The Colombian navy has captured two suspected human traffickers and 13 illegal immigrants in the Gulf of Uraba, off the Antioquia department coast, close to Panama, local media reported Tuesday.
The group, which included two suspected Colombian traffickers and immigrants from Africa and Cuba, was discovered in two fishing boats near a point known as Bahia Colombia, and according to regional Caribbean Coast Guard Commander Carlos Serrano, was trying to get to Panamanian soil, and then continue on to the U.S.
“What we believe is that these citizens, who came from the port of Turbo (Antioquia), were trying to get to the United States, making a stopover in the Central American country. They were trying to evade maritime controls, but were discovered and put in the hands of corresponding authorities,” said Serrano.
The official added that the two detainees will be charged with the crime of trafficking immigrants, the latter of whom were handed over to the national security body (DAS), in order to begin the process of returning them to their countries of origin, which include Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Libya and Cuba.