(MIAMI) — A 26-year-old Cuban man who stowed away in the cargo hold of a flight from Havana to Miami was arrested Friday morning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“CBP received reports of a possible stowaway shortly after midnight after a ramp agent encountered the man while offloading baggage,” CBP spokesperson Keith E. Smith told ABC News in a statement.
The man “was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” Greg Chin, Communications Director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department told ABC News Friday.
According to FlightRadar 24, the Swift Air flight took off from Havana on Thursday at 11:11 p.m. EST and landed in Miami at 11:51 p.m. EST. Swift Air did not respond to a request for comment.
Local ABC affiliate WPLG reported the pilot could be heard talking to air traffic control saying, “Apparently someone came over in the belly on our aircraft.”
A controller responds, “You need assistance, where, what gate?”
“Police, Police,” the pilot says. “Juliet 9.. apparently we just came in from Havana.. apparently we had a stowaway on the belly.”
Social media video and images obtained by ABC show the alleged “stowaway.” He was wearing jeans and a short-sleeved dark blue shirt and appeared to be unharmed.
“CBP’s mission is to facilitate travel while maintaining the highest standards of security for those who live here and for those who come to visit,” Smith said.
Customs agents on average process a million travelers a day at airports, seaports and border crossings across the country.
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