By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
THE owner of a popular bar was arrested on Friday night after police responded to reports of an unauthorised gathering, which contravened COVID-19 Emergency Orders.
Following the Village Pub owner’s arrest, police also allegedly found a pistol and ammunition inside his vehicle.
Police said: “Shortly before 9pm, officers from the Operations Unit responded to an unauthorised social gathering that was being held at the Village Pub located on Balfour Avenue.
“On their arrival they saw and spoke to a male who presented himself as the proprietor. He was arrested and cautioned.
“Acting on information the officers conducted a search of a vehicle belonging to the suspect and recovered a black Glock .45mm pistol with 12 unfired rounds of ammunition. The suspect is expected to be formally charged before the Magistrate’s Court.”
Even though the country is on a lockdown, which prohibits restaurants and bars from being open, sources close to the matter told The Tribune a popular DJ also performed at the gathering.
“I am not surprised at what happened,” one customer who frequents the pub told The Tribune under the request of anonymity. “I stopped going there a few weeks ago because I don’t like what I see in the new ownership. The new crowd seemed a bit rough so I now enjoy my wife’s cooking.
“I am not sure what went down there, but all of a sudden the place was being shot up, corrosive substances were being thrown at it and then, poof, a new owner is involved with a strange crowd. I don’t want to draw any conclusions, but it all seems strange to me.”
Social media went wild over the weekend with claims that Free National Movement Chairman Carl Culmer was among those in the club when police raided it.
On Sunday, Mr Culmer sought to clear the air, saying he was not there.
He said: “I categorically deny any story concerning my arrest and detainment, and state unequivocally that I would not participate in any activity that would bring me, my family, and the party of which I have the pleasure of serving as chairman, into disrepute.
“I do not subscribe to socialising at bars, and encourage all citizens to dismiss fake news outlets and obtain their information concerning COVID-19, and any other matter of national importance from credible sources.
“I am disappointed, yet not surprised, by this false and malicious story, concerning my presence at a local bar/restaurant, which would be in direct contravention of the Competent Authority’s National Emergency Orders.”
Police also confirmed that Mr Culmer was not there.
Mr Culmer, continuing in his statement, said “fake news” is the order of the day.
“I support the prime minister as he leads us through this current health pandemic,” he said. “It is sad to see the level that individuals who oppose the government would stoop to in order to create confusion and malign one’s character and integrity.
“Unfortunately, we are at a time in our history where “fake news” is the order of the day, and persons take certain liberties they ought not to in order to advance their political agendas. My thoughts and prayers remain with all Bahamians and residents as we continue to navigate some of the most difficult times our country has ever faced.”