Survey Reveals Crooked Bahamian Customs Officers
A survey by the nautical news site, The Triton, reveals that many Bahamian customs agents are crooked, expecting and receiving bribes and delivering service based on gratuities.
The Triton’s survey came at the request of a captain after a recent trip to the Bahamas who, for the first time, was charged a separate entry fee for the tender towed behind the yacht.
He was curious to discover if other yachts paid this fee and if they paid it every time, or if he just got unlucky this time.
So they asked. Of course, they couldn’t just ask that one question, so they asked many. Below are a few excerpts that were revealed about yachting in the Bahamas from the 228 respondents to their survey.
“I always tip in cash and they are happy to take it,” said the captain of a yacht of 160-180 feet. “They are not consistent on fees and things but that is the Bahamas. I just smile and say ‘yes sir’.”
“One smaller island’s custom officer helped me fill out the paperwork for 14 people,” said the captain of a yacht 80-100 feet who has been to the Bahamas just a few times. “It was a very pleasant experience. The custom lady had a jar on her desk for tips. I put $40 in it and got a nice smile and thank you. She accepted driver licenses for four people, no passports. I do not know if this makes a difference.”
“All captains should stop tipping these government employees,” said the captain of a yacht of 160-180 feet. “It is illegal and you make the entry of those captains who do not tip more difficult. Save your tipping budget for the people who earn it in the service industry, not civil servants.”
For more on the survey, follow the link to the original news story below.boating, corruption, Customs, tourism