Loop News – A joint operation involving officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Marine Unit and the Customs Department has resulted in the seizure of marijuana with an estimated street value of half a million dollars ($500,000).
The illegal find was made last week on August 29 and August 30 on board an illegal migrant vessel.
An initial police report states, that at approximately 10:10 pm, the RTCIPF Maritime Operations personnel onboard one of its maritime vessels contacted the Police Control Room and reported that they were in pursuit of an illegal vessel transporting a number of illegal migrants in the vicinity of North West Point, Providenciales.
The illegal vessel failed to comply with instructions given by law enforcement and eventually ran aground.
Several of the illegal migrants jumped into the water and ran off. Marine Unit officers commenced rescue efforts where one male and a female minor were removed from the vessel.
A joint operation remains ongoing in a bid to apprehend the illegal migrants. During a search in the waters near the illegal vessel, Marine officers noticed packages floating.
They managed to retrieve 52. A subsequent search of the vessel by Customs officials netted 61 similar packages.
Commenting on this massive find Commissioner of Police (ag) Rodney Adams said: “The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force remain grateful for the collaborations between our national security partners.
We acknowledge our partnership with the TCI Customs Department and by extension the TCI Border Force. Also assisting in this operation were members of the TCI Regiment and Immigration Task Force.
“Through our partnerships, the fight against illegal migration and the trans-shipment of illegal drugs into the TCI was circumvented. These are challenging and dangerous operations in which our law enforcement operates in protecting the borders of the TCI and we remain relentless in pursuing those with criminal intent on causing fear and disruption on the TCI. “Additionally, I wish to thank members of the public for their continued support of the Force by sharing information with us”.
Commenting briefly, Collector of Customs Linda Malcolm said ongoing partnerships with the RTCIPF and other national security departments remain a top priority in securing the TCI’s borders.
Malcom stated: “On Wednesday, August 30, the Marine Branch escorted a wooden vessel from an area known as Northwest Point to the commercial dock Providenciales. As customary, the vessel was subsequently searched by the Customs Enforcement Unit.
“During the search, 27 kilograms of Cannabis was discovered hidden on board the vessel. No arrest has been made thus far, as there were no occupants on board when the abandoned vessel was discovered.
The drugs were secured and handed over to the police. Investigations are continuing.”
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