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“ NATIONAL SECURITY FAILURE”

Marvin Dames on Murders (2)

Marvin Dames on Murders (2)As the Official Opposition is lamenting what it calls “ a national security failure, the  Minister of National Security, Marvin Dames, says “every vessel that traverse the waters of The Bahamas cannot readily be identified and intercepted. He said  that a number of technologies, new and old are being sought out in defense of protecting the borders.

“We are working on improving our reach through the Sandy Bottom Project, where we are expanding our reach throughout the Bahamas by putting bases in strategic areas to protect our borders.

“But despite our partnerships with other nations, we still have persons who are successful in getting through  whether it’s drugs, whether it’s the illegal trafficking of persons or whether it’s firearms, and that’s why I say that we need to improve our capacity.

“The Bahamas is an archipelago with over 700 Islands and Cays, that stretch over 100,000 square miles of sea.

“I can tell you from personal experience, I’ve had many trips, when I was in the police force running operations. You can go out for hours and not see anything, land, boat, or anything else.

“For someone to think that every vessel that comes through here should be identified, that’s not humanly possible.

“So, my point is that we have to use intelligence to drive our business. Law enforcement is a very dynamic business. When you create strategies, and develop initiatives to target criminal activities and criminal gangs and transnational organizations, they too would realize that when they feel that push, they are going to find other means to circumvent their activities and you have to adjust to that,” Mr. Dames said.

Speaking with reporters outside of Cabinet yesterday, Mr. Dames said that although those government agencies that have the responsibility of protecting the borders are using advanced technology, there are still challenges.

“We are looking at any number of technologies, and we have any number of new technologies that we are now using with the Defence Force and other agencies who are involved in protecting our borders.

“But even with that, to think that that’s going to put a hundred percent blanket on our country and prevent any illegal activity or business from taking place is almost impossible.

“As long as there is a demand, and people are always in the business of making money by exploiting others, people are in the business of making money by engaging in illegal trafficking of illegal guns or firearms and there is a market, then you will continue to be challenged by this,” Mr. Dames said.

Mr. Dames acknowledged however, that work towards bringing new strategies to apprehend traffickers and illegals will continue.

“We need to continue towards developing our intelligence capacity, so that we know who these traffickers are.

“We know who the players are involved in these transnational activities, and one of these things we said as a government that we will drive our National Intelligence Agency, that we will bring legislation [to] our National Intelligence Agency to help us to strengthen the bond between us and our neighbors, to ensure that together we find our answers collectively to the problems we face,” Mr. Dames said.

Mr. Dames however, noted that although there are acknowledged challenges, it is impossible to be effective.

“We can be effective, but being effective doesn’t mean that you are going to get 100 percent of those vessels that are coming through here to our island, because it’s not like these guys are waiting and saying ‘alright Defence Force we’re at sea, here are our coordinates.

“They’re finding ways to, once they get through that little passage, to ride among these chain (of islands)  in a very concealed fashion. Whether it’s coming up through the Exuma chain, or whether it’s coming up around the back of Andros, or whether it’s coming on the other side.

“So, it’s very challenging, but we are looking at ways and means to improve our reach,” Mr. Dames said.

OPPOSITION  LAMENTS “NATIONAL SECURITY FAILURE”

A statement from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition Philip Davis  is highly critical of the Minister of National Security Marvin Dames,  noting that the ‘excuse’ given on the escape of illegal Haitian nationals on Sunday  was not enough, calling it an “unacceptable security failure.

“The excuse given by  the Minister of National Security, for his government’s failure to spot a sailing sloop with suspected illegal migrants aboard within a two mile range of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force base is unacceptable.

“In this instance, our party does not ask him to guard the whole Bahamas, but to simply guard the shoreline close to the Defence Force base.  The forces under his command could not even do that.

“The Minister for National Security must accept full responsibility for these failures. The Minister of National Security is obligated to give a full account as to what personnel or what established security protocols failed which resulted in allowing undocumented illegals to go undetected right on the doorstep of the Defence Force.

 

“This was an unacceptable security failure that requires an immediate investigation so we know why it happened and what we can do to avoid it from happening again,” the statement said.

The statement  implored the Free National Movement administration to stop deflecting attention through poor excuses.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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