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Haitians released from federal custody, Jamaican, Bahamian await fate

Published:Thursday | October 24, 2013 | 12:00 AM
US Coast Guard personnel inspects a vessel with a missing centre console that capsized near Miami last Wednesday. - AP


Four Haitians who were among a group of Caribbean nationals found clinging to the hull of their capsized boat off the coast of Miami have been released from federal custody.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement had detained the survivors as part of an investigation into the accident that killed four women in the early hours of October 17, seven miles east of Miami.

The four Haitians from that "failed smuggling venture have been processed and are no longer in ICE custody," US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Nestor Yglesias disclosed late Tuesday evening.

It was not immediately clear whether another survivor, a Bahamian citizen, remained in detention.

Six other Jamaican and Bahamian survivors each face a federal charge of attempting to re-enter the US after being deported. One also faces an attempted smuggling charge.

Five defendants are scheduled to be arraigned October 31 in Miami federal court, and the sixth defendant's arraignment is scheduled for November 4.

One of the four victims has been identified as a Haitian woman. The other three women's identities have not been released.