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DOUBTS OVER SMITH’S ‘ABSURD’ ASSET CLAIM: Sands asks how can former passport chief not have bank account

PLP candidate for the West Grand Bahama and Bimini by-election Kingsley Smith and FNM Chairman Dr Duane Sands.

PLP candidate for the West Grand Bahama and Bimini by-election Kingsley Smith and FNM Chairman Dr Duane Sands.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

DR DUANE Sands ripped into Kingsley Smith’s financial declarations for the West Grand Bahama and Bimini by-election, insisting the PLP’s candidate has “absurdly” implied that he does not have a bank account.

Candidates must accurately declare their assets, income and liabilities before elections, according to the Parliamentary Elections Act.

They are expected to reveal what they have in savings accounts, current accounts, securities, salaries, properties, other income and debts.

Mr Smith declared $200k in securities, $65k in accounts receivable, automobiles worth $52k, property worth $60k, a salary of $34,750, other income of $25k and debts of $243k.

Notably, he was the only candidate not to declare anything related to savings or current accounts.

 “It is difficult to believe that an acting chief passport officer, as I believe was his substantive role, doesn’t have a bank account because I don’t know how he would get paid,” Dr Sands said on Wednesday.

 Yesterday, Mr Smith told The Tribune to call back to discuss the matter, but he did not respond to repeated calls before press time. A source in the PLP, unauthorised to speak publicly on Mr Smith’s behalf, told this newspaper the candidate stands by his declaration.

“What person in the world would have security of $200k and a liability of two hundred something thousand dollars but don’t have a bank account?” Dr Sands asked.

“What we suspect is he has taken note of the debt that secures money loaned to him in order for him to not be bankrupt. That’s the only way we could see it, but nobody has considered that these documents ought to mean something.”

“You have no savings accounts, yet you gon’ tell me you have $200k in securities and you owe $243k? How you paying the friggin debt? You putting it in a brown paper bag and taking it to the person?”

Dr Sands also questioned the declaration of Coalition of Independents leader Lincoln Bain, who declared no debt and a net worth of $1.8m.

Mr Bain claimed in a social media broadcast earlier this month that he is one of the country’s biggest producers of mobile apps and websites and that The Tribune is among his biggest clients. However, in an editorial, the newspaper said an app Mr Bain’s company produced for Jamz –– a separate entity from The Tribune –– amounted to $600 per year.

“If that’s his biggest client,” Dr Sands said, “then how the hell he get a net worth of $1.8m?”

The Bahamas does not have a robust system surrounding public disclosures. In its annual human rights report, the United States has repeatedly noted that no independent verification of the information public officials submit exists.

Dr Sands said the Public Disclosure Act and the Parliamentary Elections Act must be updated with more “teeth” to ensure all candidates forward complete and accurate information.

Comments

Sickened 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The declaration requirement is a complete farce. People don't declare - no punishment. People put nonsensical figures down - no investigation. Why do we have laws and procedures when not one single politician, civil servant or police officer gives a rabbits middle finger about them? WE ARE A JOKE!!

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K4C 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This proves, you can a run house cat as a candidate ,

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DiverBelow 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Wonder why we are looked at as a 3rd World country? Laws for convenience, but whose convenience?

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

When there's crap splashing wild all over the contested islands constituencies'. --- Could it be with money questions, surfacing around one of its own in advance of the fast approaching By-election.Day. --- The Red Party chairman deflects by signaling out the lone "Crappie Laneway'' to highlight a governing party member's Financial Disclosures. --- With cover mention of the Coalition's candidate. --- Couldn't just make it up. --- Yes?

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Sickened 3 months, 2 weeks ago

All these candidates should be put on the side. None of them cut the mustard.

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Bonefishpete 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Never been done before. Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account.

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pt_90 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Johnson has, he just doenst have any that meets the reporting threshold.

"Under assets on Speaker Johnson’s most recent financial disclosure report for 2022, it says “none disclosed.” No retirement plan, no mutual funds, no bank account. Actually, the Speaker’s office told Marketplace that he does have a personal bank account, but it’s exempt from House reporting rules because it doesn’t earn interest."

marketplace.org/2023/11/09/whats-the-...

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truetruebahamian 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Fire everyone everywhere and I go back to an honest UBP

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birdiestrachan 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The sands allegiance against the bishop are so much more serious you appear to be looking for dirt So Mr Sands you did the same thing with Mr Smith

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trueBahamian 3 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a little strange that he wouldn't have a savings account. I suspect he does have one or a checking account but perhaps he doesn't want to disclose for whatever reason, either low balance or an overdraft checking account. It's a bit difficult to do business as a professional and not have a bank account. On the COI candidate, that guy is a joke. He should be doing comedy, not taken seriously politically. It's true we need fresh blood in politics. But, we don't need an opportunistic idiot either.

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

What say, first, about exposing those fleecing the churches flocks out monies on behalf of those residing off/on the islands ---- Is out there promoting get rich quick fraud schemers who are skilled at hopping about from island to island --- Sweetalking up the populaces' gained their trust. --- Yes?

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JokeyJack 3 months, 1 week ago

This is just a distraction. The election itself needs to be questioned. We just saw on Saturday police in Grand Bahama confiscate the ballot box and place it "somewhere" inside police headquarters. No monitoring by the candidates or their representatives. Wonder what's happening to the contents of that box? We can only wonder, since we are not allowed to observe.

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