NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Eighteen people were arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court in Abaco over the last two days for violation of the emergency orders, including breach of curfew and failing to wear a facial mask.
Each of the accused was fined between $750 and $1,000 or sentenced to one-month imprisonment, though the breakdown was not provided.
Several people were also arraigned on charges ranging from assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obscene language, threats of harm, and causing harm.
According to authorities, who said the arrested stemmed from a joint law enforcement operation coined ‘Operation Curfew’.
The defendants appeared before Magistrate Ancella Evans.
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, who was accompanied by Central and South Abaco MP James Albury, Police Commissioner Paul Rolle, and Defense Force Commodore Raymond King, visited Abaco this week.
The delegation spoke with officers stationed in Marsh Harbour, local officials and residents in several areas, including those in the Sandy Point and Marsh Harbour communities, concerning crime and other issues.
Speaking to Eyewitness News on Sunday, Dames said it was important to visit the settlements and speak to local leaders to hear first hand from them about their concerns.
Dames said he has made numerous trips to Abaco, and it was “nothing new”.
“I had a video conference meeting; myself and the commissioner and the commodore, along with the representatives; local leaders and the business sector and the meeting went extremely well; and I promised them from that [meeting] I would visit them,” the minister said.
He added: “The police, police at the consent of the people and if one person is aggrieved, then we have an obligation to make it right and that it what is all about.”
There have been numerous complaints from Abaconians of alleged theft, burglary and break-ins over the last few months and in the last week.
Cindy James Pinder claimed Premier Lumberyard was broken into over the weekend.
“If you see 30 sheeting of new ½” plywood sitting somewhere it wasn’t before, please call Ken Hutton,” she said.
“Until we get crime under control here in Abaco, we are only dreaming about returning to normal.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Minnie Key said: “Crime is not down in Abaco. This week, all the air handlers at Dove Plaza was stolen. That’s 22; where can a thief hide all those?”