NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The United States yesterday donated six Mercury Verado boat engines valued at over $168,000 dollars to the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Marine Support Services Unit and the Bahamas Customs Marine Unit.
The donation is part of a broad effort by the United States to support the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in fighting transnational crime following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian and the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release by the US Embassy in Nassau.
US Embassy International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Director Garrett Wilkerson delivered the donation to RBPF Commissioner Paul Rolle and Customs Superintendent Tyrone Sands at a handover ceremony at the RBPF Police Training College.
Upon receiving the donation, Rolle said: “We extend our thanks and appreciation to the government of the United States for its continued and enduring partnership and support to small states like the Bahamas to [fighting] transnational criminal organizations.”
Wilkerson echoed those comments, saying: “The United States looks forward to continuing to support the important law enforcement cooperation that is so vital to The Bahamas and to the United States.”
The US Embassy in Nassau’s statement noted: “Four of the engines will serve as replacements for engines on the 41-foot Apostle SAFE Boat Marine Interceptor the United States donated to the Marine Support Services Unit on Freeport, Grand Bahama, in March of 2013.
“The high-performance SAFE Boat has enhanced the RBPF’s ability to gather law enforcement information, conduct investigations and interdict illicit trafficking throughout The Bahamas. The cost of the original SAFE Boat was $600,000.
“The two remaining engines will be transferred to the Bahamas Customs Marine Unit, also located on Freeport, Grand Bahama. These engines will replace engines lost on their port patrol boat during Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019.
“The United States continues to work with our Bahamian partners to support law enforcement and disaster response capabilities.”