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Coast Guard Repatriates 24 Cubans to Cuba, Detains Smuggler

The owner of the vessel was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations for a follow-up investigation into suspected human smuggling.

Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr.’s crew repatriated 24 Cubans to Cuba, Wednesday, after interdicting a suspicious vessel off the coast of Elbow Cay, Bahamas.

While on a routine patrol, a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations airplane crew saw the vessel Saturday and alerted the cutter. The cutter’s law enforcement team brought the people to the cutter. The owner of the vessel was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations for a follow-up investigation into suspected human smuggling.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies are aggressively maintaining a presence in the Florida Straits and discourage these dangerous and deadly voyages,” said Chief Warrant Officer Chad Barber, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. “U.S. policy is to carry out orderly, safe, and legal migration which we support through deterrence of unlawful maritime migration.”‎

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 697 Cubans compared to:

  • 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016
  • 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017
  • 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Read more at USCG

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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