MIAMI, April 13, 2010 (AFP) – US police backed by helicopter units swooped on a group of illegal immigrants smuggled in from the Bahamas, arresting 15 from Haiti, Jamaica and Sri Lanka, smuggled in by sea by Cubans, authorities and local media said Tuesday. The Bahamas are a frequent stopover point for human trafficking operations that charge usually from 5,000-10,000 dollars to bring migrants into the United States illegally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that 15 illegal migrants who arrived at Haulover Beach in Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami, late Monday were detained Tuesday as the investigation into the incident continued.

Most of the migrants “are men and women from Haiti and Jamaica, and four of them are from Sri Lanka” who were smuggled into Florida “from the Bahamas,” ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas told AFP.

She said police were still investigating how many migrants escaped arrest on arrival.

Two Cubans apparently organized the operation, the ICE said.

A security guard at a condominium called police when he saw the migrants jump out of a boat and desperately run for cover in the bushes. Witnesses told local television police captured many of the migrants at gunpoint.