Harbour Island, Bahamas — Bahamas Press is calling for a probe and investigations to be carried out by the State following the illegal landing of some 106 Haitian migrants rounded on Bottom Cay near Northern Eleuthera over the weekend. The saga we know is a scene too often painted in the country, which continue to bleed the purse of Bahamians.
A preliminary investigation by police on Harbour Island indicts a prominent North Eleuthera man, who is also a four-star general in the Free National Movement.
Sources close to the capture over the weekend tell us, the captain reported to police that the vessel had run aground near Bottom Cay. He said the voyage Left Haiti a week before the ordeal, somewhere around 5 to 8 days.
On-board while none of the migrants appeared ill of any serious diseases, there were a few women with child on board. A sad report noted some of the voyagers jumped into the sea before capture, however, it is not telling if those persons survived.
The captain noted the voyage was being orchestrated by an Eleutheran businessman by the name ‘Ricky’, who he said was in the business of Human Trafficking. Bahamas Press is unclear if the voyagers were to become workers for hire on the island, however, in this day and time we know many illegal migrants are being used as slave labour in the country, while more than 40,000 young Bahamians stands unemployed.
Haitian trafficking victims are most likely to migrate to The Bahamas voluntarily, but subsequently be subjected to forced labor in agriculture, domestic service, or forced prostitution. Some employers coerce migrant workers – legal and illegal – to work longer hours, at lower pay, and in conditions not permitted under local labor law by changing the terms of employment contracts, withholding travel documents, refusing transportation back home, threatening to withdraw the employer-specific and employer-held permits, or threatening to have the employee deported through other means.
Crimes of this nature by employers also take on the risk of draining the public resources, while short-changing taxes [NIB] to government.
The matter of Human Trafficking has been raised at the highest levels of the United Nationals, and became the focus of the Government in the last parliamentary session. The Ingraham government moved legislation to prosecute persons participating in the trade.
Now that the law in place, and since the Haitian captain has indicted a four-star general in the FNM on the island of North Eleuthera, we wonder what will happen by example of the law.
We shall wait and see and implore all international agencies against Human Trafficking to monitoring this situation unfolding in the Bahamas.
We report YINNER DECIDE!