US issues second warning in two months on escalating Bahamas crime

Gun-Trigger-740NASSAU, Bahamas, Monday March 30, 2015 – The US Embassy in Nassau has issued another critical crime warning for Nassau, Bahamas, hot on the heels of a similar warning issued last month.

The latest warning, issued last week, is titled Security Message for US Citizens: Nassau (Bahamas), Nassau Violent Crime, and advises US citizens residing in and traveling to the Bahamas to be aware of their surroundings and remain on heightened alert to avoid being a victim of crime.

The warning states that armed robbery remains a major criminal threat facing US citizens in the Bahamas, with the crime threat on New Providence listed as “critical.”

The last warning from the US Embassy in the Bahamas or the US State Department was just last month when the State Department issued the 2015 Bahamas Crime Report which revealed that armed robbery, murder and sexual assaults were increasing.

The most recent warning focussed on two violent incidents that occurred in areas heavily frequented by US citizen visitors and residents.

On Sunday night, March 22, a man was stabbed and killed on the main sidewalk of Arawak Cay, in an area known as the “Fish Fry.” In the early morning hours of March 23, a man was at his business establishment at Compass Point when an unidentified man shot, critically wounded and robbed him before fleeing on foot.

The same day that the latest crime warning was issued, Phillip Vasyl, 59, a wealthy Australian living in New Providence, was found dead with multiple stab wounds at his luxury home in a gated community in Old Fort Bay.

The murder of British citizen Edgar Dart, who was visiting his mother at her house in the Bahamas when armed robbers broke in, remains unsolved.

Writing in Cruise Law News, maritime lawyer Jim Walker said that in 2014, Bahamas was the subject of four critical crime warnings to US citizens (one from the US State Department and three from the US Embassy) and one warning from Canada. The two warnings so far this year make a total of seven.

“I have never heard any country being the recipient of seven crime warnings in just 15 months,” Walker said.

“The last US warning in 2014 mentioned that US tourists have been raped and robbed at gunpoint, and there have been three reported sexual assaults on US citizens, including minors, by jet ski operators on Paradise Island.”

Last year, Cruise Law News picked Nassau as the most dangerous cruise destination in the world.

According to the Nassau Guardian, there have been 34 murders so far this year, up 35 percent from this time last year which was reportedly a particularly deadly period in the Bahamas. There were 23 murders last year.

The homicide rate for the Bahamas is more than 30 per 100,000. This compares with 4.5 per 100,000 in the United States.

The most recent advisory states: US citizens residing in or traveling to The Bahamas should review their personal security plans. Remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

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