BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Police and law enforcement from the nearby island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI) are busy investigating a case of Human Trafficking. A captain – said to be from St. Maarten/St. Martin – is in custody along with 15 persons, who tried to enter the BVI illegally.
Authorities started an investigation when 15 people (12 men and 3 women) were found on a nearby BVI island where the boat ran ashore. The 15 persons were arrested, and are being questioned on the details of their boat trip.
There is a large possibility that French and Dutch authorities of St. Maarten and French St. Martin will be part of this investigation. This incident is not uncommon.
Oftentimes, boats leave from the French and Dutch sides to illegally bring persons to the US Virgin Islands. It is also not uncommon that sometimes these trips do not go as planned, and the boats are prevented from arriving at their destination by the Coast Guard.
Sources close to the Dutch Coast Guard confirmed to 721news, that boats are now leaving from French side waters, because persons behind these kinds of operations know that French authorities would not allow the Dutch Coast Guard to enter French waters without their permission.
This has been an ongoing issue, and the only way to combat this problem is for a real working relationship (agreement) to be negotiated and signed between the Dutch and French Ministers of Defense. Then there will be a real working agreement between the Dutch and French Coast Guards, which will go far in the fight against illegal human trafficking.
No official statement was issued by BVI authorities.