US Releases List of Major Drug Producing and Transit Countries
On September 13, 2013, United States President Barack Obama released the Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit and Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2014. As required by the United States’ Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA), the annual release of the U.S. Presidential Majors List identifies countries determined to be a major drug transit country or a major illicit drug producing country.
In the Presidential Determination, The Bahamas was identified as a major drug transit country. However, a country’s presence on the Presidential Majors List is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. The United States enjoys close collaboration with The Bahamas on counternarcotics and citizen security. The Bahamas’ inclusion on this list reflects the ongoing challenge it faces in combating transnational organized crime, and highlights the need for continued bilateral support to counter this threat.
The United States and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have been stalwart partners against illegal narcotics trafficking. The Bahamas is an important partner in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). In 2012, The Bahamas’ Drug Enforcement Unit cooperated closely with United States and other foreign law enforcement agencies on drug investigations through Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT). These efforts contributed to the seizure of 236 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and the seizure of 162 metric tons of marijuana by Bahamian authorities during calendar year 2012.
The United States has a Comprehensive Maritime Agreement (CMA) with The Bahamas, which provides for cooperation in counternarcotics operations in and around Bahamian territorial waters, including the use of ship riders and expedited boarding authorizations and procedures. This agreement was utilized often in 2012, showcasing the Bahamian government’s strong commitment to U.S. and joint counternarcotics efforts.
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