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More To Be Questioned After Arrests At Baic

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

POLICE expect to “bring in several more persons for questioning” as the probe into “theft by reason of employment” at the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) continues, according to Assistance Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander.

In an interview with The Tribune, ACP Fernander confirmed that seven persons – four men and three women – all employees of BAIC, are in police custody in connection with missing items from the corporation. No one has been charged.

According to a well-placed source, police suspect the employees of attempting to destroy files and remove evidence from BAIC that could show funds have been misappropriated.

The source said that several computers and documents were allegedly taken from BAIC between election night and the next morning but police now have those items in custody. The suspects were allegedly caught on camera removing the items.

A forensic team is going through the evidence, the source said.

When asked, ACP Fernander would not confirm or deny the claims but said, where any wrongdoing is found, no matter who is implicated “the hammer will be dropped.”

“We are still in the early stages of our investigations and we do not know where our inquiries will lead us. We have those persons in custody and as we progress we will see what we have and what evidence we have and who will be charged,” ACP Fernander said.

“The four men and three females are being questioned in reference to stealing. We do not know where our inquiries will lead us. No one has been charged but where this leads the hammer will fall. I cannot say where this will lead, but as we move through our line of inquiries, there are more people we need to see and bring in. If we have to arrest additional people we will do just that.”

The employees sought the services of lawyer Wayne Munroe, who said he hopes this case is not one of “victimisation”. He also claimed that none of the persons were being questioned in relation to any missing money.

“I find it troubling that you have in CDU and it was remarked at by officers (as) a case that would never be in CDU and I find it remarkable they way they are approaching these persons,” Mr Munroe told Our News on Wednesday.

“I also find it disturbing the makeup of the persons given the allegation; it’s not a allegation of stealing, not one cent. This is unseemly of a government whose prime minister said victimisation is illegal, if this is victimisation I will expect he will sack the minister and the persons responsible for it because he said that is how he will operate his government. And so I will tell Dr Hubert Minnis, if it is shown to be victimisation we will call on him to act in accordance for what he say he will do.”

Newly elected Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has pledged to weed out corruption in all government ministries. Ahead of the general election Dr Minnis labelled former Prime Minister Perry Christie and his administration the “most corrupt, the most incompetent and the most victimising government since independence.”

On Tuesday, the government said it will conduct audits into the Bank of the Bahamas, BAIC, and Urban Renewal among others. Officials also said each Cabinet minister will also conduct audits within their own ministries.

A statement from Bahamas Information Services said wherever wrongdoing is found, the law will take its course.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 week, 3 days ago

"He also claimed that none of the persons were being questioned in relation to any missing money."

When I heard computers were removed I figured this was bigger than a couple hundred thousand dollars. Maybe it'll tell us where da Vat money gone

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 3 days ago

"o find it disturbing the makeup of the persons given the allegation; it’s not a allegation of stealing, not one cent. "

It IS an allegation of stealing, items removed without permission and subsequently recovered from the perpetrators. In fact this may prove to be worse than stealing. I stick to my contention that Wayne Monroe is the most dangerous man in the Bahamas and to the Bahamas. He packs the appearance of lies into what seems to be the best logic ever. These people took property without authorization. What does "one cent" have to do with it?

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DreamerX 1 week, 3 days ago

It has to do a lot with allowing the government to perform arrests in ways that are dangerous to our democracy. All of the outspoken QC's get a contentious reputations for their clientele, but just as you may hear Americans citing supreme court decisions, which in many instances expanded/protected citizen rights through lawyers defending criminals and undesirables. The question is, why are they arresting people for "theft" when the thefts would need to be confirmed, these persons had not the right to remove properties. While it may seem prudent to quickly assemble and round up people appearing to remove property, it gives precedent for authorization of unconfirmed/unreported or even unjustifiable reasons for arrests. The timing of the removals are sketchy, and I believe they will find evidence of a cover up and it will lead to more arrests. But I cannot excuse unjustifiable police actions. My freedoms are more important than their reasons.

Wayne Munroe may fail in defending a number of criminals, but in his defense of these criminals the judicial system is protected or in the least, it is slowed from turning to a tyrannical force.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 3 days ago

If someone is caught on camera taking property that doesn't belong to them, as far as I'm concerned they get treated like the criminal they are, that means handcuffs and chains. Since they were caught on video I'm sure they know exactly what time it happened.

Now if you tell me something like the police beat them up I'll say that was not called for. If you don't want to be hauled off in front of the staff don't steal from your boss it's simple

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Baha10 1 week, 3 days ago

"It's not an allegation of stealing", what then were the computers being removed for without permission?!? ... maintenance? ... regettably the Gangster's Lawyer is part of the problem, particularly now that he has decided to inject himself into the Politics of this Country.

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