Nine Haitians were apprehended on Beef Island after illegally entering the territory, according to Chief Immigration Officer Ian Penn.

The arrests came after a motor vessel circling the island on Aug. 25 ran aground, Mr. Penn said last Thursday in a government press release.

Concerned residents later notified the Immigration Department about people walking along the Beef Island road, according to Mr. Penn.

Immigration, police and customs officers subsequently apprehended, detained and identified the nine Haitians, he said.

Mr. Penn said preparations were being made to repatriate them.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone who was involved in the apprehension and
detention of these individuals,” he said. “Our respective departments will continue to work together and remain vigilant while we protect the borders of the Virgin Islands.”

The BVI Health Services Authority was also notified for due process and health screening of the detainees in accordance with protocols, according to the press release.

No updates had been provided.