NASSAU, Bahamas – The Immigration Department of Bahamas has formed a partnership with The Bahamas Crime Stoppers Foundation, in an effort to crack down on illegal migration and other related activities.
Minister of State for Immigration the Hon Branville McCartney met with members of the Foundation at his office on Hawkins Hill Thursday to discuss the partnership.
“The Immigration Department wants to basically see how we can work with Crime Stoppers and persons calling in making complaints of illegal activities, illegal hiring or living in The Bahamas illegally,” Mr. McCartney said.
He credited the public for the “success” the department has had in the apprehension of illegal migrants. Mr. McCartney said the department wants the public to feel comfortable in providing information, tips, advice and suggestions on the issue.
“Under the Immigration Act, certain things are illegal. If you are here illegally, it is a crime. If you hire persons illegally, it is a crime. If you work outside the scope of your permit, it is a crime,” he said.
Peter Muscroft, acting chairman of the Bahamas Crime Stoppers Foundation, said they responded to an invitation by Mr. McCartney to assist the department in its fight against illegal migration.
“We believe that crime stoppers is an international programme, which works efficiently throughout the world. So we have a product which has been proven to be successful and this is why the Immigration Department should benefit from the structure that is already in place, in the same way the police force is benefiting,” Mr Muscroft said.
The Bahamas Crime Stoppers Foundation is a non-profit organisation managed by civilians. Any reward payable has to be agreed and decided by the board of directors. The local body is a member of the International Crime Stoppers Organisation and has the support of the regional body. There are similar programmes in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.