Cuban shipwreck immigrants lose boat to the Government Of Belize

Friday, September 9th, 2022

A vessel that drifted with 16 Cuban nationals to Belize waters is now the property of the Government of Belize after its captain supported an application by the Immigration Department to have the vessel forfeited. The boat remains impounded at the Belize Coast Guard compound in San Pedro Town.
According to reports, the group of 14 men and two women will remain at the central prison until they are returned to their country of origin. The Cuban nationals had been traveling from the Cayman Islands to Honduras when they experienced mechanical failures due to inclement weather and ran out of gas. The boat then drifted off course and ended up on Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Thursday, September 1st. They had no documents, and it was later learned that they left their passports in the Cayman Islands after their asylum request was denied. It is believed that the group is aiming to reach the United States of America.
On Friday, September 2nd, they were transported from San Pedro to Belize City and arraigned on Monday at the Magistrate Court. Chief Magistrate Fraser used her discretion and did not imprison or fine the group. Instead, she issued a removal order to send them back home. According to reports from the court, the Immigration Department is working with the Cuban Embassy in Belize to facilitate their deportation from Belize.


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