|SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic(AP) — Two pilots accused of trafficking Dominican migrants bound for the United States were ordered Friday to remain in jail until their trial in eight months.
Kennett Courdero Whymns and Marvin Dennis Cabral, both from the Bahamas, were arrested last week and accused of trying to fly five people to the Turks and Caicos Islands with false documentation.
The migrants were carrying fake visas and passports and each paid roughly $20,000 for the trip to Providenciales, where they were to board a boat to the U.S., prosecutor Yenny Reynoso said.
The pilots previously organized at least five similar trips, Reynoso charged.
Lawyers for the two suspects could not be immediately reached for comment.
Dominican authorities say they are cracking down on illegal charter flights after a group of 11 migrants boarded a plane in December 2008 that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.
In January, authorities said a U.S.-licenced pilot tried to smuggle several migrant workers out of the Dominican Republic on an illegal flight to the U.S. Virgin Islands.