Authorities apprehend cruise ship deserters

Carnival Fantasy docked in Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers worked with authorities to apprehend three Indonesian nationals in Arkansas last week who had deserted from various international cruise ships docked in the United States over the past three years.

CBP officers in Mobile, Alabama received notification in June that crew members had failed to report back to a cruise ship for departure after shore leave and conducted an investigation with law enforcement partners supporting the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) in the region including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Border Enforcement Security Task Forces are comprised of officers and agents from federal and local agencies – responsible for identifying, interdicting and investigating a wide variety of transnational border crime including the illegal smuggling of drugs, persons, currency and weapons.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a high level of vigilance and works closely with a myriad of law enforcement partners as part of efforts to manage our borders,” said Steven Stavinoha Director, New Orleans Office of Field Operations. “This is just the latest example of the men and women of CBP working hard every day to secure our borders and keep our Nation safe.”

Three Indonesian crew members aiding the deserters had previously been removed.

As America’s unified border agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) protects the United States against terrorist threats and prevents the illegal entry of people and dangerous materials into the United States, while facilitating lawful travel and trade. On average, CBP arrests 22 wanted persons at air, land and sea ports of entry across the United States. Additionally, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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