By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
CUSTOMS officers seized goods from a Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessel docked near the Coral Harbour base on Sunday.
In a statement yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest said: “The customs investigation team assigned to the Ministry of Finance’s Revenue Enhancement Unit conducted an operation in the Coral Harbour area of New Providence on Sunday, July 21, 2019, which resulted in the seizure of goods pending review and determination of action.
“The matter has been referred for further investigation to assess compliance with prevailing customs laws and regulations. The investigation is ongoing. The Revenue Enhancement Unit will continue ongoing efforts to strengthen revenue collection and compliance in keeping with its mandate.”
Government officials were tightlipped yesterday and the RBDF did not respond formally to the matter. However a source in the force said officers visiting the US to conduct government business went shopping in Florida during their spare time. The source insisted that on their return to New Providence, a customs officer cleared their items at the base as is the normal practice. Defence force officers nonetheless believe other customs investigators were tipped-off to the vessel’s arrival and showed up suspicious about whether the items had been properly declared and paid for.