Seven arrested in immigration sweeps

George Town's Immigration Detention Centre - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The Department of Immigration’s Enforcement Division arrested seven people suspected of being in breach of immigration law as part of an operation that included 30 spot checks in the past two weeks.

Officers identified multiple instances of people overstaying authorization to remain on island and working without permits. In one case, they found that a person of interest was also wanted in a burglary case.

On May 10, 28 spot checks of individuals were conducted at a pair of construction sites in South Sound and Seven Mile Beach, and the checks resulted in four employment-related arrests. Three were arrested on suspicion of working outside of terms and conditions of their work permits, and one was arrested for working without a permit while on a visitor’s extension. Their employers were also brought in for questioning for employing workers without valid authorization.

Immigration and RCIPS officers also conducted a joint search on May 12 for an individual wanted by the Department of Immigration since October 2017 for overstaying. The suspect was located in a high traffic area, arrested and remained in custody Thursday, pending the investigation.

The Customs Department, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Department of Labour and Pensions worked with the Immigration officers on proactive patrols and joint operations, according to a press release from the Department of Immigration.

- Advertisement -

“I commend the relentless work of not only our Enforcement Division, but the collaborative efforts of DLP, Customs and the RCIPS, which in return make these joint operations a success,” Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Gary Wong said of the recent wave of spot checks and arrests.

“We continue to encourage members of the public to be diligent in their awareness of illegal activity, and to always report breaches of the law,” he added.

Gene Hydes, head of inspections for the Department of Labour and Pensions, said pursuing individuals suspected of violating the Labour Law is “a top priority.”

“We are committed to detecting unlawful acts and will continue to dedicate resources and work proactively with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the law is complied with on a daily basis,” he said.

Anyone with information about immigration-related offenses is urged to contact the confidential information hotline at 1-800-Legalim (1-800-534-2546), or email [email protected]

- Advertisement -

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now