Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Eugene Poitier, has declared that the Bahamas is especially vulnerable to narco-trafficking because of its geographical location.
In a report issued on the government of the Bahamas website, Potier was quoted as outlining that illicit maritime trafficking is becoming a persistent challenge because of the group of island’s positions on the route to illicit markets in North America and Europe.
The Bahamas is a geographical configuration of some 700 islands spread over more than 100,000 square nautical miles of water.
Poitier was speaking on behalf of the Minister of National Security Marvin Dames at the opening ceremony of the two-day Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Secretariat for Multidimensional Security Meeting held at the British Colonial Hilton.
He said that the adverse impact of narco-trafficking included the economic effects which were the creation of false economies; threats to financial services and the possibility of blacklisting.
He outlined that the problem also undermined the authority of governments and leads to the corruption of politicians through the funding of preferred candidates and the corruption of government administrative personnel and heads of agencies.
“Guns from small arms trafficking are being used to commit robberies, burglaries, and homicides.”– Permanent Secretary Eugene Poitier
Of particular concern, Poitier said, is the corruption among law enforcement agencies.
The government official also highlighted “the inevitable health and social consequences of the circulation of drugs among the population (payment in kind).”
He noted that narco-traffickers have used small go-fast boats and large tankers; private pleasure crafts and commercial vessels for their illicit deeds. He observed that they are extremely focused and have the resources to carry out their mission.
Poitier said that in response drug control strategies must be wide-ranging, and they must be balanced:
“We too, must use our collective talents and resources if we wish to have a chance to remain a step ahead of these organizations. This is the approach that The Bahamas continues to take in its decisive action against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.”
The Permanent Secretary said much of the crime in the country is drug related or associated with the platform that illicit drugs have created.
He stated that guns from small arms trafficking are being used to commit robberies, burglaries, and homicides.
The Bahamas is serving as the Chair of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission which for the past three decades, has assisted member states in addressing drug use and abuse in the region.