Two stowaways found on board of tanker
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee, KMar) on Bonaire, in cooperation with the Port and Pilotage Department of the Public Entity Bonaire (Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire, OLB), removed two stowaways from an ocean-going vessel in the afternoon of Thursday, the 31st of March. The two had illegally climbed aboard in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and stayed on the rudder and in the rudder trunk of the tanker during the four-day voyage.
Following a report from Port and Pilotage, KMar personnel were taken by a workboat to the freighter on the open sea. There the two men transferred to the workboat after which they were taken to safety. The two were in reasonably good health. Once on land, both stowaways applied for asylum, after which they were placed in immigration detention at the Netherlands Caribbean Correctional Institution (Justitiële Inrichting Caribisch Nederland, JICN).
The Immigration and Naturalization Service Caribbean Netherlands (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst Caribisch Nederland, IND-CN) will continue to process the asylum applications. Asylum seekers may apply for asylum because of the (personal) situation in their own country, for example because of war or inhumane treatment. The IND-CN will take a decision on the applications after an investigation into the situation of the two asylum seekers has been completed. This procedure may legally take 6 months, but it is estimated that in this case a decision will be made within a few weeks.