Please find attached a copy of a letter sent out to all the printed media. As of today none has found it fitting to print in their daily. My reason for penning this letter is in response to an injustice metered out against a group of innocent persons. The persons responsible for this act are a group of wicked and callous individual who feel that they are above the law and can do whatever they wish in this country without any fear of reprisal.
I hope upon reading this letter you will find it necessary to air its contents. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
17th May 2009
I would like to respond to an article published in The Tribune on Tuesday May 5th 2009 entitled Resort ‘is robbed of $2.5 million’. This article went on to explained how Sandals Resort was the target of an embezzlement scheme that siphoned off around $ 2.5 million over a 13 years period. Upon seeing that article I could do nothing more than just smile to myself. You see Mr. Editor I am a former employee of that resort and one of the persons terminated on April 21st 2009. Shortly after our terminations Sandals put out a press release concerning the firing along with a pronouncement suggesting that the resort were conducting an investigation into missing funds.
At that time I made it clear to the media in an interview on cable 12 and I still contended today, that the pronouncement were a sinister ploy by the resort to deflect the public attention away from the firing. You see sir Sandals were concerned about the backlash emanating from the public over the firing so they needed to devise a public relation ploy to change the conversation. Sandals at the time knew that more than eight persons released on that day had absolutely nothing to do with any investigation yet they maliciously set out to impugn the reputation of hard working honest Bahamian professionals who did nothing more than show up to work and worked hard.
Today they have made no attempt to correct what I deem to be a wicked diabolical plan ever perpetrated against a group of innocent people. I will not sit here and pretend that over the years the resort did not have its share of persons involved in impropriety but many of those persons have either been terminated or forced to resign as a result of their behavior. So to come now and suggest that the persons being terminated were all in some way connected with this $2.5 million is untrue.
Firstly, I dispute that figure. The sums taken over the past 13 years I’ll venture to say are substantially lower. I have worked for Sandals for the past 14 years and it is almost impossible for anyone or any group of persons to steal that amount of money. No Bahamian staff member has access to that kind of funds. Sandals operate a very tight system when it comes to their finances. For example the article suggested that there were persons submitting a grossly exaggerated supply bill to management for payment. That suggestion again is preposterous. The only persons who can believe such a story are persons who’ve never worked for that resort. No one in Sandals can just submit any type of bill to management for payment. The Company has a very stringent and defined policies regarding payment. Before any purchases can take place a requisition with the proposed quotation has to be submitted and sign off by the department head, the GM and the FC. Upon the approval of this requisition a purchase order is generated. This PO again has to be signed off by the department head the GM and the FC before anyone have permission to buy. The bill is paid from the invoice that must be attached to that PO. In addition the Company has internal and external auditors from the head office down here every month to ensure that any type of activity, which was suggested in your article, do not take place. Sandals will squeeze blood from a penny!
So any suggestions to the contrary are ludicrous and can only be supported by someone who had never worked for the resort. I have stated before and I will state again for the record that the only form of stealing that took place in Sandals over the year were by means of petty cash. These are signed off again by the GM and the FC. Approximately 95% of Sandals revenue is generated oversees. That leaves only two places where you can find cash in the resort, all the other revenue centers are not allowed to take cash only credit cards.
I was dismissed for negligence and up to this day, I still do not know what that meant. I felt that if I was negligent in some way, as it relates to the alleged petty cash scheme, then where is the Financial Controller and his assistant in all of this? You see, if they had done their job by conducting the due diligent required, then we will not be having this conversation. I knew that I was used as a scapegoat in this matter because I happen to be a Bahamian! Oh, by the way when I was fired I was the only Bahamian in the room. Nonetheless, at the end of the day I have to live with my conscience knowing that I did nothing wrong. The matter in question had absolutely nothing to do with me.
I’d worked hard for Sandals Resort over the past 14 years taking in, being responsible and accountable for more than $500 million worth of goods ranging from building supplies to food items. In all those years no one in Sandals or anywhere in this country can stand and look me in the face and accuse me of any unscrupulous behavior! I challenge any one in or outside of sandals to come forward and proof otherwise. The only thing I wanted from Sandals and I got that every week, and that was my pay cheque. I earned every cent of it. I will not stand by and allow anyone in this country or out to impugn my reputation. I will go to any length to defend it!
I implore persons, who called themselves leaders in the media, to do the job of a responsible media and not be used as a pawn in a sinister game. I think it’s time the so call leaders in the media began to do its job and ask the tough questions like I often heard persons asks in the media in years past. Sandals should be asked why after 13 years they have now decided to conveniently released this information to the public. If the story about the bank is true, when did the resort discover the alleged scheme? What is the name of the bank? What happened to the persons involved in the scheme? Where are the police reports? Where are the persons they have prosecuted over the years for these offences? These questions and more should be put to the Resort. But instead the article of May 5th 2009 published in your paper amount to nothing more than an advertising piece for the Resort. It was at best tabloid journalism which was design to propagate the resort nefarious position.
I hope that one day the Tribune will get back to the its motto laid out by its founder ‘Nullius Addictus Jurare In Verba Magistri’ Being Bound To Swear To The Dogmas Of No Master and disseminate the news fairly and objectively. The only medium available to the small man in any democracy is the role of the media to be fair and balance. Its responsibility is to dig deep for and reveal the truth and only the truth.
Your newspapers [Tribune] Sir had not been fair in this debate and I’m left with the impression that your paper are more about serving special interest rather than getting to the truth. Remember that the corporate giants are run by human who are sometime themselves wrong and when they are they should be told that. They must be held accountable in the same way they hope to hold me accountable. There cannot be one type of right or wrong for one group and another right or wrong for another group. Right should be right and wrong should be wrong. The road to building a fair and just society began with all of us and that is to tell the truth however it hurts.