In a joint operation late Wednesday night, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and US Customs and Border Protection intercepted a vessel transporting undocumented immigrants near Cooper Island. 

Just before midnight, law enforcement spotted and approached the vessel that had unlawfully entered BVI waters. Upon being intercepted, the boat ran aground on Cooper Island. 

Officers discovered 25 adults and children who had been onboard. Additional daylight searches around the island led to 10 more individuals being found who were also believed to have been travelling on the migrant vessel.

All 35 illegal immigrants have been handed over to the BVI Immigration Department for processing. The whereabouts of the vessel’s captain remain unknown as of now.

According to police, investigations are actively ongoing into this suspected human smuggling operation. 

Authorities have not shared any details as yet on the migrant’s believed origination point and intended destination.