Wilchcombe Fears Crime Is Ruining Nation’S Reputation


Gary Vanhoeck


Tribune Staff Reporter


TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday he is “very concerned” that crime is “ruining” the reputation of the Bahamas.

Mr Wilchcombe said he still believes the Bahamas has a “wonderful reputation” and the government now has to “spend all efforts” to protect the country’s image.

His comments to The Tribune came three days after Gary Vanhoeck, an English man, was murdered on his sailboat at Stuart Cove’s diving centre in western New Providence on Friday night.

According to reports, Mr Vanhoeck, a dive instructor and employee at Stuart Cove’s, was shot twice in the head by two masked men during an armed robbery.

Mr Vanhoeck’s wife was tied up during the incident but unharmed. Police currently have no one in custody but said they are on the hunt for four suspects.

Mr Wilchcombe said while any murder is horrific, the killing of tourists or residents, when the country relies so heavily on tourism “is a whole other level of horrific”.

“There is a lot of concern about the crime situation,” Mr Wilchcombe said. “The Bahamas has a wonderful reputation and despite the difficulty we have with crime, we maintain the reputation that generally we are a crime free society. What we now have to do is spend all efforts ensuring that we are not led by that image.

“The entire country, I am talking about politicians on both sides of the political divide, churches, civic groups, everyone must come on board with this crime situation. We have to work together to get rid of this issue because truthfully the attack on visitors is one thing but when you consider the residents and people who live here that have to battle crime that is another thing.

“It is my wish and my prayer that we continue to cause an awakening of the spirit of love. Right now there is just too much hate and violence and too many individuals churning the crime.”

While police have not officially identified the victim, Stuart Cove, Mr Vanhoeck’s boss, said in a statement yesterday: “Our dear friend and colleague Gary Vanhoeck, an English citizen, was killed in an attempted robbery on Friday May 1, 2015. Police are investigating and I am reluctant to postulate as to what happened until their investigation is completed.”


Islandgirl 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh. Now you are concerned? Where was this concern when those dimwits put up all those friggin billboards in largely touristic areas, advertising the murder count? Anything to get into power right? Teach these people they have to work for a living. Help them become educated so they can make a more meaningful contribution to this nation. Set an example. All of you who go into parliament poor, come out filthy rich and are held unaccountable for not one thing while amassing this wealth in questionable fashion, are teaching them that they are entitled to everything, even when they didn't earn it, and that they are answerable to no one. This has been the order of the day for decades, and only God knows how to reverse this animalistic mentality.


duppyVAT 6 years, 7 months ago



asiseeit 6 years, 7 months ago

^^^CORRECT, CORRECT, CORRECT!^^^ A bit late sir, this country has a stink reputation as a nation of criminal's, the pirate's of yesteryear where tame compared to today. We need a Wood's Rodgers or some kind of true leadership, what we have now is killing this country. Worst thing that ever happened to this country was independence, as it is evident the people that are trying to rule this country just do not have the skills needed. They all have a chip on their shoulder, can not manage a hill of beans, are in it to get rich quick, and are tribal. These twits are more loyal to their party than the country.


ObserverOfChaos 6 years, 7 months ago

this nation has a "stink" for sure....It's a Stink of a Nation!...more like a cesspool....


TruthHurts 6 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget 'power'.. all for the love of money and POWER!!


TheMadHatter 6 years, 7 months ago

Wilchcombe is obviously a GENIUS. Nobody knew this before he opened his mouth. Wow.

The thing is Mr. Wilchcombe, you were not elected to spout out STUPID statements that have been obvious to your voters for the past ten years or longer - but instead to SOLVE those problems.

My grandmother could say that crime is ruining this country. Does she get to be an MP? Is she qualified just because she can say that?

Why not DO SOMETHING about it.

Oh, I know why - because that would put you at odds with the REAL leaders of this country which is the Christian Council which refuses to allow any sensible discussion of birth control methods and teenage pregnancy in the schools.

People got babies (unwanted) to feed, and they gotta get money or food however they can - which includes crime.



ThisIsOurs 6 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm this is like the hundredth time he's made a similar statement. But no movement to fire Davis, Gray or punish the BEC bribe taker yet. Until action is taken on at least those three items we don't need to hear it again


TruthHurts 6 years, 7 months ago

Boy oh boy.. the infamous BEC bribe-taker has been swept under the rug so it seems. I still waiting to hear the report on that one.


SP 6 years, 7 months ago

............. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive! ...............

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe was one of the chiefs among those in 2012 that guaranteed they had a sure fire solution to crime.

He must have just been joking with the rest of the boy's dem ay?


The_Oracle 6 years, 7 months ago

Ok sparky, why not legalize crime, the way you did the other criminal activity? Didn't that cure the problem? Jackasses. This is a 40 odd year old road, with an inevitable destination.


paul_vincent_zecchino 6 years, 7 months ago

Relax the firearms laws and crime will drop. Criminals aren't stupid, they're just bright enough to be dangerous. And they fear the citizen who can defend himself.


CatIslandBoy 6 years, 7 months ago

The PLP will never bring about any kind of solution to the crime problem. They are simply not capable of devising, implementing, and managing the intense efforts necessary to see a reduction in crime. These guys are master politicians who excel in the art of campaigning, and winning an election. And then, for them, it stops there. The rest is just pure rhetoric!


SP 6 years, 7 months ago

The FNM were and are no different. Six of one & half dozen of the other!

Way past time to try something else.....Anything else would be a start!


paul_vincent_zecchino 6 years, 7 months ago

Crime and other problems keep leftist governments in business. Agree.


BahamaPundit 6 years, 7 months ago

The more I think about it, the more I believe that Bahamian MPs do not believe anything they have done is corrupt, nefarious or ungodly. These men actually believe that if they win their seat in Parliament that gives them the RIGHT to steal from the public treasury. In their ass-backward, Machiavellian mindset, they believe the public expects them to become rich from their stay in Parliament. It's as if they have won the lottery, and they are now entitled to reap its rewards. Only once we, the people, change their mindset, will we see a change from the ghetto, get-rich-quick, gangsta rappers that govern us. Not to mention "conflict of interest" is a fiction created by America to keep people of color down. There's no such thing as "conflict of interest," only us getting ours. The PLP should be rebranded with the clothing moniker FUBU, For Us BY Us. And if y'all don't like it get the F_ _ _ out of town.


Economist 6 years, 7 months ago

Well said. Everyday members of parliament, by not filing their declarations in accordance with the law, are proving that they feel that breaking the law should go unpunished.

So the MPs are all saying that they agree with the crime as they are a part of it.

Has minister Wilchcombe filed his declarations? Are they up to date? If not, then he is no better than a criminal.


CDMortimer 6 years, 7 months ago

Truthfully, what’s sad is the over-abundance of conjecture the Bahamas, as a nation is enduring—from these politicians (governing and opposing). It is not fair to label all our politicians as corrupt/idiotic/brainless/wealth-pursuing/moral-less/inept and unscrupulous vultures, however, it is fair to have that opinion of them. In essence our “crime-problem” is seriously an issue—not because of the havoc or senseless offences being committed; our “crime-problem” is seriously an issue—because the individuals voted out as well as the ones voted in, possesses not a clue on effectively combating this predicament.

  • Maybe adopting Indonesian law would be a deterrent—but we replace the drug- smuggling offenders with illegal firearm offenders (Firing Squad execution)?
  • Maybe revamping the present firearm laws—and increase the incarceration time?
  • Maybe revisiting the capital punishment issue—serious crime offenders, gets their last experience?

What is the solution? I personally don’t know…but what I do know is it is not a quick-fix. It is not a problem that will be remedied overnight. Unfortunately, I believe our elected “leaders”, have no clue as to the direction/route that is required. To a major extent, what is needed is not an easy pill to swallow, but an antidote that must be seriously considered soon. However, we honestly need to quit making excuses for and attempting to rationalize why these criminals are doing the BS they’re doing! If everyone in this country decided upon committing a heinous offence or an offence in general—because of tough economic times, then the murder count and incidences of armed robberies would be astronomical (but we do not!)


OMG 6 years, 7 months ago

For those persons interested and our talented politicians (tongue in cheek) check out online the Daily Mail newspaper and scroll down to the UK coverage of the British dive instructor recently murdered. Then you will see scores of negative comments which in many cases are biased and untrue but convey a pretty bleak picture of the Bahamas. This one act and resulting publicity cancels out millions of dollars of tourism advertising. When will the politicians who wasted millions realize that all these new taxes are creating a large poor class who are struggling to eat let alone pay their light bill, 7.5% VAT on a $100 is nothing to a well heeled politician or wealthy family but it hurts the average man. Some of these murders ,robberies and acts of violence are the result of poverty, poor education and lack of opportunity.


TheMadHatter 6 years, 7 months ago

Wonder if people would be happy if VAT were reduced to, say, 2% ???

Oh, by the way, hoping you guys will start to click on the thumbs up symbol. You see it next to each commenter's name. You can click UP on a comment if you like it - but ALSO VERY IMPORTANT to click on the thumbs up which is at the very top right of the ARTICLE ITSELF - which votes up the article and it appears on the home page on the most commented list. We still have that old tired article being "number one" with only 4 votes listed there for almost a year now.



tourist1001 6 years, 7 months ago

My investors pulled out of a small resort that was for sale because of the crime. :(


asiseeit 6 years, 7 months ago

What really pisses me off is the fact that the politicians only start to get worried when crime is affecting the tourist industry, what about how it affects BAHAMIANS and how they go about their business? Do they understand how many Bahamians have changed their habits due to crime. How much the local economy is affected because of crime. How many Bahamians are out of work TODAY because of crime? Do they realize that many, many Bahamians refuse to go out at night because of crime? Commerce has been adversely affected by crime in so many ways. Who would buy a gold chain that you can not wear in Nassau, who frequents bars or restaurants after dark to get mugged on your way out, who is not looking over their shoulder when entering or exiting Super Value or the mall, who wants ANYTHING nice that can make you a target? This has smothered the local economy. Here is one the greedy politicians may listen to, TAXES have been hindered because of crime. You greedy politicians are getting less money in the slush fund due to crime, ever think of that?


Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years, 7 months ago

Everything one needs to know about the character and integrity of Obie Wilchcombe is summed up in the following confidential communication issued by the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas to the U.S. State Department on 16 Oct 2009, which communication has been published on the internet by WikiLeaks: - QUOTE - Wilchcombe, former Minister of Tourism, could be tainted by his involvement in the recent extortion case surrounding the actor John Travolta. Wilchcombe testified last week that he had several conversations about the issue with the former Senator, and his law partner, Pleasant Bridgewater, one of the two accused of attempting to extort USD 25 million from the actor. Despite testimony indicating he had no knowledge of Bridgewater's alleged involvement in the plot, FBI sources indicate that tape recordings confirm his complicity in the scandal. Wilchcombe is also rumored to be homosexual. - UNQUOTE -.


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