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2005-12-09 19:42:56

Freeport Container Port Threatens US Security

This is not the first time that drugs have been found at the Container Port. Are chemical weapons being smuggled too?

Close to 30 pounds of suspected marijuana were found hidden in cans at the Freeport Container Port earlier this week, again bringing into question security measures at the facility.

DEU officers, with the help of police dogs, made the discovery around 1:30pm Tuesday after searching a suspicious 20-foot container that arrived in Grand Bahama on December 1st, police reported yesterday.

The 29 pounds of suspected marijuana were reportedly contained in one powder milk box with the label Milex and two power milk boxes with the label Nido.

Police say each box contained six cans with scotch tape securing the foil seals.

Officers searched the packages after becoming suspicious of the boxes.

This is not the first time that drugs have been found at the Container Port.

One of the larger seizures came just two years ago when more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine, with a suspected street value of $10 million, were found hidden among large sacks of Columbian coffee beans.

According to police reports, the 1,116 pounds of cocaine were contained in nine "very large" duffel bags.

Police said the drugs arrived in The Bahamas aboard MSC Jasmine inbound from Bueno Venturo, Columbia, and was awaiting transshipment to Antwerp, Belgium.

Officials have acknowledged that this is a growing problem that is difficult to avert, given that in a transshipment business there are huge amounts of containers, making it difficult to track each one.

They have further stressed that while security measures have been put in place, a check of every container to be transshipped through the facility is not the responsibility of Container Port personnel.

Investigations into this latest incident continue.

In other crime news:

A 23-year-old resident of Yellow Elder Gardens and a 22-year-old male of Pinewood Gardens were in police custody yesterday after DEU officers discovered a .40 Smith and Wesson handgun with seven live rounds of ammunition.

The handgun and ammunition were found following a search of a vehicle in the Acklins Street, Coconut Grove Avenue area on Wednesday sometime after 4pm, police said yesterday.

Investigations continue.

Meantime, police are reminding business owners to monitor the amount of cash kept in their establishments.

Said Police Inspector Walter Evans: "The Royal Bahamas Police Force suggests that large sums of cash not be kept on property. Deposits should be made frequently. Have at least two staff members make the deposits, rotate staff members from making such deposits and adjust the time and routes for making those deposits."

By: Macushla N. Pinder, The Bahama Journal

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