Haitians caught heading to Brazil

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 September 2016, 14:14 by Denis Chabrol

Five Haitians, who entered Guyana illegally, were held at the weekend on their way to Brazil, police said.

The Guyana Police Force credited “alert ranks” for intercepting a vehicle at Wisroc Junction, Wismar, Linden at about 11 O’clock Friday night with the all-male group of Haitians.

Investigators believed that they entered Guyana from neighbouring Suriname via the illegal ‘backtrack’ crossing.

“They reportedly entered the country via the Suriname Back Track in Springlands, Berbice and were allegedly en route to neighbouring Brazil, when they were detained,” police said in a statement.

The arrest of the Haitians in Guyana came less than one month after Suriname announced that nationals from that French Creole-speaking Caribbean nation would now need visas.

Surinamese authorities said too many Haitians have been landing there by plane on their way to French Guiana but they could not communicate properly and could not convince immigration sufficiently about arrangements for their onward journey.

Suriname and Haiti are members of the Single Market and Economy of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) that provides for the free movement of certain categories of persons across the region. The Bahamas is not a member of the Single Market and so has travel restrictions in place on Haitians.