Police seized more than US$3 million in marijuana on Monday during a joint operation involving the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, US Coast Guard and other US law enforcement agencies.
“We noticed that over the last few months because of the lockdown, things have slowed a bit and as the country opened back up so (did) our borders. The drug runners who were on their break went back to work but we are there.
“As it relates to the violence in the community, we know that a lot of the street violence is related to these drug turfs and if we can control the flow of drugs then hopefully we’ll be able to see a reduction in the number of street violence,” Police Commissioner Paul Rolle told reporters.
The authorities said that the seizure came after drug runners were engaged in a high seas chase that ended off the coast of Exuma, leaving one officer in hospital with injuries after the suspects “rammed” into the police’s boat with their vessel.
Police said that the joint operation was launched after a team, conducting surveillance along the Ragged Island chain, came upon a speedboat with four occupants on board.
They said that the vessel was asked to stop, but the captain failed to comply and the chase ensued.
Rolle told reporters that the chase lasted more than an hour and the people on this boat loaded with contraband rammed the police boat in an effort to escape.
“One officer was injured in the process…he received injuries to the leg and neck having been knocked from the boat.
“Officers then engaged the persons in this speedboat, discharging their weapon, striking one of the individuals in the right upper chest, which was entry, exit. The driver of the boat then stopped, and along with the helicopter and the people aboard the police boat (officers), were able to board this vessel where we discovered some 52 crocus sacks of what we now know to be marijuana.”
The police said that the suspects are all Bahamians and that the two men who were injured during the operations are receiving medical attention at a hospital.