Monday, Feb 24, 2020
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26 arrested in Abaco operation

Twenty-six people were arrested on Abaco in the last 72 hours in connection to a number of crimes, ranging from firearm possession to drug possession and armed robbery, among other matters, according to authorities.

Arriving at Odyssey Airport from Abaco yesterday morning, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander, accompanied by more than two dozen officers, addressed the media on the operation coined “Tidal Surge”.

Fernander said authorities executed the operation in partnership with United States law enforcement officials after certain trends of shootings and armed robberies were observed on the island.

The operation comes just over a week after Fernander announced at a press conference at police headquarters that the Royal Bahamas Police Force is determined to suppress crime and intends to “finish this year strong”.

The operation took place between Sunday night and early Tuesday morning.

According to the assistant commissioner, 21 men and five women were detained.

Of those arrests, Fernander said he expects four people to be charged this week with gun possession, stemming from the seizure of two illegal firearms. 

Another two people will be taken before the courts in connection with the discovery of over $100,000, which police believe to be the proceeds of crime, he said.

Dubbing the sweep of the island a success, Fernander said the public can expect similar operations on New Providence and other Family Islands as authorities clamp down on crime.

“This is just one of many to be continued,” he said.

“… We will continue intelligence-led policing, targeting hotspots, targeting prolific offenders who continue to traffic firearms, drugs and [commit] other serious crimes.

“And this is one of the missions that you see [of the commissioner’s policing plan].

“It’s a guideline, but we take it to another level as we execute and become more creative with how we execute.

“And that element of surprise is so beautiful. You can sit down, identify your problem and then put a plan of action in place.

“As a result of that we mounted an operation after reviewing the crime trends in the Family Islands, [including] Abaco.

“We are not just focusing on New Providence. We see in recent times that the crime trends in Abaco continue with a number of shootings at various nightclubs, and people are targeted and robbed at their homes.”

There have been a series of crimes stemming from Abaco in the last couple of weeks.

Fernander highlighted the nearly 400 marijuana plants discovered last week Wednesday in an area off Earnest Dean Highway, just south of the international airport.

The drugs were valued at $154,800.

Last week Tuesday, officers found a firearm, ammunition and marijuana at a resort in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

On the same day, police arrested a teenager at S.C. Bootle High School after he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana, though the quantity was not reported.

The 17-year-old is expected to be charged sometime this week.

Authorities also reported that on September 16, three masked gunmen broke into a home in Leisure Lee, Abaco, held the occupants of the home at gunpoint and stole jewelry, a shot gun and a 2013 Buick Lacrosse.

Police also reported yesterday morning that officers found the body of a man on Monday on the beach of Crossing Rock.

The body was taken to the Marsh Harbour Clinic, and was expected to be transferred to New Providence where an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Addressing the discovery, Fernander said while the body was badly decomposed, police suspect the man may be the alleged victim of a fatal shooting at a nightclub on the island on September 8.

Authorities were still searching for the alleged suspect in the shooting.

As pointed out by Fernander, other operations this month include “Strong Finish”, which was conducted on New Providence between September 12 and 13.

Twenty-four people were arrested during that overnight operation – 12 in connection with murders on the island; two in connection with cocaine possession; nine in connection with a series of armed robberies and one person was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm.


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