Islands following a recent upsurge in illegal migrant activities. In conjunction with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the Ministry of Border Control and the RFA Mounts Bay, the RCIPS helicopter service was used to carry out a number of successful surveillance and other operations while in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

TCI Police Commissioner James Smith, who acted as commissioner in Cayman in 2009, said the presence of the Cayman helicopter and teams was of incredible value to his officers and TCI’s security.

Haitian migrants

Abandoned Haitian sloop on TCI beach

“The crews worked extended hours providing invaluable aerial cover and surveillance at sea and on land facilitating successful operations in challenging conditions,” he said, as he extended his gratitude for the help. “They are a great credit to the Service and Cayman Islands,” he said of the team.

According to the TCI police, the arrival of Haitian migrants is part of an organised human smuggling ring that is making the traffickers a fortune and causing untold misery for the immigrants seeking a better life.

“It is my view that the illegal migration of people to the TCI is highly organised and they are creating criminal offences, not the people necessarily entering, of course they are entering illegally, but we have people who are facilitating, managing, moving and organising people into TCI,” a police officials in TCI told the press there last week.

“Those people are making a fortune out of other people’s misery and desperation and then causing problems, risks and security issues for us here in the TCI,” he added.

While TCI is still recovering after it was slammed by Hurricane Irma last season, Haiti was hit by Hurricane Maria. It remains  the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where three out of five people are believed to live below the poverty line.

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Category: Caribbean, Local News, Police, World News

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another joke… we running to help others!!!!! Look at the mess we got here!! Keep hiding your heads in the sand.

  2. West bay Premier says:

    I wonder if TCI Government see what they need to do , and need to get to combat their problems . Or is this the Islands way of handling of issues, know the problem but don’t fix it . I think that’s it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If they did half the work in Cayman they did overseas we would be good. We have crime, illegal immigrant(killers) not Cubans, murders, robberies, arsonists on the loose, serial pedofiles preying on defenseless kids and they think now is the time to be concerned about Haitians looking for Refugee stautus in another dam country. If they had any balls they would have said sorry guys we have a surge in unrest and crime we can’t get grips on and need all the personel.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is putting a lot of hours on an expensive helicopter. The UK should use their military helicopters if they have any. Isn’t the BVI much closer? Do they have no aircraft?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps, just perhaps, we should for once be proud that we in Cayman lead the way. And kudos to this Unit once again. Thank you for your service!

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      A POSITIVE comment 9.44 pm. Cheers. Too many negative posters and stone throwers poisoning CNS posts!! Well done Air Support Unit. After hurricane Ivan, TCI Police officers were here helping Cayman along with other islands units. We are not alone in this world and need to remember that!!

    • why us says:

      Yes we should be proud that our helicopter has added wear and tear . CNS maybe you could ask for every hour of flying how much time is required under Civil Avaition and the helicopter manual for service. I like to help but why we have to pay for everything? This s.hows we have too many RCIP members if we can send some to another country.

  6. A says:

    Should catched dem foreginners before de rech Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not sure this was a good idea when our own porous borders are wide open for fast boats bringing weapons and drugs in. Perhaps this is why “no one” was on duty when local fishermen needed help recently? Doesn’t RFA Mounts Bay have it’s own helicopter?

    • Anonymous says:

      That was a police and fire boat issue, nothing to do with the helicopter. There was no search needed

  8. Anonymous says:

    We need to be concerned with matters at home before going abroad to provide support. What if the helicopter was needed in the Cayman Islands for a search and rescue at sea or drug interdiction. Makes for good politics though.

  9. Thankful for yor achiements says:

    Time to control our borders, come home now and teach.

  10. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Looks like either a scene of crime overall or a one piece flight suit or boiler suit – top off for the heat and hanging down.

    I would be more interested in how come the TCI has a radar that can pick up illegal boats coming in and we don’t have one.

    • Anonymous says:

      We’ve had one for years my dear, it has just not been used. I wonder why a country would have radar and not use it? Where there is smoke there is fire.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What are those pants that person in the photo are wearing?? lol

  12. Anonymous says:

    “Used” is a good word. It’s awfully nice of the Cayman Islands to deploy their only helicopter, scarce staff, at a moment’s notice to police Haitian immigration in TCI on Cayman Islands dime. Are we sending BVI and TCI invoices for these recent governor-to-governor field trips, or are we expected to eat mother’s costs to our limited CI police budget? The UK should be reimbursing 100% of the costs to the Cayman Islands police in keeping her Caribbean territorial portfolio in order. She should really be “using” her own equipment and employees for these functions too.

    • Anonymous says:

      “The operation was fully funded by the UK Government…”

    • Anonymous says:

      I love your response on 2 accounts:
      1. You cannot read. UK government covered the costs. Try reading the article in full before jumping to conclusions.
      2. That good ol’ Cayman selective Christianity”love they neighbor” mentality…never knowingly help anyone if you can avoid doing so. Classy.

      Has it occurred to you that this kind of issue is best stamped on quickly before they start turning up here? Which they could if they so wished. It ain’t that far.

      • Anonymous says:

        How could you blame Cayman and/or Christianity for that one?? No sign of either in the post. What an agenda you seem to have! You do know that Christianity has survived such smear attacks for 2,000 years, grown and continues to grow (by Divine design)? Try it and you would be surprised how powerfully “love your – not “they” – neighbor” can work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Third paragraph: “The operation was fully funded by the UK Government”

    • Anonymous says:

      Would help if you read the article past the first 2 paragraphs. Third paragraph first sentence: “The operation was fully funded by the UK Government”.

    • Anonymous says:

      You did read the third para?

      “The operation was fully funded by the UK Government….”

      Just remember we may be in need of help in the future and we should always be willing to assist.

    • Anonymous says:

      CaymanKind, Baby.


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