ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Contrary to the belief emanating from some quarters, deportees do not head the list of crime perpetrators in Antigua & Barbuda.
National Security Minister Dr Errol Cort said these individuals are not at the forefront of the criminal activities that “we are currently experiencing.”
In an exclusive interview with OBSERVER Media, Dr Cort said based on reports from the various law enforcement agencies, “The suggestion is that perhaps they might be more behind the scenes organising and arranging, but they are certainly not at the forefront.”
In 2012, 62 citizens of Antigua & Barbuda were deported back to the state.
Twenty of that number was from the United States of America, 20 from the United Kingdom and 20 from Canada, with the remainder from other Caribbean islands.
In 2011, that number was 45 with twenty persons coming from the United States of America.
The category of offences which caused their deportation includes, aggravated felony, child molestation, denied entry, narcotics, overstaying, rape, robbery and larceny and working illegally.
The national security minister said citizens are removed from other countries after they would have served time for the alleged offence.
He said upon their return to the island, “serious offenders are monitored by the respective agencies to ensure that they don’t break the law.
The number of illegal immigrants to the island is minuscule when compared to other islands such as Jamaica and Guyana.
Seven Hundred and Fifty (750) Guyanese were deported from various countries last year.
A release from Guyana’s police department indicated the deportees were mainly from the USA (158), Canada (112), Trinidad (128), Barbados (82) and Suriname (234).
In Jamaica, a review of country’s migration situation highlighted that between 2000 and 2012 more than 34,199 persons were deported to the island.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)