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

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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.

Intelligence

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

Bahamas Government and Grand Bahamas Port Authority in squabble over millions allegedly owed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas#DavisAdministration#PortAuthority, April 9, 2024– The Bahamas Government according to reports, says the Grand Bahama Port Authority owes 357 million dollars in back payments over the last five fiscal years, 2018 to 2022, and in a letter sent to the Port Authority last week by the Davis Administration, the government is giving them 30 days to pay up. However, the Port Authority clapped back in a statement, denying the government’s claim saying that they do not owe the sum of 357 million dollars

 

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Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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