BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 26th June 2020)-Individuals found guilty of housing the Haitian nationals who have reportedly entered the island illegally via Keys Village this week might be charged.
So informed Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy while appearing on a live media programme aired on ZIZ radio and television on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 in responding to a question whilst indicating that 13 Haitians are in presently custody while others are being looked for.
“From our investigation and interview, we are learning that they arrived in Keys on Sunday (21st June 2020) and was in different areas in Keys which our officers are still investigating. There is likelihood that there might be charges brought against persons who are harbouring these persons in their homes and not reporting these matters to authorities,” he stated.
This media house notes that cellphone recorded video footage and photos from the scene of the rounding up of those non-nationals by local authorities on Monday 22nd June show them being escorted by soldiers from a hilly side region of the Keys community wearing plastic handcuffs.
All of them are adult males according to police information.
Additionally, they are also seen wearing health face masks in light of public safety concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are still looking for two more persons from our investigation. There were fifteen persons who entered into our shores at Keys on Sunday, and from the investigations. Those persons came out of Dominica by boat and dropped off at Keys. This is not the first time; this is not the second time that this is happening and we’re working to see that there does not be a recurrence of this matter,” COP Brandy added during his reply.
Earlier that day on Tuesday, a source at the Police Public Relations informed that three Haitians who were being sought by police were taken into custody over the past 24 hours resulting in a total of 13.
It was further stated that the Immigration Department and the police are working closely together to investigate the situation.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws informed at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing held on Wednesday 24th June that at first the 10 individuals were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and that the additional three persons were expected to be tested on the morning of Thursday 25th June.