By JADE RUSSELL
SEVERAL members of Parliament yesterday said they had no FTX investments, while one confirmed receiving a donation from the collapsed crypto exchange firm.
The MPs were canvassed days after Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis told reporters that he had no knowledge of the Progressive Liberal Party, which he leads, receiving any money from FTX.
Mr Davis also said he did not know whether any Cabinet ministers held any FTX digital wallets or portfolios.
Among those canvassed yesterday was Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper who said he has not invested in FTX.
“I don’t have any further comments, I have no further comments. But I will answer that I’m not invested in FTX,” he said while walking into the foyer of Parliament.
Mr Cooper, who is also deputy prime minister and minister for tourism, aviation and investments, was earlier asked if he believed the collapse of FTX would influence the country’s tourism industry.
“I don’t see that this matter is going to impact tourism, one way or the other,” he said outside the House of Assembly. “We have a very strong brand in the international community. We have a significant marketing machinery. We’ve been doing a lot of missions around the world and it’s all positive for tourism.”
MPs who confirmed they did not invest in FTX or receive any donations from the firm were Myles Laroda, state minister for disaster preparedness, Labour and Immigration Minister Keith Bell, Parliamentary Secretary Bacchus Rolle, Youth Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg, and Seabreeze MP Leslia Miller-Brice.
Meanwhile, State Public Service Minister Pia Glover-Rolle, Golden Gates MP, confirmed she did not have investments in FTX.
However, she said she received a contribution of 10 laptops from FTX for her constituency’s after school homework assistance programme.
Mrs Glover-Rolle added the contribution was about three to four months ago.
Mr Bowleg also told reporters that he did not have investments in FTX.
But he said that if the crypto currency firm had offered him something based on its success and profit in the past, he may have “purchased” assets of the company.
Meanwhile, Allyson Maynard-Gibson KC, former attorney general and FTX attorney, declined to comment when asked about FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Mrs Maynard-Gibson also did not comment when asked if she had any investments in FTX.
She told reporters her focus was on the celebration of women as yesterday’s morning sitting at Parliament was a joint sitting between senators and MPs, which focused on the accomplishments of women.
The Bahamas has caught headlines in the international media over the FTX saga. Some commentary has been critical of this country’s digital asset regulations, saying it is one thing to have such laws, but another to enforce them.
On Monday, Mr Davis branded criticisms levelled at the country in the international media as an “unfair” characterisation.
Asked what he would say about the criticisms launched at the country in the wake of FTX’s collapse, Mr Davis said: “I think it’s unfair. It’s an unfair characterisation. I’m not concerned about our reputation in that regard because most of what is being said is the posturing of persons who would wish to have the liquidation under their control so once that is settled you will see that everything will blow over.”