Four hundred and three pounds (403 lbs) of suspected cocaine, with an estimated street value of $3.1 million, were found in Central Eleuthera, during a joint operation on Monday, March 29th, 2021.
Two men, a 28 year-old and a 37 year-old are now being sought by police as persons of interest with respect to the investigations into this large drug find. The suspects arrived in Eleuthera, on a blue and white Piper Aztec twin engine aircraft, midday on Sunday, March 28th, 2021, and disembarked at the Governor’s Harbour airport. This aircraft is believed to be connected to the discovery of the drugs, say police.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Solomon Cash, in a press briefing in New Providence on Monday evening, March 29th, 2021, commenting on the suspects, said, “What we are saying to the two individuals who disembarked the aircraft, is that they should surrender to the police… I can assure you, we are following very significant leads as to who they are, and they are being sought at this time… We suspect they are still there (in Eleuthera).”
ACP Cash informed that the drug find began with a tip-off, “On Sunday, March 28th, 2021, Police received intelligence concerning an aircraft in-bound to the Bahamas, with suspected cocaine on board. As a result of that information, assisted by national law enforcement agencies, US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), as well as local Eleuthera Division Police Officers, launched a comprehensive investigation, concerning this aircraft.”
The joint agencies, said Cash, commenced a surveillance exercise on Sunday near the Governor’s Harbour airstrip, and observed two individuals leaving the suspected aircraft, after it landed at noon. The individuals, he continued, were searched, however, nothing was found in their possession. The operation was said to have continued into Sunday evening.
A surveillance team as well as a search team continued the operation in the area of the Governor’s Harbour airport on Monday morning, March 29th, 2021, conducting a search among the trees along the landing strip and sometime after 9am, said ACP Cash, the teams recovered six multi-colored (duffel) bags – each containing a large quantity of suspected cocaine, from an area just north west of the airstrip. On completion of a count, he said, 155 packages were found inside the bags, with an estimated street value of $3.1 million.
The cache of drugs was transported from Eleuthera to New Providence on Monday evening by sea, arriving sometime after 7pm at the Police Harbour Patrol docking facility on Bay Street.
When questioned about the nationality of the two wanted suspects and the nature of the drug find, ACP Cash shared, “”We are not certain of their nationality at this time… We believe this is a transnational crime, based on our information – a transhipment originating outside of the jurisdiction of The Bahamas and into The Bahamas.” He continued, “When we searched them (the two suspects), we did not find anything in their possession. But, as the investigation unravels and we gain additional information, we have reasonable cause to suspect that they are the ones responsible.”
“We’ve dispatched a team of forensic officers to Eleuthera from our scientific support section and our ‘scenes of crimes’ experts, who are also assisting us with this investigation,” he added.
As of Wednesday, March 31st, police in Eleuthera had taken one person into custody, who was described as having, “some involvement”. This person was transported to New Providence for further investigation.