Guns seized and guests arrested on luxury yacht in The Bahamas
by Risa Merl
Undeclared guns and ammunition were found on board 26 metre luxury yacht Mia during a routine boarding in The Bahamas on August 11, prompting the seizure of the weapons and the arrest of those on board.
Boarding a yacht for inspection is a routine part of clearing Customs in The Bahamas, and the island nation has clear rules requiring yachts to declare firearms (allowing for shotguns and handguns only) to Bahamian Customs.
Cortenzo built motor yacht Mia, which is currently for sale, was apprehended by Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship P-44 for failure to declare the weapons it carried on board while clearing its first Bahamian Port of Entry in Highbourne Cay in the Exumas.
Bahamian officials found two undeclared firearms on board Mia – one Springfield Armoury .45 Automatic Colt Pistol with 105 rounds, and one Glock 199mm pistol with 74 rounds.
The 10 guests on board Mia were arrested by the Bahamian Defence Force Marines and escorted to the capital, Nassau, where they were handed over to Bahamas Customs.
The Bahamas' official tourism board website clearly lists the regulations for carrying firearms on board a yacht:
If you have a firearm on board (shotguns and handguns only) you must declare it with Bahamian Customs. You must provide the serial number, name of the manufacturer, plus an exact count of ammunition. While you are allowed to have a firearm on your boat, you cannot remove it. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times.
In cases of emergencies, which require your departure by air, you must notify Bahamian Police or Customs. They will accompany you to retrieve the firearm and present you with a receipt. Upon your return to the island, Bahamian Police or Customs will escort you to your vessel and return your firearm. Any infraction of this law will be dealt with severely.
In dealing with this particular infraction, the weapons and ammunition found on board Mia were seized by the Customs Comptroller on the charge of “breach of Customs Regulations" and the “Master” of the vessel was fined $10,000 as a result of the incident.