9 Arrested Among (possibly) Many More
The island has seen several foreign nationals unlawfully entering the island, resulting in the arrest of 9 individuals. However, many more are speculated to have avoided law enforcement upon arrival.
All the Nationals arrested so far told law enforcement that they entered Guam by boat from either Rota or Saipan.
Guam Customs and Quarantine Director Ike Peredo told PNC that these Nationals fly to Saipan and then purchase vessels to sail to Guam.
Court documents report that 5 boats were impounded by Guam Customs; all of which registered from the CNMI.
Migrants typically enter through 1 of 4 points: Ritidian, Tanguisson, Gun Beach, and the Hagatna Boat Basin.
Not all of them arrested, yet
In May, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee reported Haize Lu and Zhiyong Liu entering the Ritidian coast by boat.
Between the two men, officers only arrested Haize Lu. He was the 2nd recorded arrest.
Such as the case of Haize Lu, court documents suggest that more Nationals may have entered unlawfully and have not been arrested yet.
This is what we gathered from court documents made by law enforcement from both the CQA and GPD:
- Jian Feng Li had 6 other individuals with him when he arrived on July 3rd.
- Xiao Juan Sun arrived with 8 other individuals on July 8th.
- Ruigang Li also arrived with 8 others on July 8th; however, they docked at Gun Beach while Juan Sun docked at the Hagatna Boat Basin.
- Guo Qin She had 5 others with him when he arrived on July 23rd.
- Lastly, Fu Li arrived with 7 others on July 25th.
Only one individual, Zhicong Huang, admitted to communicating with individuals on Guam prior to his arrival. The rest of those arrested said they didn’t know anyone on the island.
Some may recall the viral Facebook video that showed 3 migrants being picked up near Ritidian by a car parked in the middle of the road. In the video, after the 3 piled in the backseat, the driver walked out to address the person recording the incident.
While it’s still unclear whether or not those in the video were already arrested, Jianfeng Lu’s court report told a similar story.
On August 16th, while officers were already investigating a suspicious beach landing, a car pulled up. They spoke to the driver, Jianfeng Lu, and he told them that he arrived in May by boat with two other individuals.
The identities of those individuals are unknown and Jianfeng Lu was arrested.
The CQA Director confirmed that these individuals are Chinese in both ethnicity and nationality. He also shared that their origin point is Mainland China.
“They come to Guam looking for work because they say there are no jobs in Saipan,” said Peredo.
When asked about employment, one foreign national told officers:
“Most of us do anything like landscaping, cleaning, and cooking.”
Pursuing foreign nationals
PNC also spoke to the Attorney General’s Office about how they handle these cases judicially.
“We have them check-in with us 3 times a week and have them disclose the location of their residence on the island,” said Attorney General Leevin Camacho.
The Attorney General shared that 2 Nationals claimed personal recognizance to avoid custody, meaning they are free until their trial date. Additionally, 1 National, Jian Feng Li, walked free for paying a $2,000 bail after agreeing to declare where he lived on the island.
Peredo said the CQA is working with federal authorities like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, on these investigations.
PNC spoke to Saipan’s Customs agency who shared that they are also aware of the situation. Saipan’s Customs are also working with federal authorities.
However, the office explained that they haven’t been in much contact with Guam.
Investigations are ongoing.
Reach reporter Devin Eligio: email@example.com