People Smugglers Abandon 84 Haitians Off Puerto Rico

file image: People smuggling in Malaysia
file image: People smuggling in Malaysia

84 men and women from Haiti have been abandoned on a deserted island off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jeffrey Quinones says the Haitians were spotted by a US Coast Guard air patrol on the island of Desecheo, about 20 kilometres from the Puerto Rican mainland on Friday.

Two Coast Guard cutters ferried the men and women to Puerto Rico.

Quinones says it’s not uncommon for people smugglers to leave people on the small islands off western Puerto Rico, falsely telling them they have reached their destination.

He said the 84 all appeared in good health but will likely be deported back to their homeland.