Drug ship has nothing to do with Bahamas, Dames says
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that a cargo ship which passed through Freeport, Grand Bahama, last week and was found with more than $1 billion worth of cocaine on board earlier this week “has nothing to do with The Bahamas”.
The drugs were found concealed in seven shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane, according to U.S. law enforcement officials.
When federal agents opened the containers they saw the drugs in bags.
Records show that the ship’s last stop was in Freeport on June 13.
Dames told The Nassau Guardian, “Vessels come through here all the time. It has nothing to do with The Bahamas. If a freight vessel comes through with freights on it, it has nothing to do with The Bahamas making checks so that’s it. We’re still trying to figure out what happened.”
He added, “I can assure you of that and based on what I know we feel extremely confident that has nothing to do with The Bahamas. I mean vessels come through all the time, does it mean that we have to know what’s on each vessel that’s coming through?”
Asked if the government was investigating the matter, Dames said, “Well, it’s not investigating it. We’re closely in communication with our partners.”
According to court documents, the ship arrived in Philadelphia on Monday morning from Freeport laden with commercial cargo, destined for the United States and elsewhere, as the next port of call for the vessel was Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Its previous stops also include Cristobal, Panama, on June 9; Callao, Peru, on June 6; San Antonio, Puerto Rico, on May 27; and Buenaventura, Colombia, on May 19.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said the bust is one of the largest drug seizures in U.S. history.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, The Bahamas remains a transit point for illegal drugs bound for the U.S. and other countries.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice