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Editorial: What About Justice In The Bahamas?

Peter Nygard has been arrested and charged with sex trafficking and racketeering.

Readers will note from our report in today’s Tribune that he was arrested in Winnipeg, Canada, and is facing charges in the Southern District of New York, in the United States – not here in The Bahamas.

Allegations of serious sexual miscondut by Nygard were first revealed by The Tribune in 2019 when six Bahamian women made official complaints of rape and abuse against him.

In the months that follow police said they had launched a criminal investigation which is silently proceeding.

The six women who came forward here resulted in an avalanche of allegations against Nygard from dozens of other alledged victims both here, in the US in Canada. Many of these allegations are now wrapped up in civil actions lodged in US courts.

The offences for which Nygard has now been indicted involve racketeering, sex trafficking of a minor and allegations of transportation for the purpose of prostitution or illegal sexual activity.

Underlying the case against him is that he did not act alone but was supported by his company in financing and facilitating what was allegedly taking place.

Court documents have also explicitly stated that in The Bahamas he was able to carry out his alleged crimes protected by a screen of senior politicians and police.

The victims’ stories all point to the fact Mr Nygard’s operations involved a web of individuals – those he employed and those in the community beyond.

So far local individuals have been named in court and The Bahamas has quietly got on with business, seemingly dismissing the whole affair as just another chapter in Nygard’s interminable feud with his Lyford Cay neighbour Louis Bacon.

We would hope the fact of Nygard’s arrest will change the attitude in those serious media outlets which hold themselves to account and they now join The Tribune in reporting and investigating this story.

In February, we called for a Commission of Inquiry to publicly sift through the allegations.

We should be clear – an allegation is not necessarily true and must be proven to be so. Some of those who have had their names published in allegations may be entirely innocent. Some may not. Clear the names of those who are innocent, but hold to account those who are complicit or took money to look the other way if that was what happened.

As it stands, it looks as though people only have a hope of finding justice if they seek it in another country. Do we really want The Bahamas to be known as a place where sex traffickers and abusers can find safe harbour because that is what it look like if Nygard is found guilty?

The Nygard saga has gone on for a long time, through many court cases and through many claims and counter-claims. Will our justice system at last have an answer for those who say they were abused – or will those accused of allowing it to happen never have to face up to their accusers?

The truth is important not just to those who say they were attacked, raped or threatened – the truth here is important to the very running of our nation itself.

Comments

SP 2 months, 2 weeks ago

A banana republic does as a banana republic is!!!

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why are we so up in arms about what Nygard did? Before anyone thinks I'm condoning his actions or brushing them aside that is not what I'm saying.

The tale is being told that the goings on at Nygard Cay were an "open secret". Stories of wild parties, orgies, sex acts involving politicians being taped and on and on. Open secret.

Nygard was so 1980's. The open secret we have today is the parties being held by the numbers boys and open exploitation of young girls. What we gonna do about that? Or we could only do something when the money een good no more?

Chrissy Love used to say sweep your own doorstep.

Theres another open secret people talk about. Gross and serial sexual misconduct among parliamentarians and cabinet ministers. How many outside children and sweethearts these men have?

Ministers preying on their female staff. We've had charges of rape/domestic violence brought against 2 sitting CABINET ministers. Charges that just went away. Weve had one cabinet minister speaking in parliament about beating his girlfriend and saying she must have liked it with other ministers LAUGHING. Can we play the tape? Hushed whispers of even more cabinet ministers beating their wives. What about that? We don't have to rake Nygard over the coals like we so shocked. Sexual misconduct among men holding power in this country is it's own thing. Address that. Address the all access pass that anyone with money has to this country and it's resources be it the land, contracts or the people.

The Albany CEO told the PM to his face, abd in front of the press, ~once we spend money in your country stay out of our business. What we do dont concern you. Go call a commission of inquiry into that. The dragnet will catch Nygard and anyone else of his ilk.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Dont firget Lanisha Rolle saying marital rape was a private affair and Emmanuel saying sometimes a woman need to get beat when she up in her husband face. These 2 women in parliament, one a cabinet minister. We have much more serious problems than Nygard

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JokeyJack 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Just another red herring to keep the public attention away from finding out where the VAT money gone. It don't matter if you can't buy food or pay your rent, instead worry about Nygard. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And speaking of Nygard. We really have to examine these beauty competitions. I always thought they were a scam by rich men to get access to impressionable beautiful young women. Just look at some of the men who sponsor these things and their character.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm just glad somebody finally got that scumbag nygard. Our government need to impound his property in Lyford Cay to pay for all those years he ran it as a resort and never paid resort taxes....

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