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BRIEF

Bahamas: 44% Murders Linked to Organized Crime

14 JUN 2011 BY TUULA PERRY EN

The government of the Bahamas said that 44 percent of murders committed in the Caribbean country so far in 2011 were related to organized crime.

Security Minister Orville "Tommy" Turnquest told parliament that 25 of the 57 murders that had taken place in the Bahamas by June 8 were connected to drug trafficking and other illegal businesses. He said that police believed another 16 of the deaths may be linked to the drug trade.

"There is no question that there is a strong link between the drug trade and serious crime in our country," Turnquest said. "What we are seeing today is the result of the drug trade that sadly gripped our country a generation ago."

The minister revealed figures on drug confiscations in recent years, which showed that marijuana seizures rose sigificantly in 2010, up to 45,000 lb from 29,000 lb the previous year. However, seizures of cocaine fell from 9,000 lb in 2009 to 495 lb in 2010.

The trafficking of humans and firearms through the Bahamas also presents a serious problem, according to Turnquest.

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