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Dames: Customs worked with RBDF on seizures at base

A seizure of goods on board a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) vessel was the result of “consultation” with the Customs Department, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday.

Last week, reports circulated that a RBDF boat was raided after crew members allegedly failed to declare goods after docking in Florida for more than a week.

Last Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said a customs investigation team assigned to the Ministry of Finance’s Revenue Enhancement Unit “conducted an operation in the Coral Harbour area of New Providence on Sunday, July 21, 2019, which resulted in the seizure of goods pending review and determination of action”.

When reached for a comment on Friday, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel refused to address the claims.

Bethel told The Nassau Guardian, “I am not going to address that now. You can allow customs to address it but I will not address it.”

He added, “I don’t respond to social media reports. I just gave you the best I can, always go to the source. Who initiated the dialogue? That’s your source.”

However, Dames said, “They were working with customs through the defense force on that.”

He added, “There is this perception that a crew of people just showed up and began searching. Whatever happened, it happened in consultation with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. At the end of the day, the Customs Department and the defense force will update you accordingly.”

Turnquest said the investigation is ongoing.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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