The United States Coast Guard has reported repatriating 69 Dominican Republic nationals between Saturday and Monday following multiple illegal voyage vessel interdictions in the Mona Passage.
According to a Coast Guard release, the interdictions resulted from ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts supporting the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).
“The Coast Guard’s main priority is to safeguard lives at sea,” said Captain Jose E. Díaz, Sector San Juan commander.
“These voyages are extremely dangerous and we urge anyone thinking of taking part in one that they do not take to the sea,” he declared.
In addition, the Coast Guard official warned anyone that anyone who is interdicted must realise they could also face possible prosecution and be sent back to their country of origin or departure.
From October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, the Coast Guard carried out 88 illegal voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.
Interdicted during the period were 2,273 non-U.S. citizens.
They included 1,705 Dominicans, 444 Haitians, four Cubans, two Ecuadorians, 67 Venezuelans, 12 Uzbeks, two Iranians, one Colombian, one Spaniard, and 35 of unknown nationalities.
Headline photo courtesy United States Coast Guard.