Bahamas Press goes back to the Year – 2000 – THIS IS A CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT!
Nassau – The Prime Minister, the country’s chief slave, had called the House of Assembly into session. He had returned with a wish list of Bills that threatens to gut the offshore sector as we know it.
He has an uphill battle getting the legislation through the House of Assembly. The legislation is opposed by many in the industry here but their voices are not being heard. At the official level, the voices appear to be in support on the pretext that we have no choice.
Lennox Paton’s law firm that makes much of its income from the offshore sector was forthright in opposing the Bill in a letter published in the press in The Bahamas over the past two weeks. It pointed out serious flaws in the legislation. The law on the Financial Intelligence Unit is especially problematic in that it has reporting requirements for suspicious transactions in banks that do not allow as the laws presently do an appeal of any kind from the relevant authority.
The PLP and CDR representatives in the House refused to vote for any of the Bills on the grounds that the packages were only half prepared and not properly explained. Philip Galanis MP for Englerston PLP led the debate for the PLP and thought that the legislation was too vague and therefore could not be supported. But things were quite calm until Bradley Roberts charged that the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ingraham knew about drug activity in Long Island in 1997 and its connection to the construction and licencing of a hotel project in Morrisville, Long Island and approved the project knowing the drug connection. (See the stories on this site on October 2000 for more details on the project.) The Prime Minister denied it and also denied the charge that the Government had been refusing to cooperate with the US authorities on the question of drug interdiction.
Those are fighting words for an FNM Government that has so far managed to portray itself as squeaky clean when in fact they are not. Mr. Ingraham challenged Mr. Roberts to produce the evidence that he had. In response Mr. Roberts laid on the table a heap of documents that had been circulated around The Bahamas to him and other Members of Parliament and citizens of The Bahamas showing that a sting operation had gone on in Long Island in The Bahamas and that the operation had failed to capture any suspects.
But it clearly showed drug activity in and around this project in Long Island. The FNM reacted by trying to throw a smoke screen up saying that Mr. Roberts was wrong because he released in the package a list of names of DEA officers in The Bahamas, their cell phone numbers and their telephone numbers. According to the FNM Minister of Foreign Affairs (the fast asleep at the wheel Janet Bostwick) this compromised the security of the officers in The Bahamas. The next day The Tribune, the Guardian, The Bahama Journal and The US Ambassador all got into the fray jumping on Bradley Roberts. Clearly this is a set up. They all missed the point and missed it deliberately.
This has nothing whatever to do with compromising any operations of the DEA in The Bahamas. All this is about is whether Mr. Ingraham’s Government knew about drug activity in Long Island, its connection to the hotel project and Long Island and did they condone it.
To add to this twist a nephew of Frank Watson, the Deputy Prime Minister is involved in the project in Long Island. Mr. Watson claimed that he knew nothing about it. Yeah Right! The House meeting took place on Monday 30 October and the documents were laid on the table on Tuesday 31 October.