A 26-year-old Cuban man was arrested at Miami International Airport early Friday after he was found in the cargo hold of a flight that had arrived from Havana, officials said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement that a ramp agent encountered the man while unloading luggage from the undercarriage of Swift Air Flight 704. The agent called the police, as did the pilot of the aircraft.
CBP SUFFERS MASSIVE POWER OUTAGE AT AIRPORTS ACROSS US
“Police! Police! Juliet nine, Juliet niner. Apparently, we just came in from Havana,” the pilot said, according to WSVN. “Apparently, we had a stowaway in the belly,
Cellphone video posted on Twitter showed airport workers surrounding the suspected stowaway. A guard can be heard telling the man to “back away from the aircraft,” the station reported.
The man was refused entry and processed by CBP as a stowaway. Authorities in Cuba and the U.S. were investigating how he managed to get past airport security in Havana and get on board the aircraft.
“Individuals are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces and CBP is trained and ready to respond with appropriate actions to prevent serious injuries or death whenever possible,” Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher D. Maston said in a statement. “Teams of CBP officers maintain a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws while facilitating trade and travel at ports of entry statewide.”
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An attorney for the stowaway identified him Friday as Yunier Garcia Duarte. The attorney told WSVN Duarte has family and friends in Atlanta who are planning to come to Miami to try and visit him.