Price Gouging is a Criminal Offence – We wonder if tricking people in a scam is also criminal?

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PUBLIC NOTICE Price Gouging is a Criminal Offence

Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and other volunteers engaged in a massive clean-up effort of debris in North Andros, which experienced Hurricane Matthew as a Category 4 Storm on Thursday, October 6, 2016. (PHOTO/Leonard Dames Jr/NEMA)

As the Country today faces the threat of another major Hurricane, named “Irma”, the Office of Prime Minister wishes to advise the General Public and all Retailers and Wholesalers of essential items, particularly breadbasket food items, medical and prescription drug supplies as well as hurricane preparedness items, such as plywood and nails, that “price gouging” and specifically the “hoarding” of items for “speculation” or “profiteering” as well as the marking-up of prices by Retailers and Wholesalers in the advent of a potential natural disaster are Criminal Offences under the terms of the Price Control Act and the Regulations made under that Act. [See: Price Control Regulations 5 and 6 (4) (d)].

The Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Hubert A. Minnis, has instructed the Prices Commission to commence a programme of strict supervision, review and monitoring of the prices being charged for the mentioned essential items, starting immediately, and has urged the Commission to report any suspected violations to the Office of the Attorney General which has, in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Royal Bahamas Police Force, committed to aggressively investigate any information which might indicate any of the elements of what is termed “price gouging”, and to act accordingly, should such evidence be found.