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Jul 9, 2021

Contraband Vegetables Arriving Even by Sea

While contraband business is booming, BAHA authorities are working with customs and police. They recognize public education and stiffer penalties may be needed to help tackle this growing issue. And contrabandistas are no longer limiting themselves to overland transport.


On the Phone: Margarito Garcia, Technical Director of Quarantine Department, BAHA

“It is an ongoing challenge; a daily challenge for us. We try our best to intercept these commodities.”


Andrea Polanco

“Have you seen an increase in the rise of contraband over the course of this pandemic?”


On the Phone: Margarito Garcia

“Actually we have seen an increase of contraband countrywide. It is an activity that is on the rise because based on the reports I receive on a daily basis and the tips that I receive we have to try and intercept them, sometimes we do or sometimes we don’t.  They find different means to do it; we have information that it comes by sea and goes to the cayes, for example. So, we have information that it comes through the south as well and it is countrywide we have this problem. And we have limited resources but we get lots of support from other authorities.  I think we need more public education and work closer with the producers because they have information and contribute information that assists us.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you believe the fines; the charges; the penalties that these people are slapped with should be increased to deter them from becoming repeat offenders?”


On the Phone: Margarito Garcia

“Yeah that is something that we are working on as we speak; we have revised our laws and we realize that the fees and penalties they can easily pay it. And so we are trying to increase these fines but that is something that is under revision as we speak.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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