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Sands Says Malfeasance At Health Ministry Is Sickening

Dr Duane Sands

Dr Duane Sands

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

AN investigation into “improper behaviour” has been launched at the Ministry of Health, according to  Health Minister Dr Duane Sands who said the alleged malfeasance is “sickening”.

In an interview with The Tribune, Dr Sands said the appropriate authorities are investigating the matter and he will advise the public, as soon as practicable, on the findings.

Dr Sands did not reveal any additional information on the misconduct because he said he did not want to “prejudice the investigation”. 

“A new day has dawned for the operations and the business of health,” Dr Sands said in the House of Assembly on Wednesday evening.

“We have already gotten evidence of improper behaviour in the Ministry of Health. It has been referred to the appropriate authority and at the appropriate time I will advise the public of the findings of those investigations. I invite the public if you know of any malfeasance in the Ministry of Health please let me or any of my senior officials know,” Dr Sands said.

When contacted yesterday about his earlier comments, Dr Sands said despite the government conducting investigations into several ministries with no results thus far, he has the political will to see this “to the end.”

“It’s some really sickening stuff, but I think that we have been down this road before where the public, having suspected that there was a level of malfeasance and corruption, has been disappointed that no one has ever been brought before the courts, or precious few people, and so the public has become numb,” he told The Tribune.

“I think what is different this time is there is truly the political will to find the evidence and adhere to the rule of law, but at the same time eradicate that culture that says you can take liberties with the people’s money and get away with it.”

Authorities are still investigating allegations of theft at the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).

Several employees from BAIC were taken into custody nearly a month ago, including former Nassau Village MP Dion Smith, who was serving as executive chairman of the agency at the time. However, they were all released with no charges.

A source close to the matter told The Tribune that police suspected the employees of allegedly attempting to destroy files and remove evidence from BAIC that could possibly show funds were being misappropriated. However, nothing came of the allegations.

Earlier this week, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said despite not making any arrests at BPL to date, “there is no doubt someone will be charged.”

Last month, four BPL employees were suspended and one person was terminated pending the outcome of the theft investigation.

Employees were accused of “orchestrating an elaborate scheme” over the course of one year, that allegedly involved fake companies and forged cheques. Allegedly at least one bank employee was also involved in the alleged plot and is being investigated, a source told The Tribune.

Comments

B_I_D___ 6 days, 20 hours ago

This is one of the primary reasons the concept of NHI scares the hell out of me...our existing government agencies and controls are so corrupt, NHI would just be a financial disaster and would end up so out of control people would still be in ill health and the country would be more broke!!

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BahamaPundit 6 days, 19 hours ago

A radio host said today the PLP were punished by losing the election on May 10; time to move on. I say HELL NO!!!! If PLPs did the crime, they should now do the time. If someone steels from you, do you just let them keep the money???!!!!

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birdiestrachan 6 days, 17 hours ago

Why did he not Waite until he had the facts to report instead of coming up with no real facts. He seems to love the press. I hope the investigation in to all of the missing and stolen money and what ever else was missing will soon be solved.. right now there is a whole lot of smoke and no fire. I have no idea how long these fellows will last just finding faults with no solutions to the serious issues confronting the Bahamas. there are to many people who are out of work. they will do well to start there..,,,

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MassExodus 5 days, 13 hours ago

They will last longer than your cock-sucking PLPs

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TalRussell 6 days, 16 hours ago

Comrades! Is it smart for the minister health to state corruption occurred......but then go on a fishing expedition for the evidence? Is he a minister health, or a wanna-be Sherlock Holmes? The ways he been talking, he should done have more than enough evidence to overwhelm the Judge to send the culprits to Life-terms without any chance parole - up to Fox Hill?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 days, 13 hours ago

Duane Sands is only giving us lip service when he says all of those responsible for the major instances of fraud and outright theft within the Ministry of Health under the previous government will face charges once the necessary evidence has been properly gathered. Mark my words.....not a single person is going to end up in Fox Hill prison in connection with the mega millions of dollars stolen from the Bahamian people by corrupt government officials!

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OMG 6 days, 3 hours ago

Look at the last PLP minister of Health. He could barely string two words together let alone a sentence. As for corruption there is plenty of that on the family islands. I was told that on one family island a senior employee rented one of her cars to the local clinic/Ministry of health for months to the extent that a new car could have been bought with the same money. Political cronyism at its best.

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