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Police Lack Creole Speakers

THE Royal Bahamas Police Force continues to lack sufficient Creole speakers to combat the major role played by Haitian-Bahamian gangs in the drugs trade, according to the US State Department. The newly released 2012 edition of the department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) - the precusor to which first raised the issue of Haitian-Bahamian gangs - said the problem persists and the Drug Enforcement Unit still lacks the personnel to deal with it. It said: "Haitian and Haitian-Bahamian drug trafficking organisations continue to play a major role in the movement of cocaine from Hispaniola through the Bahamas. "Investigations of these organisations are hindered by an enduring lack of Creole speakers within the DEU. "Bahamian law enforcement regularly discovers drugs during inspections of Haitian sloops that continue to enter Bahamian waters despite being officially prohibited from doing so." The report said these organisations also use air drops and remote airfields to deliver large cocaine shipments to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas from Venezuela and Colombia. Bahamian drug trafficking gangs are thought to be using the Turks and Caicos Islands as a transshipment point as well, the State Department said. According to the report, the Bahamas government continues to be a "stalwart ally" of the United States in the fight against illegal narcotics trafficking, primarily through Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a multiagency and international drug interdiction effort established in 1982 to stop the flow of cocaine and marijuana through the Bahamas to the United States. "The government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas also co-operates to target Bahamian drug trafficking organisations and to reduce the Bahamian domestic demand for drugs," it said. The report said Bahamian law enforcement organisations continue to evolve and build their capacity to fight drug traffickers. "Improvements in the justice sector, particularly improved prosecution and extradition practices, would help the government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to more effectively disrupt and dismantle narcotics trafficking networks and address the rise in drug and gang-related crime," it said.

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