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Atlantis Security To Be Ramped Up After Robbery

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@

tribunemedia.net

KERZNER International plans to ramp up security at Atlantis after tourists were targeted for a second time at the resort this year.

President and managing director George Markantonis yesterday confirmed that management was working closely with police following the armed robbery of two visitors outside the Royal Towers this weekend.

The incident has renewed calls for more public support to reduce criminal activity, with Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe warning yesterday that the country is “flirting with disaster.”

Mr Wilchcombe warned that the rate of violent crime was thwarting the government’s major thrust to market the country as a tourist destination.

On Sunday, the two men were robbed at gunpoint by a dark man as they walked towards the entrance of the Royal Towers sometime after 1am.

Superintendent Paul Rolle, head of the Central Detective Unit, said: “(Victims) were just getting in (to the resort). They had taken a cab in and they were walking on the premises going to the door.”

The culprit, reportedly armed with a handgun, escaped with jewellery and an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to police, the victims were unharmed.

“Every single day we’re having to respond to concerns being raised that’s a reality and the more it happens, we get away from the image of being this wonderful nation,” said Mr Wilchcombe.

“We are flirting with disaster. The message is not getting out there to the would-be criminals because the persons who are creating these acts they have this total disregard for the negative impact that they’re having on this country.

“When things happen,” he said, “it sits on the front page of the newspapers, it’s on the web page, it’s global, it’s all over the internet. This is what happens, information does not remain idle. It floats, it travels, it reaches corners in the world where we are just trying to nurture business.”

The number of violent crimes in The Bahamas rose by one per cent against the same period last year, according to police statistics released last week.

Police launched investigations into four separate armed robberies over the weekend.

Last night, Mr Rolle said police had not made any arrests in connection with the early Sunday morning robbery at Atlantis.

Atlantis resort is the largest private sector employer in the country.

Yesterday, Mr Markantonis said the armed robbery was the resort’s second incident for the year. However, up to press time details of the first incident were not disclosed.

Mr Markantonis said: “I’m not going to comment on specific (security) measures we are taking, but I would suggest that criminals may find it detrimental to their own well-being to continue with what their doing.”

“Like everyone else in the tourism industry,” he said, “we are always very concerned about any criminal activity in our country, because it can have a huge detrimental affect on the national economy. “Nonetheless, we are very aware that the law enforcement agencies are working very hard to contain and reduce criminal activity.”

He added: “We are working very closely with (police) to ensure we do our part. In the end security is everybody’s business and everybody’s responsibility. It does not just rest on the shoulders of the police force, the entire public has to do their part.”

In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Mr Wilchcombe called on young Bahamian men to join him in a campaign that promoted tourism for economic development.

Mr Wilchcombe said: “We’re working hard to get business to this country, we’re trying to get cruises back up and airlifts back up. Every time this stuff happens we must remember this has damaging effects in the long term.

“I call on the people of The Bahamas, particularly the young men who have found themselves engaged in acts of terror, to please cease and desist. Love your country more than you love yourself, do not compromise the country’s future for this short term gain. Why give the country long term pain?”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 7 months ago

"Love your country more than you love yourself. Do not compromise your country's future for a short term gain"....interesting and very well put...he should consider making this plea to his fellow parliamentarians

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bahamakid 5 years, 7 months ago

I regret reading so much about crime in the Bahamas. This archipello should be the most attractive holliday-detination in the world!! To fight crime in this thght-populated capitol of The Bahamas I believe government has to consider investing in modern technology as police-vehicles equipped with infrared-camera's, and camera's with tax-plate recognition.Main roads like Prince Charles Drive; Bailu Hill Road; Camichael Road; Bay Street; Shirley Street; The bridge to PI; Mackey Street; Robinson Road etc should also be equiped with cameras able to recognize tax-plates. This, together with a central database combining information from several sources (car-insurance, drivers-license, police record) will able police not only to fight crime, as to take uninsured cars out of traffic.

Furthermore I believe The Bahamas Government needs to consider actions against fire-arms.

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TheObjectiveVoice 5 years, 7 months ago

How in the world could someone get robbed at the ENTRANCE of the Royal towers...where in the world did that taxi drop them off?? Something just does not make any sense to me. Why did the taxi driver not drop them off right at the door of the towers... if I am not mistaken, security is there twenty-four seven... Something does not make any sense to me. Bahamians can barely get into Atlantis to walk around because of the security... It don't make sense to me, unless we are not getting the real story. The police need to find the taxi driver too and see exactly where he dropped these folks off, and then if they were dropped off right in front of the Royal Towers, where were security guards who are usually posted at the entrance of the towers... Beefing up security won't matter if the security officers that are there already aren't doing what they're suppose to be doing... I don't get this one...

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John 5 years, 7 months ago

Like I said in an earlier post: "It's only a matter of time before these young thugs stop being polite to the tourists". Get some social and work plans in action and get these boys engaged in wholesome activities. When the police have to go looking for them or the morticians have to scoop up their dead bodies of the streets it is already too late. Save the ones who trying to escape the crime net.

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Monaco47 5 years, 4 months ago

I have labored with the idea of relocating my business and moving to Nassau, Bahamas. I have read USA Government reports on the extent of crime in the area. The Bahamian Tourist Bureau has been marketing itself as the Riviera of the Caribbean. As an extensive world traveler, I am insulted that there is any reference to the Bahamas being anything like the Riviera. In my opinion the Bahamas is a slum with a climate that leads investors to believe it is a safe haven. Draw your own conclusions, but do your homework first, unless you like playing Russian roulette. As for me, I will take my money to the real Riviera.

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