NASSAU, Bahamas — The Bahamas military has detained 70 Haitians crossing the southern portion of the island chain in a sailboat.

A Royal Bahamas Defense Force statement says the suspected migrants were located Monday evening by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter after they were initially spotted the previous day by a Bahamian patrol plane.

The military intercepted the 40-foot boat named “Island Girl” east of Long Island in the southern Bahamas. The Haitians were to be taken to Nassau and appeared likely to be repatriated in coming days.

The detention marked the first time this year that suspected migrants were apprehended by the Bahamas. In 2017, defense forces detained about 1,300 migrants, mostly from Haiti, as part of a broader crackdown on people smuggling and illegal immigration.

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