Categorized | National News

FNM Wants Customs Probe

Officials in the Free National Movement (FNM) on Monday urged local police authorities to intensify their investigations “and let the chips fall where they may” with regards to that major ammunition and luxury car racket uncovered last week.

In a press statement issued yesterday, FNM Chairman Darron Cash said while his party congratulates the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) for a job well done, even if it means taking full control of the investigations from the Customs Department to ensure full independence of that investigation to get to the bottom of the matter, then that is what has to happen.

“Over the last two years the FNM has become aware of extremely disturbing claims of high-level corruption within the Customs Department,” Mr. Cash said. “Specific names of very senior officials and specific agencies have been called as being involved in well-coordinated efforts to defraud the government and people of The Bahamas.

“Sadly, there are uncorroborated concerns that the actions of these corrupt or compromised senior customs officials are being perpetrating with the knowledge of senior politicians.”

Mr. Cash added that this potential involvement of senior Customs Department officials may be one reason for the unsettling level of timidity evident in the statements from the police.

“The FNM hopes that it is not misinterpreting the superintendent of CDU’s statements as being a hands off approach to potentially explosive corruption fears that his team is afraid to touch,” he added.

Last Wednesday, at least one prominent businessman has been arrested in connection with that ammunition and stolen vehicle racket that was uncovered a part of a joint operation between the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Customs Department.

The operation spanned two weeks and resulted in the seizure of seven luxury vehicles that officials believe were stolen from the United States and smuggled or were attempted to be smuggled into the country.

Those vehicles, including a Porsche hybrid, 2011 Mercedes and 2014 Mercedes collectively estimated to be worth more than $200,000 and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition were seized.

Customs Comptroller Charles Turner is convinced that they are fighting an operation that is connected to a much larger ring.

“It does seem clear to the FNM that it is now time for the Royal Bahamas Police Department to undertake top to bottom investigation of certain leaders and managers within the Customs Department,” Mr. Cash said. “Whether it is BAMSI, other government agencies or a luxury car ring, every instance of theft or fraud demands a complete let the chips fall where they may investigation regardless of the political connections of the senior people involved.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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