Bahamians nabbed trying to board Florida flight with cocaine

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NASSAU, Bahamas, Thursday March 17, 2016 – Two Bahamians are facing drug charges after United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Nassau Preclearance facility found almost half million dollars’ worth of cocaine in their luggage.

The travelers, whom the CBP did not name, allegedly had 65 pounds of the drug, valued at more than US$472,000.

The CBP said in a release yesterday that the two were preparing to fly to Florida on March 9 when they were intercepted carrying 30 cocaine-filled packages.

CBP officers initially inspected the pair when they checked into customs and noted that the luggage was empty. But during jet bridge and ramp operations, the officers re-examined the carry-on luggage and discovered that both travellers were carrying brown packages.

The contents were subsequently confirmed as cocaine.

“While this is one of the largest seizures in the history of Nassau Preclearance, it is indicative of our officer’s vigilance, teamwork and commitment to disrupting transnational criminal activity when the opportunity arises,” said CBP Nassau Preclearance Port Director Jeffrey Mara.

CBP Preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States.

Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 non-US airports in six different countries.

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