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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, May 22, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesBOAT BEARING ILLEGALS LIKELY FROM ST. MAARTEN

BOAT BEARING ILLEGALS LIKELY FROM ST. MAARTEN

Authorities seeking identification of the powerboat that ran aground at Cinnamon Bay Campground and was believed to have been carrying illegal aliens say they think the Dieukidonne may have been registered in St. Maarten.
Petty Officer Monty Wilkes from the Coast Guard station in San Juan said the number found on the side of the abandoned boat — M-450 — was incomplete. The full registration number should probably be "NM-450," which would tie the vessel to Dutch St. Maarten, he said.
V.I. National Park chief ranger Schuler Brown said the Dieukidonne was in trouble when it ran aground on the beach at Cinnamon Bay early Monday morning bearing what is believed to have been as many as 25 illegal immigrants. "The boat got swamped," he said.
Rangers salvaging what was left of the boat retrieved several containers of gasoline. Brown said that fuel being carried in an overloaded boat that ran aground could have resulted in disaster.
Eleven persons identified as illegals were arrested by park rangers Monday, and another four were picked up by V.I. police Tuesday. It was not clear whether all had come ashore at the same time and place.
A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service expressed little surprise at the notion that the individuals may have come from St. Maarten or another neighboring island. "There are known staging areas in the Caribbean, and these people go island hopping until they reach the island of St. John," INS spokesman Ivan Ortiz said.
Because immigration officials have noticed a marked rise in illegal entry into the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ortiz said, they are considering the establishment of a border patrol station for the territory. However, he said setting up such a station is a long process involving several levels of government.
Meanwhile, INS and the U.S. State Department authorities are trying to persuade officials of neighboring islands to discourage the efforts of illegal aliens and the smugglers who transport them. Ortiz would not identify the countries approached but said, "They have a genuine interest to stop this kind of activity in the Caribbean."

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Authorities seeking identification of the powerboat that ran aground at Cinnamon Bay Campground and was believed to have been carrying illegal aliens say they think the Dieukidonne may have been registered in St. Maarten.
Petty Officer Monty Wilkes from the Coast Guard station in San Juan said the number found on the side of the abandoned boat -- M-450 -- was incomplete. The full registration number should probably be "NM-450," which would tie the vessel to Dutch St. Maarten, he said.
V.I. National Park chief ranger Schuler Brown said the Dieukidonne was in trouble when it ran aground on the beach at Cinnamon Bay early Monday morning bearing what is believed to have been as many as 25 illegal immigrants. "The boat got swamped," he said.
Rangers salvaging what was left of the boat retrieved several containers of gasoline. Brown said that fuel being carried in an overloaded boat that ran aground could have resulted in disaster.
Eleven persons identified as illegals were arrested by park rangers Monday, and another four were picked up by V.I. police Tuesday. It was not clear whether all had come ashore at the same time and place.
A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service expressed little surprise at the notion that the individuals may have come from St. Maarten or another neighboring island. "There are known staging areas in the Caribbean, and these people go island hopping until they reach the island of St. John," INS spokesman Ivan Ortiz said.
Because immigration officials have noticed a marked rise in illegal entry into the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ortiz said, they are considering the establishment of a border patrol station for the territory. However, he said setting up such a station is a long process involving several levels of government.
Meanwhile, INS and the U.S. State Department authorities are trying to persuade officials of neighboring islands to discourage the efforts of illegal aliens and the smugglers who transport them. Ortiz would not identify the countries approached but said, "They have a genuine interest to stop this kind of activity in the Caribbean."