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An end to ‘terroristic’ gang-led crime, five nations join the effort to restore peace in Turks & Caicos



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, October 12, 2022 – For five weeks criminals both local and international have terrorized the Turks and Caicos leaving death in their wake, now those criminals are facing a police force dozens of officers stronger and much more far reaching.  Security leaders hope it will be enough to crush any gang activity; already, thankfully the violence has been dialed down.  And Co-Chair of the National Security Council Governor Nigel Dakin says if this show of force is not enough there’s more in reserve.

In recent video addresses, both Dakin and Police Commissioner Trevor Botting detailed the partnerships that have been cashed in and the resulting ‘boots on the ground’.

The Frontline

As an immediate addition to the everyday force, a Bahamian Contingent has arrived, all are sworn in and some have already been integrated into the tactical unit.

The TCI’s sister country responded immediately when the TCI requested help  and gave some of her best.

Kendal Strachan, 38-year member and Assistant Commissioner in the Royal Bahamas Police Force on Friday October 7, was sworn in as special constable with the mission to keep the peace and to stop anyone who threatens that peace.  Strachan is well versed in technologies which can be employed to crack down on crime, and has trained at Quantico and the FBI in the United States.  Strachan also brings Human trafficking and tactical response training and 23 other officers with him.

In addition to Bahamians, a significant number of TCI island police officers have been moved from desk duty and the Marine office and placed on frontline duty.


Behind the frontline but still directly involved, is a now beefed up intelligence unit according to Dakin.

Not only is a National Emergency Operations Group composed of top security officials meeting every day for updates, the National Crime Agency, the UK equivalent of the FBI, is on the ground already and meeting with local intelligence.

Jamaican intelligence partnerships are in play as well, and on the way are 24 trained and UK-funded detectives who Dakin said  “provide the heart of any anti-gang operation.”

The Borders 

To help stop the guns and drugs that play a major role in the violence in the Turks and Caicos several international agencies are in place and still more are arriving.

A team with canine capabilities from The Bahamas is already in the TCI and has started duties at the airports checking for contraband.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is already on the ground with a helicopter to man the channel between Hispaniola and the TCI, ready to spot and catch smugglers.

On Sunday, UK Border Force experts will land on the islands to add another link in the chain of defense.

A Royal Fleet Auxiliary and its Wildcat Helicopter are also inbound.  “The UK Foreign Office is paying, and this airframe provides outstanding day and night surveillance,” Dakin explained.

In Reserve 

Miami Dade Police and the Jamaica Constabulary Force have made offers to the TCI for immediate help.  The UK is putting together a reserve Police Force should it be needed and as a last resort the UK Military can be called on.   .

For weeks, residents have been demanding support and had the first peaceful Sunday in over a month, only days after Bahamian officers stepped into the islands.  Dakin promises that peace and serenity will become the order of the day once more.

“With intelligence now being provided through sources on the ground; future intelligence provided by those monitoring telecommunications; intelligence collected from the aerial surveillance platform the UK are procuring, and; intelligence provided across the region; we will have built a Policing machine that can outmatch any gang.”

Bahamas News

7 million lives at risk because of salt 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



March 24, 2023 – Without immediate and widespread efforts at curbing salt intake, 7 million lives will be lost by 2030 according to the World Health Organization.  The warning follows the first-ever Global Report on Sodium Intake Reduction, which revealed that the world would not meet its sodium intake reduction target of 30 percent by 2025 on its current path.

With only 5% of WHO Member States protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies, the rest of the world must immediately implement ‘highly cost-effective sodium reduction policies to protect against some of the most common non-communicable diseases.

No Caribbean country was mentioned in the group of nine countries with comprehensive salt laws, but Barbados is currently set to make effective stringent regulations to govern food consumption and food quality. 

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said: 

“Most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The WHO calls on all countries to implement the ‘Best Buys’ for sodium reduction, and on manufacturers to implement the WHO benchmarks for sodium content in food.” 

North America and the Caribbean have the highest child diabetes statistics in the world, with the second highest prevalence in adults as well. In Turks and Caicos in particular, over 300 hundred residents have failing kidneys, a number described as ‘alarming’ by experts. Kidney disease is fueled in most cases by diabetes and hypertension. 

The WHO is then advising Governments to do four things:

  • Reformulating foods to contain less salt, and setting targets for the amount of sodium in foods and meals. 
  • Establishing public food procurement policies to limit salt or sodium-rich foods in public institutions such as hospitals, schools, workplaces, and nursing homes.
  • Front-of-package labelling that helps consumers select products lower in sodium.
  • Behaviour change communication and mass media campaigns to reduce salt/sodium consumption.

With these measures in place, the salt reduction target can still be achieved, according to the WHO. 

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Bahamas News

FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death  



Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer  



#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February.  The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.

The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful.  The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.  

In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one.  The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.” 

The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’  The FBI also searched the couple’s car.   

No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.   

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Bahamas News

Why Sargassum Matters



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 



#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance. 

John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose. 

“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”

He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have  found use for the weed.

“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.” 

He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.

Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.

Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.

“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating. 

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