At Least 17 Haitians Found Dead Off the Coast of the Bahamas!

Rescuers in the Bahamas have found the bodies of 17 Haitian migrants thought to have died after their vessel capsized in rough seas during a “suspected human smuggling operation,” the country’s leader said.

The bodies of 15 women, one man, and an infant were found in the water after the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force responded to a boating accident seven miles off New Providence just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.

Twenty-five people were rescued and turned over to health officials for monitoring, but additional people are presumed to be missing, with search and recovery operations continuing, Davis said.

“Preliminary investigations suggest that a twin-engine speed boat left a docking facility off West Bay Street around 1 a.m. with approximately 60 people on board. It is believed that their final destination was Miami, Florida,” the Prime Minister said.

“The police will keep you up to date on the criminal case and other rescue and recovery efforts. But I would like to tell the families of those who died in this tragedy that my government and the people of The Bahamas are sorry “said the Prime Minister.

Davis said that his government has always told people not to go on dangerous trips and that they have stepped up patrols and increased surveillance on land and sea.

“We take this opportunity to strongly condemn the organization of smuggling operations which risk human life and compromise our national security. Those found to be involved will face prosecution,” he said. “I understand the situation that many of these migrants face that would encourage them to take such great risk. We however appeal to those considering making such a voyage, not to.”

On Sunday, Bahamas Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander told reporters that 50 to 60 people were likely on the 20-foot speedboat and that the search for survivors or bodies was still going on.

He said two Bahamian men were among the survivors and were being questioned in police custody. The men were known to police “for various offenses,” he said.

Immigration Minister Keith Bell said 20 people had been taken to a detention center and were being interviewed.

“Those persons have indicated that they would have paid somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000 for this fateful journey,” Bell said.

Haiti has been violently unstable for a long time. After the murder of former President Jovenel Mose in July of last year, his successor, Ariel Henry, promised to make the country safer. Still, kidnappings and gang violence keep happening in the Caribbean country.

Haiti has been in trouble for a long time, but the violence has gotten much worse since Mose was killed. After he was killed, there was a big earthquake in August that killed a lot of people.

Haiti has a lot of problems, including a bad security situation and a political crisis, as well as high inflation and a lack of food. According to the World Food Programme, 1,3 million Haitians are at risk of starving to death.

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