Friday, Nov 17, 2017
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Multi-million dollar drug bust

Three Bahamian men are in police custody in connection with the seizure of just over 3,000 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $3 million, Assistant Commissioner Samuel Butler said yesterday.

The drugs were discovered in a safe house in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera on Thursday.

Officials transported the drugs to New Providence on Thursday night.

“Officers of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), along with the local police officers received intelligence about a safe house that may have contained drugs,” said Butler, who heads the DEU.

“The necessary inquiries were made and it was determined that a large quantity of drugs was concealed in a premises on one of the commercial areas there.”

The drugs were concealed in large taped packages throughout the safe house, Butler said.

This latest drug bust is one of many significant seizures this year.

Last month, police discovered a large cannabis field at the back of a building on Portago Road, off Thompson Boulevard in New Providence. Officers seized nearly 300 marijuana plants at the time.

Butler said the Drug Enforcement Unit continues to make drug interdictions across the country. However, he said the police can’t do it without the public’s help.

“We’ve been receiving a considerable amount of intelligence,” he said.

“In fact, this arrest is coming on the heels of a drug arrest early Wednesday morning.

“We were conducting surveillance in the Exuma Cays on some guys on a go fast boat.

“During hot pursuit, the suspects began to eject packages into the water.”

Butler said officers eventually arrested the suspects and retrieved most of the marijuana packages from the water.
“It’s a very familiar trend,” he said.

“We will continue to be active and responsive to intelligence. You will see even more interdictions in the near future.”

According to the March 2017 U.S. Department of State’s International Narcotic Control Strategy Report, OPBAT (Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos) operations across The Bahamas in 2016 led to 91 arrests and the seizure of approximately 1,543 kilograms (kg) of cocaine, 4.45 metric tons of marijuana, and $687,142 in currency.

“This represented a 242 percent increase in the amount of seized cocaine compared to 2015, when 637 kg were seized, and a return to high levels recorded in 2014,” the report states.

OPBAT also identified and eradicated three marijuana fields and 3,175 marijuana plants on multiple islands.

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