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Police on lookout for fleeing Haitians

Published:Friday | November 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THE POLICE in Portland yesterday appealed to the public to be on the lookout for a group of fishermen who reportedly went to Haiti on Sunday and are believed to be planning to transport people back to Jamaica.

Police sources say they have received intelligence that some local fishermen are involved in the trafficking of Haitians to the island ahead of Tropical Storm Tomas, which is expected to pound sections of Haiti.

The lawmen are maintaining that the matter is no longer just a police or a security concern, but is now also a health issue, given the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

According to the police, even the fishermen who are involved in the illegal transportation of Haitians to the island in their vessels are at risk of contracting the disease, which has reportedly killed more than 400 people in Haiti.

The police have since increased security along the coastline in the parish, including at Manchioneal, Boston, Long Bay, Bryan's Bay, Hope Bay, and St Margaret's Bay, in an attempt to apprehend those taking part in the illegal activity.

The police were previously focused on groups of fishermen who are believed to be involved in the infamous drugs-for-guns trade between Jamaica and Haiti. However, they have now been forced to dispatch additional manpower to monitor the coastal areas.