Acting on information that a foreign vessel had entered a dock at a private residence in Marsh Harbour without declaring customs, RBDF Marines and Customs officials conducted a joint operation, subsequently taking 2 Americans into custody on Thursday afternoon.
The vessel that was berthed at an adjoining waterfront residence was searched, as well as the home located at the Eastern Shores on the island. A search of the residence uncovered a Ruger pistol, a semi-high powered air pistol with 4 cannisters, 2 magazines and over 600 rounds of ammunition. Also found were a container of steel pellets, knives and a blow air duct.
A second home in the same vicinity was also searched and in that house was found a high powered weapon with a telescope. A fishing vessel owned by one of the men was also confiscated by the relevant authorities.
Both Americans were taken into custody and handed over to the police for further questioning. They will be charged with failure to clear customs under the Customs Management Act. The weapon will be turned over to the police in Marsh Harbour.
Deployed teams of RBDF Officers and Marines around the country continue to concentrate their efforts in keeping our borders safe from smuggling and trafficking of weapons, narcotics, migrants, poachers and deterring the pillaging of natural resources within our territorial borders.
This marks the first arrest for the New Year of individuals who have breached the laws of the country by the Defence Force. Last month, the Defence Force apprehended a tugboat and barge for illegally dredging sand in waters off the western end of New Providence, and recovered two stolen vessels. More recently, the Defence Force apprehended several foreigners, several of whom arrived in country as passengers aboard an international airline.
All matters have been turned over to Police, Immigration, Port Department and Fisheries authorities for further investigation with most matters resulting in ongoing cases before the courts.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial environment of The Bahamas.