The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says officers at Miami International Airport (MIA) apprehended a 26-year-old Cuban man who attempted to evade detection in the belly of an aircraft arriving from Havana early Friday morning.
CBP said it received reports of a possible stowaway shortly after midnight when a ramp agent encountered the man while offloading baggage.
“The man was refused entry, and CBP officers processed the individual as a stowaway under Section 212(a)(6)(D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),” the statement said.
“CBP officers remain vigilant to arrest persons trying to elude detection in violation of federal law.”
Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher D. Maston said individuals are “taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces, and CBP is trained and ready to respond with appropriate actions to prevent serious injuries or death whenever possible.
“Teams of CBP officers maintain a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws, while facilitating trade and travel at ports of entry statewide,” Maston said.
CBP said it maintains a “high level of vigilance using advanced technologies and joint partnerships with a vast network of local, state and federal law enforcement partners as part of a multi-layered approach to border security.”
CBP said it has detected 20 stowaways across the US so far this fiscal year.
It said stowaways have been detected attempting to hide using various means of transportation, including aboard aircraft, concealed within shipping containers, hidden in railway cars and inside tractor-trailers.
CBP said it collaborated with the US Coast Guard in apprehending three stowaways on a merchant vessel a few miles offshore near the Port of Miami in January.
CBP officers also discovered several stowaways on board vessels arriving in Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic the latter part of last year.
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