Report: Bahamas seized 42 metric tons of marijuana in 2010
The Bahamas through multilateral interdiction efforts seized and destroyed 42 metric tons of marijuana last year–roughly the weight of an 18 wheeler–according to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report(INCSR), which also suggested this country has to increase the resources of its judiciary in an effort to further combat the illegal drug trade.
“As mentioned in previous annual reports, we continue to encourage The Bahamas to increase the resources and manpower available to prosecutors, judges, and magistrates,”the report said.
The report also suggested that the law enforcement agencies in The Bahamas, such as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force(RBDF)and Royal Bahamas Police Force(RBPF), invest in learning Creole in order to increase its interdiction efforts with law enforcement officials in Haiti.
“With regard to drug control efforts, it is recommended that the GCOB(Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas)continue to examine the integration of Creole speakers into the DEU(Drug Enforcement Unit)and to encourage information sharing between the RBPF, RBDF and the Haitian National Police,”the report continued.
“This relationship would help to develop information on Haitian drug trafficking organizations operating in The Bahamas.”
The INCSR revealed that the joint U.S., Bahamas and Turks and Caicos drug interdiction unit called Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos(OPBAT), along with local law enforcement, seized 269 kilograms or 600 pounds of cocaine last year.
The report went on to say that the DEU arrested more than 1,000 individuals for drug-related offenses last year and seized more than$821,000 in cash.
Cocaine and marijuana trafficking throughout The Bahamas is an ongoing concern of the international community, according to the INCSR, which suggested that The Bahamas has to better meld interdiction efforts by its law enforcement agencies. It also contended that Haitian and Haitian-Bahamian drug trafficking organizations are playing a major role in trafficking.
“Cocaine continues to transit The Bahamas via go-fast boats, small commercial freighters, or small aircraft,”it said.”Small sport fishing vessels and pleasure crafts then move cocaine from The Bahamas to Florida, blending into the legitimate vessel traffic that moves daily between these locations.
It continued,”Larger go-fast and sport fishing vessels transport marijuana from Jamaica, through The Bahamas and into Florida in the same manner as cocaine. To further improve interoperability, build joint maritime security and law enforcement expertise, and enforce maritime laws at or beyond their territorial sea limit, it is recommended that RBPF and RBDF units work together to plan and execute at-sea law enforcement operations.”
INCSR also contended that The Bahamas has to closely scrutinize cargo moving through the Freeport Container Port, calling the port an”emerging threat.”
In the report’s section on money laundering it suggested The Bahamas should adjust its laws in order to make it a criminal offense to be connected to a criminal organization. It added that when it comes to bulk money laundering, the Freeport Container Port is also a growing concern.
“Freeport Harbor has the closest offshore port to the United States and the entire country is relatively accessible by medium sized boats,”said the INCSR report.”This makes smuggling and bulk cash money laundering relatively easy.”