Twenty-two Cubans and two alleged “coyotes” were detained along Colombia’s Caribbean coast Tuesday, according to the Colombian Navy.
During routine patrols of the coast, Navy officers inspected a boat that was said to have been behaving suspiciously, uncovering 16 men and six women believed to be undocumented immigrants.
Two Colombians were arrested following the inspection, and will be made to answer to charges of human trafficking, according to a statement released by the Navy.
The navy suspects that the group of Cuban nationals were attempting to make it to the United States from Ecuador. The Cubans reportedly paid the two Colombians close to $200 each to bring them into Central America.
The 22 Cubans were passed over to Colombia’s immigration agency, while the Colombian “coyotes” — a term used to designate paid smugglers of undocumented immigrants — were handed over to the prosecutor general’s office.
The navy stated in a press release that “throughout the year, the navy has detained 27 illegal immigrants, who are part of the hundreds that want to use the Colombian Caribbean as a route into Central America after illegally entering Colombia from countries like Ecuador and Venezuela.”
The Navy indicated that most people attempting to make such a trip hail from Nepal, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Cuba.
- Hallados 22 migrantes ilegales cubanos en Golfo de Urabá (Armada Nacional)