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St Lucia police detain migrants from Martinique

St Lucia police detain migrants from Martinique
The Pitons, St Lucia. (FILE)

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CASTRIES, St Lucia – Police said that they had detained four people after intercepting two vessels that were seeking to enter the island illegally from the neighbouring French island of Martinique on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Milton Desir, told reporters that the individuals were arrested and would be charged for illegal entry into St Lucia. He said the arrests followed a joint operation between the Marine and Territorial Police.

“We were able to intercept two vessels coming from Martinique,” Desir later told a meeting of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee as officials reviewed the island’s coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols.

“The persons, in each instance we had four persons on board, those persons in both instances were arrested and the vessels impounded,” he added.

The issue of illegal entry remains a perennial problem for law enforcement and health officials with authorities warning that the practice has contributed to the island’s second wave of COVID-19.

“The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) continues to aim at causing persons to enforce the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health,” Desir said, adding “but I must inform you that the police officers are up to doing it.”

The statement from the Police came ahead of the latest announcement from the Ministry of Health that the island had registered another eight cases of the coronavirus, all of whom are locals. This takes the total number of cases to date to 246. (CMC)