Police and justice

Coastguard intercepts Boat with illegal Immigrants and smuggled animals near Aruba

The vessel transporting illegal immigrants and animals was in a very poor state. Photo: Coastguard.

Oranjestad- Last night, the Coast Guard radar system in the Caribbean detected a suspicious contact heading towards Aruba. The contact was a vessel suspiciously sailing towards the island from Venezuela’s territorial waters.

This was reason for the Rescue and Coordination Center of the Coast Guard and the Aruba support center to take action. A Metal Shark, with a team of coast guards and Aruban militia on board, became directed to the location of the vessel.

Upon arrival at the suspect contact, a vessel was found in a very poor state of repair with 14 undocumented persons on board.

Animals

The group of undocumented migrants also had native animals with them, including 1 fighting cock and 19 parrots and a pack of suspected steroid ampoules. All undocumented Venezuelans who tried to enter the island illegally have been handed over to the ‘Warda Nos Costa’ and the Aruba Police Force (KPA). The veterinary service has confiscated the native animals.

The Public Health Service was also present to test the individuals on COVID-19.

Risk

The use of a non-seaworthy boat in this case again proves that people do a lot take the risk of completing the trip to the ABC islands. The Coast Guard warns people not to embark on these trips. It is known that the boats used for these crossings are almost without exception not seaworthy and that people on board take a great risk.

The Coast Guard continues its intensive patrols to guard the maritime borders of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. For the patrol, the Coast Guard receives assistance from the Ministry of Defense in the form of the station ship Zr.Ms. Groningen. The Coast Guard also requests the assistance of all civilians who perceive suspicious situations at sea and coastlines, call 913. With your help, we keep the sea and coastlines of the island safe.

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