185 leave Cayman during amnesty period

Customs officers check passengers’ carry-on luggage at the newly opened departures area of Owen Roberts International Airport in May. - Photo: Alvaro Serey

The Department of Immigration announced on Friday that 185 people left Cayman in August, the month that the department was conducting an amnesty program for overstayers.

“The revised number of 185 includes the previously reported 14 persons that voluntarily turned themselves into the Enforcement Division,” said Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Gary Wong. “The additional 171 individuals are comprised of those that simply left via airlines without notifying the department, and were identified as part of the post-amnesty assessment.”

According to the department, there were 75 Jamaicans, 55 Americans, nine Britons, five Canadians, and a number of other nationalities with one or more overstayers.

The longest period of overstaying was found to be 13.5 years, with 122 individuals found to have overstayed for less than one week.

The Department of Immigration added that it has continued to target those who did not take advantage of the amnesty period.

On Aug. 16, enforcement officers carried out a targeted operation in the vicinity of Spotts, Newlands. The suspect, a male Jamaican national, was found working at a residence in the area, and was arrested on allegations of working outside the terms and conditions of a work permit, according to the department.

On Sept. 4, after the amnesty period was over, an operation was executed to locate a Saint Lucian national in violation of the Immigration Law for allegedly overstaying.

“Based on information received by enforcement officers, a search warrant was issued for a residence in the West Bay area,” the Department of Immigration stated. “After reviewing the premises, the suspect in question was not discovered. On Sept. 10 2018, enforcement officers continued their search in the Midland Acres area of Bodden Town, but with the same result.”

On Sept. 13 2018, after receiving new information, officers carried out an operation at a compound in Bodden Town. The Saint Lucian national was successfully located and was arrested by the Enforcement Division, the department stated.

“When officers are unable to locate a suspect, our efforts don’t simply stop there,” Mr. Wong said. “The division continues to actively pursue all leads, in addition to information provided by the public, until the individual is identified and subsequently arrested.”

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