Sunday, May 08, 2005
Two men who were plucked from the Providence River by boaters last night are Turkish nationals who jumped ship, the authorities say. Based on their passports, the police and federal officials identified them as brothers Ugur Kadioglu, 21, and Ufuk Kadioglu, 23. They jumped into the water from the vessel Ophan Ekinci, a cement-carrying freighter that sailed from Turkey and was tied up at the Municipal Wharf. Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement took custody of the pair, preparatory to returning them to their ship or to their home country. The pair had with them a backpack, personal papers, two compact discs containing pictures of a wedding reception and $610 in U.S. currency. The police said they turned over most of the items to the federal agents and would turn over the rest as soon as possible. When the ship arrived in Providence, most or all of the crew were refused entry to the United States because they lacked proper documents, according to Janet Rapaport, public affairs officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York City. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sister agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. "Apparently they decided to do it their way" and jump overboard, Rapaport said of the brothers. She said she does not know why they wanted to disembark. It is the responsibility of the vessel's agent or owner to arrange for the brothers' return, and for the time being they will continue to be held by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rapaport explained. The agent or owner apparently will have them put on a plane for a flight home, she said.