Drug enforcement officers arrested four male suspects and recovered $2.3 million in marijuana early yesterday morning in what is now the largest drug seizure for Grand Bahama in recent times.
It was also the first in several years in which suspects were arrested.
The men are all residents of Freeport and range in age from 23 to 39.
The huge haul, weighing in at 2,283lb, was discovered after officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) managed to stop a vehicle it was chasing. The team was reportedly en route to an assignment around 12:50 a.m. and observed a silver Eco van travelling east while on Warren Levarity Highway, Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour said yesterday at a media briefing.
The officer in charge of Grand Bahama revealed the DEU officers were headed in a westerly direction when they noticed that the suspicious-looking vehicle had appeared to be heavy laden.
“Several persons were in the vehicle and so becoming suspicious the officers had reason to stop the vehicle,” he said.
The officers pursued the van and signaled for the driver to stop, but he refused.
“A chase ensued and as a result the vehicle eventually came to a stop,” he said.
The chase ended on the Fishing Hole road in the vicinity of fishermen’s stands.
The officers discovered there were four men inside the vehicle, they ordered them out and while searching they discovered 21 bags of suspected marijuana,” he said.
“All of the bags have individual packages in them,” he said.
The duffle bags were seized and flown into New Providence later that afternoon.
Police have no information regarding where the contraband was headed but ACP Seymour noted that police are concerned and determined to keep it off the streets of Grand Bahama.
“One of the things that we in law enforcement are adamant about is to ensure that we do everything within our power to prevent these suspected drugs, both marijuana and cocaine, from getting on the streets of Grand Bahama and, by extension, the entire Bahamas,” he said.
“Drugs kills, drugs destroy lives and we can ill afford for these unscrupulous persons with their unscrupulous and deviant behavior to reek havoc on the wider Bahamian population.”
Speaking to the recent successful drug arrests, the Grand Bahama police chief pointed out that the suspect who was apprehended at the Grand Bahama International Airport after three kilos of cocaine were confiscated on Saturday and another three people arrested in Bimini in connection with eight bales of marijuana, coupled with this latest bust is grave cause for concern.
As there are those who are hell-bent on committing criminal acts, he said law enforcement officers are even more determined to stop them and bring them to justice.
ACP Seymour also stressed that the investigation into yesterday’s bust is in its initial stage and still open.
“Since the incident happened, several other persons were taken into custody and there is a potential that more may be brought into custody in connection with this particular matter,” he said.
The top cop confirmed that two men, both in their early 30s, were the latest to be taken in for questioning hours later, in addition to the four.
He thanked the DEU officers in the Royal Bahamas Police Force for their hard work and the assistance of their counterparts in the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.
Police in Exuma made a similar arrest on that island two weeks ago.
According to reports, four Bahamian men were taken into custody along with the $2.3 million worth of marijuana found on Farmer's Cay, Exuma around 7:30 a.m.
The 2,300 pounds of marijuana and the suspects were also transported to the capital.
Before yesterday’s drug haul in Grand Bahama, the latest large drug find was back in March when two duffle bags with an estimated street value of $1.3 million in cocaine were discovered in a container.