NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Consulate General in Miami is advising Bahamians to assume full responsibility for the return and full payment of rental vehicles before their departure from Florida.
The advisory came in the wake of the overseas mission being notified by authorities that within one month four Bahamians had been cited with offences relating to rental vehicles.
In some cases, Bahamians do not allow themselves enough time to return their rented vehicle and meet an airline’s required check-in time for flights. This results in a family member or friend being asked to return the vehicle to the rental company. These vehicles are sometimes returned late or not at all.
“Failure to return a vehicle in a timely manner is considered to be a felony of Grand Theft,” the Consulate said on Wednesday, October 17.
It noted that the types of rental cars as well as the rental agencies vary and the incidents occur generally in Miami and Ft Lauderdale.
When a Bahamian is arrested, the Consulate General’s Office assists family in locating the whereabouts of the incarcerated as well as renders consular support regarding the relevant court proceedings.
“In each case, we are notified when family members call enquiring as to which correctional facility their loved one is detained in,” the Consulate said.
The Office advises Bahamians to always resume full responsibility for the timely return and full payment for rental vehicles prior to departure.
It further advises Bahamians travelling to the United States, particularly during the upcoming holiday seasons, to ensure that their personal belongings are secured.
“At no point should passports be left behind in rental vehicles,” the Consulate cautioned.
In the event of any “unfortunate eventuality”, Bahamians are advised to contact the Bahamas Consulate General in Miami at telephone numbers: 305-373-6295 or 305-373-6297.
The Bahamas Consulate General Miami is one of nine overseas offices under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – four in the United States, the High Commission in London and Ottawa and the Embassies in Haiti, China and Cuba.
The Consulate General in Miami also processes visas and issues passports.