Bahamas police investigate airport security officers for alleged theft ring targeting Haitians

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bahamas airport officers under scrutiny for theft

NASSAU, Bahamas — Two more airport security officers have been arrested on theft charges as Bahamian authorities investigate a possible scheme targeting Haitians flying to their native country, police said Friday.

More arrests are expected, Assistant Police Superintendent Dennis Dames said.

At least two of the three suspects arrested this week were working together, he said.

One suspect is accused of stealing nearly $5,000 from Felix Fenelus on Jan. 23 at Nassau’s international airport, Dames said. Police previously said the suspect allegedly stole $2,000 on Jan. 18, six days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.

Details on the charges pending against the other two suspects were not immediately available.

Jerry Hutchinson, acting general manager of the Airport Authority, said security officers have been warned that they have no right to strip someone and count their money.

“They are supposed to look for guns, knives, bombs, contraband,” he said. “They are not supposed to be going in people’s bags, looking in envelopes addressed to someone’s auntie in Haiti.”

Hutchinson said he did not know how many Haitians have complained of being targeted by security officers.

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