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Top Bank Executive Detained At Immigration Road Block

photo

Emmanuel Fiaux.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net 

An executive of an offshore bank at New Providence was taken into custody and held at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre yesterday as part of the continuing the crackdown by Immigration officials.

Emmanuel Fiaux, Executive Director at UBS Bank, East Bay Street, was stopped by officials and asked to produce proof of legal residency during a road block, according to sources close to the matter.

Upon explaining that he did not have the documents present, The Tribune was told that Mr Fiaux, who was noticeably irritated by the officers requests was “roughed up” and thrown into a government vehicle. He was then taken to the Detention Centre and held there until the appropriate papers were produced.

UBS is headquartered in Zurich and Basel, Switzerland, and is located in all major financial centres in 50 countries worldwide. It employs an estimated 61,000 people around the world.

The incident comes just as Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder spoke of the government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country for high net worth individuals. 

“You have a lot of multi-county initiatives that are going on and that you have to comply with,” he said. “So you have to reform policy on immigration to be able to attract high net worth people. Not only to bank with your system, but we want them to be here in the Bahamas.

“If you look at persons like Joe Lewis for example and the Prime Minister mentioned him yesterday, but he initially came to the Bahamas as a second home owner as kind of a tax resident investor similar to a lot of the high net worth individuals we want to attract.  But then he subsequently fell in love with the Bahamas and invested over a billion dollars in the economic development.”

The issue of illegal immigration has led the Bahamas government to consider introducing a National Identification Card along with charging persons who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Two months before, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said persons calling for the card “must also understand there are civil liberty implications” that can arise as a result.

He explained that the implementation of the card could see persons being stopped on the street at any time and asked by authorities to show proof of legal residency.

When asked last night to comment on  Mr Fiaux’s situation and whether the incident could negatively affect foreign investor perception of doing business in the Bahamas, Mr Mitchell said immigration enforcement is difficult.

“I will not comment on that report. All officers are instructed to respect the rights of all people. If there are specific complaints there is a mechanism for dealing with the complaints. The issue of a national identity card is before the government for consideration.

“I do not have any fears of any such perception but all public officials are forever cognizant of the image of the Bahamas and the need to protect that image.  The policy is to respectful, but to enforce the law.”

Officials at the Department of Immigration are asking that members of the public bear with them as they attempt to control the country’s illegal immigration problem. They say more road blocks are expected.

Comments

B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

They are hooligans and it is a form of harassment...while Mr. Fiaux's case is slightly different as he IS here on a work permit, I do believe there are requirements to carry your permit with you. Was the roughness necessary though...when he tells you he is the head of one of the largest Swiss banks in the world, I'd like to think that you could request for him to follow up with certain officers and get the papers for proof. I'm willing to bet if he was asked he would have gone to wherever the papers were and returned out of pride to show those same officers. Now...in my situation...as a Bahamian citizen of this country, if they so much as touch me and take me down to the detention centre they will have lawsuits all over themselves so dang fast it will make their heads spin.

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TheMadHatter 8 months, 1 week ago

Respectfully disagree. The article's use of the words "noticeably irritated" is just a polite way (I'm guessing) of saying he was pissed off at being bothered because he is such a highly important person.

I'm sure if any of our members of parliament or permanent secretaries or whatever were visiting Switzerland and were stopped by officials and asked for proof of legal entry or whatever and they gave a stink attitude - they would probably be "roughed up" too - meaning they would be forced (with as much force as would be needed) into a van and hauled down to the station.

The gentleman is very welcome here, I am sure, by all - but just because he runs a huge bank does not give him more authority than the Governor General.

TheMadHatter

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

I don't agree with the treatment, but, nail on the head

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Now Nassau is becoming a Police State. See it. Acknowledge it. The people running this country are as ignorant and foolish as can be. Freedom has ended. Police disrupting the economy in every way they can by government orders. Taxes, fines, lack of education... equal SLAVERY OF THE PEOPLE. Wake up, Bahamians. If they haven't done their job at the borders, they have no right to use their mistakes as a need for more bullying police, to interrupt the average law abiding citizens' way of life. This infuriates me! And now you want us to go PURCHASE another "road pass" basically? After a drivers license and passport? You want us to go through more bureaucratic hell just to help YOU keep US in line? You are getting your wish. Foreigners have left, are leaving, and are planning to leave. Let me break it to you like this, Bahamians are also leaving when they have the opportunities. <- key word -opportunities.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

You have no idea what is coming. Wait til they impose a curfew on your grown self...but it's all for YOU. Yes, Father Christie wants YOU to do your part. No difference in what country you live...governments are all out to remove your freedoms if you are not closely paying attention.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Wasn't the FNM that said it...wasn't it Leslie Miller...or another PLP MP that was quoted in the papers basically saying the local populace is too ignorant to understand the issues so they will decide for them what is best...and I think my paraphrase there was being NICE as to what was really said.

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JohnDoes 8 months, 1 week ago

They didnt call/categorize 'Trinidad' as a 'police state' when they enforced their 11pm curfew. That curfew was going on for approx. 2 years or so. The crimes down there are much more horrendous and on a larger scale than we are. Anyone who was caught violating the curfew went to jail.

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ohdrap4 8 months, 1 week ago

urban renewal coming to survey ya things hide the liquor!

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Was the roughness necessary? No, but look who the police are. They are simply and hopefully high school graduates. Our police are not peace keeping civil servants as they should be. They are aggressive, law enforcers, run by the government engine.

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JohnDoes 8 months, 1 week ago

This needs to happen. There are so many qualified yet undocumented Foreigners that are here controlling big time businesses. I was a victim to this myself, in a case where I was actually terminated from a job by someone who didnt even have his residency and work permits approved. The company used to send this man back to his home town every 5 or 6 months so that his 'legal stay' can be renewed as a visiting person. I went to the Labour Board about this and they told me that they couldnt do anything about it because of the fact that I was not working at the company for more than a year. These foreigners are playing the loop hole game with this country. These Politicians make many vain promises without proper execution, then they wonder why the country is being raped of its resources etc.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

This is not the proper way to handle this problem though...I am not too sure exactly what IS the proper way either, but if you do not see that it is a threat to your rights as a citizen of this country to walk freely in your country without being detained and flagged as an illegal you are a fool. So many lines getting crossed, laws being broken...by the people meant to uphold those very same laws.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

You said it yourself, the politicians are playing people for fools here, so now you are saying that because of their ineptitude, we must suffer the consequences of their failures? Why don't they walk into the businesses that they are so concerned about illegals working at instead of holding up the whole island? Did you know the manager that you were working for was not properly documented? You freely joined the company did you not? When you knew he was not legal, what did you do about this person then, before your termination?

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MarkTa 8 months, 1 week ago

They do walk into businesses. Ive had it done to our retail business and not only did they question employees (cashiers and sales reps) they also questioned customers that walked in who looked "suspicious"

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, it reminds me of Germany, you know... the Hitler days. Next comes door to door residential aggression, which they are planning btw, and which it appears many will be agreeing to, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. I'm about to move away myself, just trying to get a little hope to make me want to stay...but I see where this is going unfortunately.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Rory, no I don't have a cushy job. I worry about my future and my kids' future opportunities every day. I worry about politics so that hopefully they won't have to (paraphrasing Ayn Rand). Who are you mad at anyway? If it's government incompetence, why should you approve the deterioration of civil liberties in the process? Why punish me or my family on their way to get through this insane traffic to try and kick start this crap economy (that we just paid bazillions for to improve btw)?

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

That is precisely the problem with a lot of Bahamians, they would allow wrong doing to go on as long as they're benefitting and when it stops they then they cry foul. It is the same thing when government change hand and the new government start laying off people to hire their cronies, the ones being laying off would always cry discrimination, however, when they got the job during the last change over in government because of the samething, you didn't hear a word from them.

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JohnDoes 8 months, 1 week ago

Um those kinds of things you dont know until you are actually apart of the company. You think a company is going to tell their employees all the dirt that is going on especially within the higher positions before they hire you? These things you tend find out after you start working Mr Critical Thinker. What could I have done about that person, Didnt I say I went to labor board about it? Immigration is say 'yea we ga check' but they never do. Im sure now he probably has his papers.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

But you went there after you was terminated.

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JohnDoes 8 months, 1 week ago

I really dont understand why carrying an ID is such a big deal. I would encourage Bahamians to carry it everywhere and in any country. Simply being lazy and not wanting to carry a little plastic card that could fit with the rest of your bank cards in your wallets/coin pouches is puzzling to me. For foreigners: You should expect to carry valid ID/Passport/Permits (you are a foreigner that is the only way to prove you can be here) incase they stop and ask. The thing is Bahamians ask for justice, yet are not responsible enough to save their own a$$e$. They did say that they would be doing this, you think if they said 'when' that they would catch anybody. You call yourself thinker, yet you dont really 'think'.

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TheMadHatter 8 months, 1 week ago

Correct. It sounds like most Bahamians would rather not have jobs than to carry an ID.

TheMadHatter

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

From what I understand there is no constitutional obligation to carry any documentation if one is a Bahamian citizen, but I have no issue with the "simple idea" of carrying a piece of plastic with my name on it. I take issue at the random searches, infringing on the average citizen's every day freedom, the right to get from point a to point b without being harassed by cops looking to fill a government quota, negatively effecting the economy, on the taxpayer's dime no less. But anyway, this is like one of those R vs D or FNM vs PLP things, it's one or the other really, either you believe in riding the backs of government (that means you think you need them in order to have a successful civilized society) or you believe in paving your own way (ok ok, And also to concede to accept minimal government for use in social services;)). Take care, everyone. Good luck.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

In that case, I hope they pull you over every day, just so you can proudly show your papers. You are really missing the point here. It's called a POLICE STATE, a form of slavery, but they've convinced you that it is necessary.

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

There is a BIG difference between someone who THINKS, and something that THINKLES WHAT YOU THINK THINKER? POLICE STATE???? If what happen the other day constitutes to The Bahamas being a "Police State" the USA (where I currently live) is Nazi Germany!!! it's called IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT!

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Well, start with a properly written sentence with correct punctuation and then begin your attempt to insult someone. I agree, the States is not so free anymore and people like you, who complain about the States being so UNFREE and then proceed to engage in the deterioration of civil liberties in their own hometown that they have LEFT is beyond me.

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

@Thinker: tushay Thinker....tushay, I really should of read all of the fine print when I signed up for my Tribune242 profile. Hmmm, Now I understand how my 0% APR credit card is now 15% APR! those Intelligent Bastards!

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Here we go again. We are a tincy tiny little island dependent on tourism and financial services. We can say all we want that the way forward Is to diversify, and it probably is. But if we want to eat today, we're dependent on foreigners and foreign investment. If Fred Mitchell didn't absolutely 100% believe this himself he would not have dashed to said bank to meet with the executives and smooth ruffled feathers.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

A couple things to bear in mind Rory...he may not like the Bahamas...he may just be down here for a couple years by bank orders to manage the offices down here...or he may love the place...maybe he does own property and may even be a permanent resident...which makes it worse...I don't know what the full scoop is on people with permanent residency with the right to work, if they need to carry their papers or not, like a work permit holder...but the room for error with these thugs demanding this and that is SO huge...it's bad bad news and not the right way to do it.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Problem there is that as a citizen of the country, you legally do not have to carry any ID with you. What they (the police and immigration) are doing is illegal...especially if they illegally detain someone who is actually a bonafide citizen. Until they change the constitution and make it mandatory for all people to carry national ID cards, these blockades are illegal and a form of harassment.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Driver's license is not sufficient proof of immigration legal status...they will still haul you off.

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ohdrap4 8 months, 1 week ago

national insurance card is issued to foreign workers on permit, that is no proof either.

actually i carry a certified birth certificate, and have for years. I needed one many years ago and had 3 copies made. i carry the other 2 in my briefcase.

Anyway, once i had to resolve a matter with the govt, took a bunch of papers, and i was told. For that, you need a birth ceritficate. comme no, i have one right here with me. The civil servant said;What? you carry a birth certificate with you? Yep. i did not have to make a second trip. lol

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

I really do not know what the proper approach to it is or should be...I agree there needs to be a way to enforce immigration laws...but this is illegal and not the way to do it. To quote our fearless leaders when asked just about anything these days...it is a complex issue...maybe they should form a committee or bring in some consultants to advise on the issue.

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K4C 8 months, 1 week ago

WOW this is shades of Europe under the the Nazis ...............stop everyone and say "papers Please" ............a police state, well done Christie this is just what the Bahamas needs.

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K4C 8 months, 1 week ago

I sure hope you will enjoy living in a police state where at every turn you have to provide ID

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Hm, lawless to the criminals but to the rest of us, we called it "free". There are more good citizens than criminals living here, don't you think? Once government enforces the disruption of our daily lives, we have lost freedoms.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

I am confused! It is now 2014 for God’s sake. I thought by now all work permit holders would be carrying an electronic immigration swipe card: One that can fit in any wallet. My how we love to complicate things in this country. The whole purpose of upgrading from the big, green immigration sheet to an electronic card was to avoid these types of situation. It is simple, the officer swipes the card and the necessary information comes up. No need for a national ID. If an immigration officer suspects someone is illegal simply ask that person to produce this electronic card. I mean what the fck is wrong with these government departments. Can’t they ever advance beyond the big, block handwriting on every gad dam form?

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Had an acquaintance of mine show his permanent residency 'electronic credit card', along with his drivers license, and NIB card only to be told by the thugs that there was a problem with his 'papers' and he needed to pull over to the side of the road and await a supervisor to sort the matter out.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

In this case it is the thugs fault. If a problem cannot be resolved without the supervisor, what is the purpose of even approaching someone about their legal status in the first place?

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

I don't currently reside my Beloved Bahamaland, I don't "listen" to Bahamian radio, however, I do read both The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune almost daily (online) I must admit, it's clear which paper favors whom (foreigners/black/whites/rich/poor/FNM/PLP) That said, Kudos! to The Bahamian LOP's for what they are trying to do with our immigration system. And no, I have no sympathy for Mr.Top Bank Executive Detained At Immigration Road Block! I live in the USA and it does not matter Who you are or where you're from, or your net worth, sometimes your net worth makes you an even bigger sensationalized "catch" It's just amazing that after record breaking crime AND immigration problems in the Bahamas, we have people talking all this nonsense about LOP's detaining ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, and possible illegal immigrants! If a red blooded BAHAMIAN can be accidentally detained for not having "correct" identification, what makes foreigners exempt? rich or poor, black or white? Mr.Top Bank Executive Detained At Immigration Road Block should know that 1) yes am rich but 2) Am not a Bahamian citizen, I should always carry some kind of documents to prove am here legally! Do you know what happens to ANYONE driving in the USA without any identification??? Can I go into Mr.Top Bank Executive Detained At Immigration Road Block bank without proper documents and still be allowed to have access to my accounts? These are those with that Elitist, above-the-law mentality. Dear Tribune, will I be correct in thinking that if your paper was based in the USA you would be endorsing GOPTea Party? This paper is FUBAR! Seriously!

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

You're ignoring the reality if where the .bahamas sits on the food chain. Just the other day the PM was begging the Swiss banks not to pull out. Look reality in the face.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

The swiss isn't here because they want to give the Bahamas a handout, they're here because they could make some form of profit and if that profit stop; Christie could beg all he want too, it wouldn't make a difference.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

We are travelling the same road on our reply, and if they can't hide money for their clients anymore then they will pack up and leave to greener pasture.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

Isn't it funny, they *used to come to bahamas bc they could hide taxes from their homelands, which btw you are calling them criminals for...taxes which are TAKEN by means of force through government. That is theft of your earnings if it is not an agreed, voluntary decision. If they were wanting to hide money they earned, it is clear someone is trying to take it from them.

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

ha at least someone is still here.

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

yep looks like very profitable. I guess that is why all the banks are leaving. the reality is that it is the foreigners that started many of the great trades of the Bahamas. Banking, Atlantis, Accounting. And if you don't believe this to be a good thing, read the history of the entrepreneurial development in the U.S. and in Switzerland, the Swiss watch industry would be dead if it weren't for a Libanese investor called Hayek. But if you look at "THEM" as Colonialist, fine, send them home. get up early, work late and make less money. You will get there.... in 200 years.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

And that may change, the world is opening up, laws are changing in Switzerland too

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

No, stop calling people that want to keep their earnings criminals.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

I too live in the U.S and I carry my drivers license and my Green Card, whether it is law or not it is just common sense.

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blackcat 8 months, 1 week ago

You are totally missing the point and turning this into an issue of judgement and prejudice which is not the point most of the concerned commentators are making here. It also appears that you are adding more to the story than what the Tribune has reported. It seems you have a chip on your own shoulder when it comes to who should be judged , whether rich, poor, black, white etc.

Where in the article did you see the swiss bank manager quoted as saying anything about his wealth in relation to his arrest? No matter what race, religion, gender or nationality you are, human beings have rights. we are all HUMAN BEINGS, or did you forget that?

Last time I checked, we all have 24 hours to produce a friggen driver's license in this country after an accident. You're telling me this man didn't have an hour to retrieve documents stating he was here legally? It's about how you treat people man, not all violence and scare tactics are necessary all of the time.

My point applies to all people, Bahamians and foreigners alike. Generally speaking, the police here speak to people in a nasty way, a lot of the times it is uncalled for. I had a policeman row me one time for winding down my window while they were conducting random road checks- for no reason in a very hostile way. Some of these officers need to learn how to talk to people in order to get what they want BEFORE moving to brute force.

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

@Blackcat: Respectifully, I understand what you are saying, many of our LOP's NEED proper training when dealing with the public, but an accident is different from immigration enforcement roundup don't you think? imagine if they had extended the same "courtesy" to all 120+ detained, how many would of returned with their proper documents? I don't have a chip on my shoulder, seriously I don't, actually I have in on the table, fish and chips anyone? Prejudice? That's laughable! my wife is is white, oh, and the usual "I have many WHITE friends" Seriously, if he was of another race, gender, national origin or Flava Flav with a giant clock around his neck my comments would of been the same! well, almost, I would have to comment about the clock.

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Required 8 months, 1 week ago

The government needs to explain the legal grounds on which they conduct these road blocks. And they need to explain on what grounds Bahamian citizens are required to carry - in fact even own - any form of photo identification.

If you choose not to drive, you are entitled not to have a driver's license.

If you choose not to vote, you are entitled not to have a voter's card.

If you choose not to travel internationally, you are entitled no to have a passport.

Section 9 of the Immigration Act prohibits Immigration officers to arrest Bahamian citizens and permanent residents on the grounds of suspecting that they may be in violation of said act.

Our government seems to have chosen to enforce one law by breaking several others.

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Thinker 8 months, 1 week ago

And when and if they explain it, they must show documentation!

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BeachBoy 8 months, 1 week ago

I can't agree more. As a foreign-born white Bahamian with a foreign accent I understand that, on first glance, my status could be questionable. However, I am under no obligation to carry any form of ID with me. What then?

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ohdrap4 8 months, 1 week ago

LOL

i had to present ID to claim a lousy $5 (five) dollars off my bill at that exclusive french store JC Pennier in miami. even there, they keep sending me the bloody emails, then i need ID.

lol, but i took the $5.00.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

No one will complain until UR workers (with no legal authority to any information) show up at your house demanding personal info on threat of imprisonment. When it's you it'll be too late. There's a reasonable sensible way to conduct these operations. Fred Mitchell like Governor Christie in NJ has created a negative anti-foreign atmosphere in the ranks. If UBS decides that this is the final straw from Fred Mitchell, I hope he has jobs for the 200 or so people left holding the ashes.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

No I doesn't:) but I eehn guh say is ok just because is dem, cuz I know I guh be next.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

U sure u is Bahamian?:)

Anyway, If I say it's ok for UR to peep in on Bain Town residents, I can bet that some politician will get the bright idea that that was a really good exercise, look at all the valuable info we got, and hey, we're not limited by the rules of a census, we're "fighting crime" we can ask anything. Let's expand this programme into South Beach, Montague and Carmichael, just as a trial balloon. We can use the same people because they know how to operate now. Then we'll go to Elizabeth and St Anne's etc etc.

"Or" maybe I'm just sitting in the armchair with foil on my head looking out for black helicopters

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

Required, if the police try to arrest because of mistaken identity, your scream and holla wouldn't help you because you have no way of explaining that you are not the person they are looking for. So it would make sense to carry some sort of ID just to prove that you are not someone else, which is the whole reason why having your ID on you at all times is the law in the U.S.

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concernedcitizen 8 months, 1 week ago

It is not the law that you have to have ID on you at all times in the US ,this has been challenged all the way to the supreme court and falls under the 4th of the constitution

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

You are right, however, if a police have probable cause to ask you for Identification and you don't present one, they can hold you for sometime until it is cleared up. Now, probable cause is vague because a cop can come up with any story why he is asking you for identification, just like they could come up with many reason why they stop you while driving. So you are not required, but loopholes in the law allows officers to have reason to ask you.

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bahamian242 8 months, 1 week ago

Yap we are the ones that love to break the law to enforce the law!

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

This must be a "tongue-in-cheek" moment! Seriously? If no one is "entitled" to have proper identification in The Bahamas because they don't vote, drive or travel internationally the very same employer (UBS) of this gentleman probably would not be in the Bahamas because of that same law! So how will you draw your old age pension later? what do you think should be required "required" A Fingerprint? retinal scan? Good luck "selling" that to the Bahamian voters. Think we have immigration problem and lawlessness now? a law not requiring any identification in The Bahamas will make what we have now seem like "child's play" IMHO

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MarkTa 8 months, 1 week ago

To be fair this has been going on a few months. This is the 3rd in 6 months if im not mistaken.

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becks 8 months, 1 week ago

Anybody who is calling Nassau or The Bahamas a police-state or anything near to a police-state is too stupid to be believed. That kind of comment just proves you are living in La-La Land and have never,ever experienced anything close to a police-state let alone a real police-state. Fools!

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larry 8 months, 1 week ago

wow take a white man in for investigation into his migrant status the house slaves goes crazy why you touch our white master but grab up some black migrants and they say take um all and they were immigration officers who took him into cutody

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

The silly thing about it is this...not really a black or white issue, just a common sense issue on behalf of the officers. You have a 'top banker'...you pull him over, he does not DENY that he is working, doesn't claim to be a visitor, he tells you he is the director in charge of UBS. Chances are he was driving a car owned and registered to UBS. You know where he works, they have a massive building and complex right next to East Villa near Waterloo. This man is not a threat that needs to be detained and possibly deported for being an illegal. Send him on his way, alert head office, have them send an immigration officer to his offices at a predetermined time to give him time to get his paperwork out of the safe or safe deposit box which is likely where a Swiss minded individual would keep important documents and document him. Or tell him he needs to report to Hawkins Hill with his papers and meet this specific individual...otherwise we will be forced to visit your offices. It's the shady characters out there that you can tell without much difficulty that they are illegal, are they in a big fancy vehicle dressed for work, then tell you, no, I'm just visiting...with a briefcase on the passenger seat.

So many other ways this could have been handled, but because the immigration officers were power tripping, it ended up like it did and might just be the final nail in the coffin that drives UBS out of this country...they have already been pairing down their operations significantly and I believe there were in fact talks of them closing the Nassau branches in the past couple years. There are better ways to go about it is all I am trying to say, having the gestapo stop you at roadblocks with a massive chip on their shoulder and something to prove, is not the right way to go about it.

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blackcat 8 months, 1 week ago

You are SUCH A fKIN jackas it is amazing. You are one of those people who seek to provoke people in the most negative way ever. Come on man, everyone is entitled to their opinion but you are such a TROLL bey, just looking for reactions and I guess you got it from me. We already have so much negativity when it comes to race relations here. You need to comment sensibly or not at all.

like BID says- this is not even a race issue. I agree with their comment 110%. There is a right and wrong way to handle this and the officers completely mishandled this situation.

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JohnDoes 8 months, 1 week ago

They are supposed to lock you up until they can prove you can legally be here before they let you go. You think they are just going to let him go and then go to the company to be faced with some 'run around'. Let the company come and get him if he is such a major asset or if its so serious that he is absent. He should be a responsible legal alien and carry his permit/ID's etc. Come on man, COMMON SENSE, Ine need no law to tell me that. Yall are the same types of Bahamians who say "Man ine carrying no ID, cuz the police dont ask for them" and then when the Police do ask, you are in a jam, because ya too lazy and irresponsible.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

The word is not master, it is Massa

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concernedcitizen 8 months, 1 week ago

@larry .ever hear of punctuation ??

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royalexander 8 months, 1 week ago

The fun part of the debate is that there is no living soul in the Bahamas that is NOT the product of some immigration. As good citizen we should therefore all self deport..?!!

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Yeap...and to really add fuel to the fire...the majority of the population would not be on this island if it were not for some of those elite white folk that they keep raging about that bound them to slavery and imported them to the Bahamas...but that is another story altogether...but one that is often overlooked at the convenience of a lot of the people who rail against the nasty white foreigner taking all those Bahamian jobs...

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

Get real, every country needs some sort of immigration to keep the population at a reasonable number, this is common sense for a baby, now the way immigration is approach needs to be humane with care for some people that is only trying to make a better life for themselves. Those people can't stay if they don't meet the standard, however, no need to insult them as they are being deported.

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spoitier 8 months, 1 week ago

That don't make any sense, He could make the case that Bahamians needs to be more sensitvie to some foriegners but a country still needs to have some standard to who is citizens and who is not. If you acquired legal citizenship through our laws, then you are a Bahamian regardless of where you was born, or if a person like myself give up my citizenship and wants to move back home, then I have to follow the immigration laws regardless of how much I talk like a Bahamian.

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Gen1usBahamian 8 months, 1 week ago

Seriously? Only in The Bahamas huh? not USA, UK, etc? Self deport? Bahamians (in this case, whatever that word means) did not self import! But the law is the law! Am all for LEGAL immigration, I live in the US with 4 Americans (wife 3 kids) who means everything to me, so am not heartless, I understand, but even after being here more than 2 decades I get no special privileges, and I don't expect none! Am not complaining, life is good, just making a point. If we (Bahamians) decide to put a price tag on everything, sooner than later Nassau will be privately own by some Russian or Chinese Billionaire! Then we won't have to self deport, we'll be deported with/without Bahamian identification!

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bahamasrider 8 months, 1 week ago

The article clearly states that he was "roughed up". Has anyone seen him today? Does he have black eyes? Bruised jaw? How was he roughed up? Is there a police report that states that? His picture printed doesn't show any physical injury. In my experience, all you have to do to a Frenchman to rough him up is to say excuse me. There is something lost in translation here.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

Kind of guessing that is a file photo of him from the bank...and he is Swiss...not French.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

Come on now. That is not a fair description of the French or the Swiss. That’s like a foreigner telling me, all Bahamians are lazy or all Bahamians hate foreigners, even though they fight amongst themselves. “Rough up” could mean being verbally abused, or even being pulled harshly etc. And believe you me; I never disbelieve anyone who claims that these so called officers act unprofessional. Their record dictates that they do act in this roguish manner.

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blackcat 8 months, 1 week ago

EXACTLY- one of the main reasons why commentators like bahamasrider will not get far. Pure ignorance, xenophobic, hates anyone different or of different religion, culture, mindset etc. Can I say that for all bahamians? NO because that would be judgemental and generalizing.....but for a lot of people in this town, that's the first place we go. first of all, the man is swiss, not french. And to make such a sweeping statement like that- well I'm quite sure you wouldn't like someone to make a judgement on you in the same way.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

Well what most Bahamians need to realize is that the Bahamas is like a speck of sand on the world map. We have been fooled to believe that we are self-efficient. Most of us think that these “white” people need us because we gat we sun, we sand and we sea; they need to come here because they country ‘frig’ up and they gat more opportunities here. Well I say wake up before it gets too late. Globalization is inevitable! These spoil brats who live in their cocoons, looking for hand outs, blaming everyone but themselves for their misery, while sitting down gossiping and waiting for their numbers to fall, will soon he zapped into reality.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

OK so...you have a bank like UBS...which for the Nassau branch is purely a 'wealth management' branch, all they do is have high level consultants on hand to be in office for when a client walks in and wants to assess his existing portfolio and change up some investments...those people will never be Bahamians, so of course they will be paid big bucks...the clientele does not want to come into a Swiss (Investment) Bank that handles their multi million or billion portfolios by some Bahamian that can't string a few sentences together. But, on the flip side, they built and paid for a multi million dollar building, they employ Bahamian security staff, clerical staff, gardening teams...all sorts of people in so called 'skilled labour'...but you are going to piss them off and drive them away. Very intelligent train of thought.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

You are missing my point...it's a foreign investment bank...not a retail bank, dealing more than likely with foreign clientele who are also not Bahamian...they will fullfil the image of what they are needing to portray for their clients...now...retail banking is COMPLETELY different!!

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

"will certainly be leaving and you dumb fools can live in the shit that you created". According to your statement, you will be leaving to live somewhere other than the country you are a citizen of. Just hope that you don't complain when the natives of that country disrespects you and label you as a "white foreigner" who coming to take their jobs.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

Lol... Gatta love your colourful language though.

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blackcat 8 months, 1 week ago

who are you dawg, what are you smoking, maybe i would like some of that

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

The white foreigners can laugh. That is their rights. But one can only get offended if one is indeed a dumbass. This issue is not about white foreigners versus local workers etc. The issue at hand is people need to carry out their duties with dignity and respect. Further, Bahamians need to get this shit from the back of their mind that oh, “here’s an opportunity for me to get back at the white man”, let’s show him that we rule in this country”. And the way, I don’t think foreign is better. I have seen multiple talents that if given the chance can be on par with the world. Blame the government for not giving Bahamians the opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs, not the foreigners. Oh, and I speak with a lot ‘white’ foreigners all the time also, and they believe that Bahamians are very talented. But I guess you and I speak to two different kinds of foreigners.

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

Don't know which part of my statement you read that implies that I think this man should be treated any different than anyone else. When anyone is disrespected,whether black, white, yellow, Chinese, Haitian, Swiss, French or whatever, I speak out my friend. Don't misread me.

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larry 8 months, 1 week ago

remember when the Governor General of the Bahamas with the red passport and Diplomatic immunity was held by the U.S. Custom for questioning did we ever get an apology or were they doing their jobs

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Emac 8 months, 1 week ago

Oh I am sure he was not "roughed up" or spoken to harshly. Besides, who wouldn't question these Bahamian politicians anyway. Most of them behave like criminals. I am not saying this of the then Governor General, of course.

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leeza 8 months, 1 week ago

Its so sad to see so many people here are actually upset because the immigration officers who happened to be Black Bahamian detained a white rich person who is not Bahamian. If he was black would there be this much outcry. Examine yourselves. You say its not about color and status but it is. Immigration officers continue to do your job. If someone is here in this country,doesn't matter their color or who they claimed to be if until they can produce some document to support their claim to have proper status treat them like every other person in custody. After reading most of your comments her today, your race is screaming oh so loud in my ears yet you claim its not about race, really. Cant believe where some of you went but what inside a person shows up sooner or later.

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

how many non black Bahamian police and immigration officers are there. ever made a statistic who gets more traffic tickets. Caucasians or African Bahamians. its ok its what Bahamas chooses to do. totally ok. just own it. its a fact.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Listen I believe a couple of people were behaving badly, the expat and the immigration officers. Mr Mitchell found his butt down to the bank that very day to offer his apologies. As bitter, condescending and anti-foreign as he is, he sees some reason to be concerned.

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Reality_Check 8 months, 1 week ago

This incident will make its way to the Board Room at the Foreign Head Office of every single bank having foreign executives and/or employees currently residing in or visiting the Bahamas. Untold irreparable damage done of the kind a feather weight like Ryan or a looney tune like Mitchell can do absolutely nothing about; actually, when I think about it, Mitchell is capable of making matters worse by simply opening his mouth!

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

Interesting to see how the debate about criminals turns into a debate about immigration. Last time I checked it was mostly the legal immigrants that did not kill their neighbours with guns, did not sell drugs, did not double dip with NIB and (sic!) paid the NIB contributions for their employees, themselves and their staff. Reality is if you move from Switzerland or Europe or the US to the Bahamas, you don't have a brother that is police officer or a cousin that is politician, and you follow the rules.

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SP 8 months, 1 week ago

While we need MORE SUSTAINED ROAD BLOCKS, Government is using these Immigration road block stunts as a scapegoat to "appear" as if they are serious about illegal immigrants. Any Nassuvian can take immigration to shanty towns where 1000's of illegals run wild.

Instead of farting around with Mr. Fiaux and other lesser numbered white collar illegal immigrants, why not start by seriously targeting Haitians, Jamaicans and Africans as they are the LARGEST NUMBERS OF offenders in our midst.

Immigration can raid any Haitian shanty town and collect literally 100's if not 1000's of illegals EVERY DAY.

Anyone living down Unison road off Carmichael Road can tell tails of living in fear of the Haitian Tonton Macoutes' that can be heard holding nightly military style training exercises that begin after midnight and last into the wee hours.......Where the @#$%^&* are Immigration, police and defense force to sort this problem out?

We will not accept this smoke and mirror facade of action by Immigration while we cannot sleep worrying about when the chanting of the Haitian Tonton Macoutes will turn into real ATTACKS on our families.......Which is bound to happen sooner or later.

How many illegal bankers are here?.....100?.....Vs...How many illegal Haitians , Jamaicans and Africans 100,000?

Stop frigging around with harmless bankers and deal with the real problems that are costing Bahamians 1000's of jobs and lost income.......HAITIANS, JAMAICANS AND AFRICANS!

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

you cant deport the people that do the dirty jobs for no money, man.

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sheeprunner12 8 months, 1 week ago

SUMMARY

The topic of "immigration" brings out the worst in the character of Bahamians.

As you can see from the above comments, I rest my case

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

anybody here on the blog ever tried to renew a work permit in the Bahamas? its like signing up for a spot in a pre-k in New York City for a child. you have to apply for it before the kid is born. last time it took immigration 11 month to renew, great job. who needs an electronic chip on an immigration card, ey, if you can't get anybody at immigration looking at your application?

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GrassRoot 8 months, 1 week ago

yep and you turn off the light. that is if electricity is working.

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BahamasExcellentz 8 months, 1 week ago

We want guys like this in this country. 90% of the Banks employers in the Bahamas are Bahamian. Let's say for purpose of this discussion they employ 100 people. For every job they create from foreign money coming into the country it creates 7 other jobs. This is a economic statistic ... read economics textbooks (it's called the economic multiplier) if you disagree. These are grocer employees, truck drivers, tire repair man etc. If you want the top executive out of the country to make room for a Bahamian to take his job, UBS will leave for countries that allow the executive they "know" running it. That would have 90 Bahamians out of work and the impact on the economy is another 700 jobs.

I was at a red light on Shirley Street beside a police car. The light turned green but cars kept going through the red. The police ignored them. Another time on Shirley Street a taxi turns from the left lane across a lane of traffic turning right on East Street forcing me to slam on may brakes and drive on the sidewalk. A policeman was on the sidewalk. When I asked if he was going to do anything he said "It's a taxi driver!!". I can give you hundreds of examples of this kind of behavior from the police. We all can. Nobody in this country uses a signal light or wears a seat belt. I have had two traffic accidents, the other parties were charged but they had no insurance and no license in one case. I followed up with the police and nothing was done. Peoples safety and lives are put at risk and nothing is done, but we think it is ok to harass a top executive of a company giving people in the Bahamas jobs. Come on Bahamas.

As for a Police State. Police states have no crime. Countries with dictators have some of the lowest crime rates in the world. We are at the other end of this spectrum. Crime of all kinds are rampant here because of the example the police give for the little things like enforcing traffic infractions and following up on people breaking the law. The message they are giving is go ahead and break the laws, we probably won't do anything. Those people openly breaking the laws are quite often related to the police officers who will openly solicit for the criminals. This open soliciting for criminals is a huge infraction anywhere else in the world but is not even understood to be an infraction here. They enforce the immigration stuff because they are not related to the foreigners. This crime that is running rampant will eventually kill tourism and no one will have a job here. We will be immigrating to Haiti to work. Keep it up Bahamas. We will be treated wonderfully in Haiti.

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Honestman 8 months, 1 week ago

Unbelievable comments on this thread. Makes me think there is little hope for this country.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

They been talking bad about black people since black people know black people. A few of the principles our young men need to learn are: you give respect to get respect, if you know better do better, do unto others as you would have them do to you, two wrongs don't make a right.

Respect doesn't mean I like you or I think you're a fantastic person or even that I think you will treat me just as well I've I've treated you, it means I'm not giving anyone a reason to judge me behaving badly.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Well, according to today's tribune, another govt representative in person of Ryan Pinder, just slunked their way to UBS with tail between their legs to apologize, what kind of ass is this??? No doubt they will come down hard on the immigration officer who they unconsciously gave the right to act just the way he acted. I hope Perry and Brad chew Fred out for this and tell him to stop his nonsense.

Perry Christie, Fred Mitchell, Brave Davis need to start putting some common sense into their daily recipes.

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banker 8 months, 1 week ago

Good Afternoon Sir, I am an immigration officer, and we are checking people to verify their residency status. Are you a Bahamian sir?

No.

Are you a legal resident.

Yes.

May I please see your work permit sir?

I do not have them with me.

May I please see some identification.

Yes (p*ssed off).

Thank you sir. Are you employed in the Bahamas?

Yes, I am a banker at UBS.

Do you have a business card sir?

Yes. (hands it over)

Thank you sir. I have written down this information and will verify it. Please be informed that work permit holders should have their documentation with them to prevent inconvenience in the future. Have a nice day sir.

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concernedcitizen 8 months, 1 week ago

@Banker ,,Exactly right ,this procedure should have been followed if he was ,a white ,black or asian prominent banker here . Plus there is probably a good chance the car was registered to UBS ..

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digimagination 8 months, 1 week ago

It's no more than basic good manners, something sadly lacking here - and no wonder when you look at the education stats..Who trains these immigration 'officers' anyway? Approach someone in a hostile manner and chances are that the person being addressed will react.in a (very) defensive way.

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B_I_D___ 8 months, 1 week ago

But I can see what happens...take Bankers shake down...tongue in cheek...

Good Afternoon Sir, I am an immigration officer, and we are checking people to verify their residency status. Are you a Bahamian sir?

No.

Are you a legal resident.

Yes.

May I please see your work permit sir?

I do not have them with me.

May I please see some identification.

Yes (p*ssed off).

(Immigration officer...Did he just roll his eyes at me or say something cheeky....I'll show his white a&$ who is boss)

Please get out of the vehicle sir, we need to take you in for processing, at which point a couple police officers armed with machine guns spin the guy around and put on handcuffs and probably grab him up under his arms and shove him on a bus.

Kinda thinking that's more of how it happened.

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shortpants 8 months, 1 week ago

Banker you are the only one on this site that make sense right now .No matter what this was the way this should have been dealt .Black or White common sense is not common, these people we've put in place to run our country needs someone to teach them about ethics as well. .From the PM down to all off the white collar criminals politricks that run this country. We as Bahamians love this white and black shit when will we ever get over this, when Jesus comes.Bahamians wake up we been living this lie for to long we all need each other black and white.

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Honestman 8 months, 1 week ago

Talk about the government shooting itself in the foot? It's time for Perry Christie to stand aside and allow someone to step up and LEAD this administration. Next move should be to remove Fred Mitchell who is a danger to this country's reputation. Why do you think this immigration officer felt entitled to treat the UBS director in this way? Because FM has set the tone for how he wants foreigners to be dealt with. It's time for someone more rational and business savvy to oversee Immigration. The fall out from this guy's treatment could be major despite Ryan Pinder's attempts to placate.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, another downsizing is probably on the horizon

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BAHconcerned 8 months, 1 week ago

At the end of the day Mitchell is a liability to this Government and the country. As the Minister responsible for Immigration, he would have instructed for this street check to occur. He is also responsible for the actions of the Officers within his Ministry and needs to take responsibility for such actions.

The civil servants within his Ministry are often the 'face' of The Bahamas, either for tourists on their initial arrival into the country or as representatives of The Bahamas internationally, and therefore they need to conduct themselves in a manner that is representative of our hospitable nature.

In the media release issued by Mitchell after the street check he states; ‘I do not interfere in operational matters of the Department's enforcement procedures.’ (Minister Mitchell you would be kindly reminded that you are responsible for the Department of Immigration, from the Director down, and therefore you should very much be minded with the all aspects and actions of this important Government Department.)

Q: Why did Minister Pinder see the need to personally apologize to Mr. Fiaux when it was Mitchell's Officers who (apparently) treated him in such a manner than deserved an apology?

A: Minister Pinder understands the value of and benefits that these overseas companies bring to The Bahamas and tried to mitigate the damage caused. Did Mitchell offer an apology? No. In the follow up story today Minister Pinder is quoted as stating '...both Prime Minister Perry Christie and Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis had moved “swiftly” to minimise repercussions.' Why has the Minister responsible for Immigration not taken similar action?

It is clear that Minister Pinder understands what it means to be a true statesperson and Mitchell should be ashamed for his callous reaction, though it is well known that Mitchell does not like foreigners, yet likes to spend most of his time overseas.

I would wish to remind the readership of a situation that occurred under the former Administration when Officers within the Department of Immigration went on strike resulting in huge backlogs and long delays at LPIA (March 2012). The Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister at the time hauled his Director of Immigration down to the airport to act as the sole Immigration Officer and to personally process arriving visitors while the Minister walked through the arrivals hall conversing with arriving guests and personally apologizing for the delays caused.

This example and the action taken by Minister Pinder in apologizing to Mr. Fiaux, shows the public those characteristics that are sorely lacking in our current Foreign Minister. Anyone would just have to read the weekly dribble posted to Mitchell’s website to understand the unpleasant and distasteful way he conducts our country’s affairs internationally.

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BAHconcerned 8 months, 1 week ago

When will the current Administration wake up and realize that Mitchell is a real liability and is doing irreparable damage to our country?

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Exactly, just commented the same on the other story. Perry needs to move him before he does some irreversible damage. He doesn't have to be obnoxious to achieve his objectives.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

I guh stand right here with you to see who guh say something....

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Hmmm...fancy dat, no one say anything:)

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SP 8 months, 1 week ago

Tribune........T-R-A-N-S-L-A-T-I-O-N

"WHITE".... Bank Executive Detained At Immigration Road Block

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

It's an unfortunate truth...people treat you according to how they perceive you. And perception is typically gauged by what they "see". Skin colour, physical attractiveness, height, weight, clothing etc.

It ain't right, but again life isn't fair. Women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves for a leadership position, for example.

I can imagine that when said banker got irritated, "put on" his attitude, and questioned how the immigration officer could detain him, probably stating the obvious, i.e. that this was really stupid, the immigration officer started treating him according to his character, which was suddenly clearly "visible"... I'm just guessing...

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