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‘No reason to feel unsafe’ Minister speaks out following three murders in one day By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net

He further rejected the idea that a nation’s crime rate is a direct reflection of the government’s effort to fight criminal acts. The minister said while the government has found some successes in the fight against crime - a 37.4 percent drop in murders along with overall crime trending downward by double digits – officials do not see this as a time to pat themselves on the back. He conceded the most recent incidents and others prove there is still work to be done. SEE PAGE FIVE

DESPITE a bloody weekend with three homicides recorded, National Security Minister Marvin Dames insisted murders continue to trend downward, adding Bahamians have absolutely no reason to feel unsafe in the country. In the days following the murders of a father and two teenaged brothers, Mr Dames warned criminals their days of wreaking havoc are numbered.

SHOT DEAD IN THE STREET

Ferguson-Pratt that the defence will be crossexamining Mr Dames on a statement he gave connected to the trial. Additionally, Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, the officerin-charge of the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Anti-Corruption Unit, will also take the witness stand concerning his involvement in the matter.

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames is expected to give sworn testimony today in former Progressive Liberal Party Senator Frank Smith’s bribery and extortion trial, it was revealed yesterday. Damian Gomez, QC, one of Smith’s attorneys, told The Tribune after proceedings before Chief Magistrate Joyann

SEE PAGE SIX

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FINANCE Minister Peter Turnquest yesterday insisted the country was one major hurricane away from “total disaster” as he defended the impending value added tax hike in the face of mounting calls for the government to reconsider. After poll results indicated a wide majority of Bahamians oppose the 2018-2019 budget and the VAT increase, Mr Turnquest stressed the country could not continue to “borrow on our future”. Meanwhile, Official Opposition Leader Philip Davis told The Tribune he feared there would be “grave unrest” given the concerns levelled by the business community over the shock increase, adding it was not too late for the government to “sit back, listen, and reverse itself”. SEE PAGE THREE

By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net

POLICE at the scene of last night’s shooting.  POLICE were last night on the scene of a fatal shooting in Fox Hill. Police Superintendent Shanta Knowles told The Tribune that shortly after 9pm, police were called to Step Street, off Fox Hill Road, after receiving reports that gunshots were heard in the area. She said: “Officers arrived and discovered a man had been shot. EMS personnel came in and attempted to resuscitate the man but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead on the scene. “This male was walking on Step Street in Fox Hill when we are told a dark-coloured vehicle pulled beside him. He had

Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff a conversation with the occupants before they shot him and sped away.” She added: “We have beefed up our patrols. We started a new operation last week Thursday. We know that there are lots of officers on the streets who are giving their best to make sure that our communities are safe. This appears to be an isolated incident. We are working to determine motive. “We are also asking people not to be fearful but to speak to us.” Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 919 or Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS.

IN the face of backlash over the government’s proposed tax increase on web shop operators, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the new taxation sliding scale for number houses is “set in stone”. He also doubts jobs would be affected and web shop operations would have to close numerous locations because of the increased fees. As he maintained the government’s decision to increase taxes on web shops is not discriminatory, the minister with responsibility for gaming said “all sins” are taxed heavily. SEE PAGE THREE

MAN ACCUSED OF HELPING SUSPECT IN BOY’S KILLING EVADE JUSTICE By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

SUSPECT Johnny St Luc was arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court yesterday, charged with accessory in connection with the death of seven-year-old Camron Cooper, who was killed by a stray bullet on Tuesday last week.

JOHNNY St Luc outside court yesterday. 

The 32-year-old Haitian is alleged to have assisted another person, who was a party to the June 5 murder, in evading the due process of the law. St Luc was further charged with allegedly being found in possession of both an unlicenced 9mm handgun as well as two live rounds of SEE PAGE SIX

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D’AGUILAR: GOVT WON’T MOVE ON WEB SHOP TAX

DAMES TO TESTIFY TODAY IN FRANK SMITH TRIAL By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

‘WE’RE ONE HURRICANE AWAY FROM DISASTER’

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PAGE 2, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

GARVIN Gaskin pictured speaking to the media after being sworn in as the new Director of Public Prosecutions at Government House yesterday. 

THE TRIBUNE

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

‘I will focus on justice’ By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net GARVIN Gaskin was officially sworn in yesterday as the country’s first independent Director of Public Prosecutions, a move Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said hopefully would end any “suggestion of political influence” from the executive branch of government on the prosecution of cases. Speaking to reporters shortly after he accepted his instruments of appointment from Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, Mr Gaskin said his new office would be focused on integrity and be specifically committed to having an “unwavering and dedicated focus on justice.” “This service must be done with impartiality, transparency and critical objective approach with a lack of political fear or manipulation and a clear conscience,” he said.  “Integrity will be the software of our transformation.” When asked by reporters what, if any, immediate changes would be made  in the coming months, Mr Gaskin stressed that he and other officials were analysing all approaches “holistically”. Addressing the historic nature of his appointment and what it means for the future of public prosecutions in the country, he said: “To some extent I have been doing it.”

GARVIN Gaskin alongside Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, above left, and with members of his church at his appointment. He continued: “But now, sorts can be given, but, like I he said. “As you know, I civil society, as it repre- or politically questionable.” Dr Minnis said he once we are talking about said, you have to essentially am always in court from sents another fulfilment the independence part of start at a foundational plank time to time, but with this of a promise made to the was hopeful the counit, meaning the buck stops and that is, every decision particular position it is Bahamian people by his try could advance past with you, then obviously you make to discontinue imperative that the admin- administration during the the days where persons could “credibly” suggest a it’s about applying all of the must be a principle one and istrative side is focused on last campaign. Dr Minnis said: “The political influence over the knowledge that you have not one influenced by Inap- greatly. I will pick my spots establishment of a consti- commencement or conduct acquired over the years and, propriate or external forces appropriately.” Speaking at the event, tutionally protected Office of public prosecutions. you know, all the issues that of that nature. “Like I said, to some Dr Minnis said the move of an Independent Public “Hopefully, any suggescome with whether there an important Prosecutor is a praise- tion of political influence, are political influences, all extent we have been doing marked of that; all of that will be this and we have seen a lot advancement in good gov- worthy achievement for over prosecutions by the put to bed… especially as of positives - increased con- ernance and democracy for Bahamian democracy, as it executive arm of governhas the potential to mark a ment, will now be a thing a public servant, doing the victions, tighter cases - and The Bahamas. A constitutional amend- clear break with the past.” of the past,” he said. “Cerwill of the people and fol- so I hope to take it to a next level.” ment bill passed in 2017 He added: “Historically, tainly, the Constitution of lowing the law.” Lastly, when asked about amended Article 78 of the all too often, there have the Bahamas now requires Speaking specifically to the scope of transparency his involvement in major Constitution to provide for been instances where public that any policy directives exhibited by the office in the cases moving forward, Mr the creation of the Office criticism and even parlia- given by the attorney genpast, Mr Gaskin said: “Well, Gaskin said he would lend of the Director of Public mentary dissension arose in eral to the director of public consequence of what some prosecutions must be in historically you can never his services where needed, Prosecutions. By virtue of the creation might have viewed, as the writing and published in the fully explain why you enter but insisted his major a nolle (stop prosecution focus is the administrative of the Office of DPP, the commencement of certain gazette for all to see.” According to Dr Minnis, order), for instance. There responsibilities of public law change conferred all prosecutions for offences, powers relating to crimi- such as sedition, or criminal an appointment to post of has been reason because prosecutions. “I will certainly be nal prosecutions previously libel, in highly politically independent Director of you never wanted to set the precedence that every time involved in cases. I think vested in the attorney charged circumstances; or Public Prosecutions will you make a decision, you I’ll have to pick my spots general, who is a Cabinet the discontinuance of pros- stand for five years; with an ecutions by way of nolle option for reappointment have to say, ‘well this is why, because a major part minister. of what we are doing is Dr Minnis said the prosequis, issued by former to a second and final term. this is why, this is why.’” further attorneys general, in cirThe law establishing the He added: “I do appreci- administering at this level. appointment ate that there may be times And so, clearly when it is marked an important day cumstances which were new post came into effect when an explanation of appropriate, I’ll appear,” in the creation of a more considered to be ethically on May 18.


THE TRIBUNE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, PAGE 3

Gibson seeks delay in VAT rise By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THOUGH he supports the tax hike, Long Island MP Adrian Gibson said he wants the government to postpone the increase of value added tax. Speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, the Water & Sewerage Corporation chairman said: “While I support the increase in VAT and the simultaneous reduction and eventual elimination on customs duties on various imports, I’m concerned there wasn’t a greater degree of public consultation and/or consultation with big business and/or the business community. Given the concerns being expressed, the increase perhaps should be postponed until the third or fourth quarter as opposed to immediate implementation on the 1st of July. In my constituency, I’ve faced many questions. This would

allow business houses to organise their accounts and their affairs. I spoke to Long Island business persons and even chatted with (Super Value owner) Rupert Roberts this morning and I can tell you they feel a brief postponement would be more palatable.” Nonetheless, Mr Gibson said the tax increase is necessary. “There is no such thing as a free lunch as we seek better infrastructure that would translate into new opportunities for The Bahamas,” he said. “To obtain the same we must understand that either the government must raise the funds through taxation or borrow. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. It is a give and take. Our people must appreciate that our need to increase VAT from 7.5 percent to 12 percent, particularly given our accession to the World Trade Organisation, is necessary. One, the country needs

supplemental taxation to reduce legacy debt that has astronomically impacted the debt to GDP ratio, and customs duties will in large part be eliminated or greatly reduced when we are slated to join WTO. Our country can no longer survive on credit. Moving forward I would suggest we also implement a debt ceiling.” As for increased taxation of web shops, another controversial budget item, Mr Gibson said communities in Long Island have been negatively impacted by the industry. “The expansion and proliferation of web shops throughout The Bahamas has caused concern,” he said. “Frankly, on islands such as Long Island where we have 15 to 20 web shops, local communities have been negatively impacted in many cases. Frankly, I think that web shops taxes should be even higher. When contrasted to the UK and elsewhere, these operations

are being taxed on the lower end. Greater regularisation is needed in the local gaming industry. What’s more, I do not yet know of mechanisms in place to assist persons who develop gambling addictions. Have the gaming houses established such centres?” Mr Gibson called on the government to raise tariffs at WSC, noting the tariff there has not been raised since 1999. “There is a noticeable cut in the budget allocation for Water & Sewerage,” he said. “While that means that operation and collection efficiency must improve to keep the corporation solvent and while I welcome the government’s attempt to lessen the reliance of SOEs like WSC on the public treasury, it is also indicative of the urgent need to raise the tariff. . . WSC can hardly meet its obligation as is. No less an institution as the IDB has urged for the same.”

ADRIAN GIBSON, MP for Long Island. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

added tax has taken some people by surprise. “We understand there are those who are going to be upset and disappointed that they have more taxes being required of them, but the reality is that at the end of the day the Bahamian public ought to be really upset at the way we have allowed this unchecked spending, and unchecked borrowing to go on year after year, which has gotten us to this point where we are today. “The reality is if we’re going to give ourselves a chance to be more progressive in the things and services that government provides,” he said, “as well as to be more holistic in the way we develop our country and be more inclusive. These are things we just have to face.” The Minnis administration has faced considerable criticism over its decision to increase the VAT rate by some 60 percent from

7.5 to 12 percent without seemingly consulting stakeholders. Critics have also raked the FNM party over its staunch opposition to the introduction and administration of the tax under the former Progressive Liberal Party government. Mr Turnquest previously defended the lack of consultation surrounding VAT’s increase, saying governments keep revenue measures close to the chest to discourage consumer behaviour that could upend government revenue projections. Yesterday, Mr Turnquest insisted there was “no way we can continue to borrow.” “The interest rate expense on these loans is going up astronomically,” he said. “It’s not even just the borrowing but the cost of financing the borrowing and I think people are missing that connection. We cannot continue to borrow on our future,” he said.

“Circumstances change. Things happen. We are only one major hurricane away from total disaster. We don’t need to get there to see what happens. We have examples around as to what happens.” Mr Turnquest added: “I understand the polls if in fact they are accurate. Certainly we don’t question whether they are accurate or not, that’s really up to the public to decide. We know no one wants to pay taxes but it is a necessary element unfortunately of the government.” For the scientific poll, which was conducted between June 2 and June 6, 800 respondents were selected by “random” telephone selection. The survey has a margin of error of 3.46 percent. M’wale Rahming, president of Public Domain, said the results are the latest indication the Minnis administration is heading

toward the “point of no return,” that moment when Bahamians’ disapproval of an administration may not be capable of reversal. Yesterday, Mr Davis maintained the VAT increase was an outright betrayal of the electorate’s trust, telling The Tribune those results evidenced a sentiment his party believes has been growing steadily since the general election. He confirmed his party will be supporting a march against the tax increase with the “We Rise” group on Thursday. “But it was not unexpected,” Mr Davis continued, “because the lies they told on the campaign trail are catching up to them. They lied to them, sowed lies, and it is what will be reaped at the end of the day. I just admonish the government to listen to the voice of the people, otherwise this does not bode well for the stability of the

‘WE’RE ONE HURRICANE AWAY FROM DISASTER’ from page one

Mr Davis said he fully expected the government to continue its election campaign narrative of demonising the Progressive Liberal Party for its own incompetence. A new scientific poll from marketing and research firm Public Domain, released on Sunday, revealed 76 percent of Bahamians opposed the 2018-2019 budget. The poll results also show 73 percent of people generally oppose the VAT increase to 12 percent from 7.5 percent, 22 percent generally support it and five percent said they don’t know. “It’s a poll,” Mr Turnquest said yesterday. “The thing about polls is it really depends on who is taking it and what the questions are and the mood at the time. We understand that the increase of value

country. “When I talk to business persons they are all decrying this sudden increase. I think the government just has to sit back listen and reverse itself. It’s not too late, I portend grave unrest in the sense of the uncertainty of the business community, having been caught off guard in the way they have. “At the last budget in June there is no foreshadowing of any increase. They just had a half-time report, a glowing report just six weeks ago about how what they’re doing is impacting the economy and then six weeks we’re struck with this? It’s deceit.” Mr Davis added: “I doubt one can claim legacy in this regard, this is just a continuing campaign exercise where they had to demonise the PLP and blame them for what they are doing, but I think it’s their own incompetence.”

D’AGUILAR: GOVT WON’T MOVE ON WEB SHOP TAX from page one

He added that the discussion on this matter needed to be shifted to the revenue and profitability of the industry. Meanwhile, State Legal Affairs Minister Elsworth Johnson said web shops should be taxed in a way that brings equity to the social downfalls of the industry. He said currently the industry was not being taxed according to the international industry standard. Gaming house operators have threatened to sue the government if it fails to engage them on what it called an “unconstitutional” and “discriminatory” sliding tax scale for web shops. Leaders of the industry are adamant there would be job cuts and the closure of hundreds of web shops nationwide should the government decide to move forward with implementing the increase. “As far as I am concerned it’s set in stone now,” Mr D’Aguilar said when he was asked by The Tribune if the sliding scale could be amended in the face of criticism. He also said: “I just find it difficult for people to conclude whether it’s high or not without actually seeing the facts. You will see that there is no discussion on what the revenue figures are, no discussion on what the profitability figures are,

so how can you conclude whether it’s high or not? So let’s have an intelligent conversation about it. “I just think that everybody is using the hype for their own political gains to push a certain agenda. Let’s look at the numbers. Let’s analyse the numbers then come to a conclusion so that’s what I intend to do.” “I don’t think it’s discriminatory at all,” the minister further commented. “I think you either agree that it’s a sin or it’s not a sin and if you agree that it’s a sin then all sins are taxed heavily. So, the crux of the discussion is where is the threshold, where is it high and where is it low. “That’s the $45m question and that’s what we have to decide and when I speak to Parliament I’ll speak to that matter.” Web shop operators have also raised concerns that 2,000 jobs will be lost and 75 per cent of the locations will close. They have said this hike is an intentional move to shut them down. To this he said: “Absolutely not. I just think that all of the operators have to step back, analyse their statements and see how it can adjust. “Yes you may have to adjust your business, but will it lead to widespread closures and shut downs? Absolutely not,” the tourism minister said. “I don’t think so at all. But everybody has their

view and everybody is pushing their agenda so all I would advise is you can’t conclude on this matter until you know the facts and until you know the numbers and there is what I find interesting is there is no discussion of the numbers, no one talks about the numbers.” For his part, Mr Johnson said Bahamians should not replace enterprise and industry with a game of

chance. He said in his opinion there is a 99 percent chance the gaming house will win while the patron loses. “I think that is in all things we have to tax the industry in a way that would bring equity to some of the social downfalls of that industry and how do we pay for it,” he said during his budget contribution. He also said: “I note the circumstances by which

gaming was legalised. The question remains whether the industry, which is a lucrative one, was properly taxed at its inception. “If one were to conduct a comparative industry analysis it would be clear that the current taxation regime does not meet the current international industry standard.” Under the new proposed sliding scale, those web shops earning up to $20m

in revenue will be taxed at a rate of 20 percent and those falling between $20m and $40 will be taxed at a rate of 25 percent. Others earning between $40m and $60m will be taxed at a rate of 30 percent while those in the range of $60m and $80m at a rate of 35 percent. Those between $80m and $100m at a rate of 40 percent and over $100m at 50 percent.


PAGE 4, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

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Good work, Works Minister AMIDST all the criticism of the Minnis administration for the roll-out of a budget with massive tax increases`, The Tribune wants to hit pause and say “congratulations” for one job well done.   Two large sections of widely travelled roads have recently been repaved and work on a third, smaller area, is just being wrapped up. The two large jobs, not easy to accomplish because of the traffic load, were the western end of Tonique Williams Darling Highway/ Harrold Road, which was largely a fill and resurfacing exercise, and Eastern Road which required excavation, prepping, levelling and paving. Both were done with moderate disruption which the public, well-notified, tolerated for the benefits to follow. And the results of both jobs appear excellent. The section of Harrold Road that once tested a vehicle’s springs and a driver’s patience is now a flat surface instead of a roller coaster ride with nerve-wracking, car-rattling bumps and valleys. And especially impressive is the work on Eastern Road where, in addition to a beautiful, smooth surface, cat’s eyes have been added or extended along a section that was not properly lit before.  Slightly less convenient is the work on Culbert’s Hill where speed bumps were installed every few hundred feet to discourage vehicles from speeding. There are so many speed bumps the overkill is enough to discourage vehicles from even using the road. We do understand that speeding jitneys were using the thoroughfare as a shortcut to Prince Charles Drive, but CCTV (closed circuit TV) cameras followed by tickets and penalties that could ultimately lead to licence suspension could have dealt with reckless driving by a few without punishing the many who used the road and will now be more likely to use the long way around. Electronic monitoring and issuing tickets in an era when we do just about everything else electronically makes much more sense than creating a physical obstacle course.  Speed bumps on Culbert’s Hill aside, full credit for good work goes to Works Minister Desmond Bannister.  We remember and shudder at the Road Works Project that took place under the former administration. There was no question that the work had to be done. The infrastructure throughout much of New Providence was crumbling and the FNM under Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was focused on the physical environment. Improvements were visual and vast. The problem was that there was too little public consultation and when roads were diverted away from businesses by either making traffic one-way or creating perimeter paths that Bahamians were not accustomed to, the outcry far outweighed praise.  Roads may have been smooth but feathers were rumpled. And they were rumpled to a point that a few of the affected became significant backers of a third party, the DNA, so determined

were they to toss out of office a government which had turned its attention to a need and not to the people who were impacted. Mr Bannister likely remembers the price the FNM paid for failing to heed the people’s concern. Public consultation is not a luxury. It is a right of the people in a democracy, just as are freedom of information, accountability and transparency. In this year’s road improvement projects, Mr Bannister made certain the public was informed on a daily basis. There was no major re-routing but there was disruption and to avoid backlash, the Works Minister was sensitive to the need to disseminate precise information about where construction would slow or stop traffic. That sensitivity showed a respect for the public and the public responded positively.    We were also very pleased to see the use of more cat’s eyes, the small reflective studs in the tarmac. The story of how cat’s eyes came to be is one of coincidence and practical application. In 1933, when there were still very few cars on the road, an English inventor and businessman named Percy Shaw was driving down a dark road in the UK one night, having trouble distinguishing where the road ended and the hillside began. He got out of his car to look and saw a cat in the distance, its eyes shining. Shaw realised how reflective light could illuminate a dark area. He patented his simple invention the following year and since then cat’s eyes have been credited with saving untold millions of lives. They are inexpensive, require no maintenance and should be used as broadly as possible in The Bahamas, particularly on long, dark stretches of dark roadways on islands like Eleuthera and Exuma. The simplest ones, just an aluminum mirror set into a rubber pad, cost less than a penny apiece with solarpowered larger reflective lights ranging in price up to $20 or even more.  Verges have also been cleaned and New Providence roadsides are more manicured, roundabouts improved and overall highway appearance the best it has been in several years.   While we focused on road works, physical appearance and projects and said good work Works Minister, we would also remind other members of Cabinet and their advisors to bear in mind part of the reason for the success was public consultation and sensitivity to the end user’s role, that is the public.  Motorists did not balk when it took twice as long to go to work or go home because of torn up roads. They were kept in the loop every day. If Cabinet had begun laying out its need and its strategy for gaining additional revenue and talking with various industries before it attempted to impose higher taxes across the board with crumbs like making corned beef VAT-free, the bitter pill might have been more imaginative, less bitter and easier to swallow.

My right to spend EDITOR, The Tribune. IN 2013, my wife and I were at odds about the Gambling Referendum, but we agreed on one thing — it is Bahamians’ right to spend their money however they felt. I believed then, as I believe now, that gambling is a past time. Everyone has their vices. Some people drink, some people smoke, others gamble. Five years later and gambling is legal now, but it seems the current government wants to reverse the process. To impose a 5% tax

each time someone gambles, even after taxing the number bosses, I feel, is quite unfair. It’s as though the government is seeking to dissuade persons from gambling. Or, the government is intentionally setting up the frame work to close numbers houses and return to the days when gambling was underground. That’s not progression and I thought we were in a society where Bahamians would be treated fairly. NEIL ROBERTS Nassau, June 10, 2018.

Entry level job losses no big deal EDITOR, The Tribune. FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest must not capitulate to the Bahamas Gaming Operators Authority (BGOA) and its attorney, Alfred Sears, in their demands for the Free National Movement (FNM) administration to abandon its plan to exponentially increase taxes on web shops. Many observant Bahamians have chosen to view the introduction of this sliding scale tax system within the gaming industry as a retroactive measure that would seek to clawback millions that were funnelled out of impoverished Family Islands and the inner city communities of Nassau by web shops over the decades. This money could be used to build new schools, hospitals, homeless shelters and much needed infrastructure throughout the country - something state lotteries do in the US. The BGOA attorney’s threatening ultimatum to the FNM probably fell on

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net deaf ears. These people were able to circumvent the 2013 referendum results via the courts. Therefore the threat to litigate is not surprising. Based on the results of the said referendum, the BGOA shouldn’t even be in existence today. The Minnis administration is obviously not beholden to these people like the previous administration. That government went against the vote of an overwhelming majority of referendum participants that numbered in the thousands in order to appease a handful of web shop owners. Rather than pander to about seven or eight persons, the Minnis administration has chosen to take a utilitarian approach to web shop gaming. This move by Turnquest and Co will be for the benefit of the majority, as opposed to the move by the Christie

administration, which was for the benefit of a few individuals. Seeing that the litigation threat did not scare the Minnis administration, the BGOA is now sounding the “Matilda alarm” over the possible loss of some 2,000 jobs in the gaming industry. But look at the demographic of those typically employed by this industry: it is usually young women and middledaged men. The former are mostly tellers and cashiers, while the latter are mostly security officers or bookies. At the risk of appearing condescending, The Bahamas can survive the loss of these 2,000 low-paying entry level jobs. These cashiers and security officers are earning minimum wage while their employers are raking in hundreds of millions. The world won’t come to an end for The Bahamas when this proposed tax is implemented. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, GB June 7, 2018.

Don’t take Where’s the money going? my job EDITOR, The Tribune. IT’S interesting to hear the current government talk about being concerned about the interests of Bahamians. For instance, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in a radio interview mentioned that the tax increase is to sustain the Bahamian economy, but you need Bahamians working in order to sustain the economy. What the government is proposing is a direct threat to my livelihood and my kids’ future, so how is that in my best interest? If my boss decides to close down several web shops,

including where I’ve been working for the past three years, I will not only be out of a job, but without means to support my family. Is Mr Turnquest going to pay for my children’s school expenses? The tax breaks on bread basket items are barely hitting the surface of cuts are needed to sustain a family. Will the Prime Minister provide jobs to those that lose them as a result of their tax hike? What are we, the employees of number houses, to do if we have to return to the unemployment lines? ELENA HALL Nassau,

EDITOR, The Tribune. THAT’S really the golden question, isn’t it? We were promised transparent governance and Bahamians have yet to be given a paper trail of where VAT revenue is going. Now, VAT is being increased, we’re being forced to eat healthy or buy corn beef, even our lifestyles are being taxed (we can’t even buy numbers without a tax) and suppose to believe that it’s still ‘The People’s Time.’ Well, we know who’s time it isn’t — the working class Bahamian, who toils

to put food on the table, who saves just to purchase Christmas gifts for their children, all the while “downsizing” looms over their heads. We, the people, deserve to know how will our financial sacrifice help to generate more jobs, create new industries and support entrepreneurship, provide better education for our children, protect our citizens and prevent future sacrifices from ever happening again. O BUTLER Nassau, June 10, 2018.


THE TRIBUNE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, PAGE 5

Taxi drivers fear they are being targeted after deadly shootings By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net BAHAMAS Taxicab Union President Philip Watkins said yesterday there is growing fear among cab drivers that they are being targeted in the wake of the shooting deaths of two of their colleagues over the past week. A distraught Mr Watkins told The Tribune the murders of Wilton Brown on Saturday and Saintonas Jonas last Wednesday suggest that assailants could be targeting drivers. “It is strange,” he said. “Two in a couple of days? Hardworking men shot down in the manner in which they were. Armed bandits just running up on them out of nowhere to demand cash and then kill them.” According to police, Jonas was accosted by a gunman shortly after he pulled up to a Carmichael Road establishment after 9pm. The armed assailant opened fire, striking Jonas in the head before fleeing the scene in an unknown direction. It was initially reported the incident may

have been an attempted armed robbery, however it is unclear if this was the motive.   Meanwhile, in the case of Brown, police said he pulled up to his Refuge Court home in the Hollywood Subdivision, off Cowpen Road, where a car pulled up behind him on Saturday night.  An armed man got out and demanded cash before shooting him and driving off. Brown’s children were inside his car at the time.  Mr Watkins, referring to Brown as “a good friend,” said drivers in New Providence are now on edge and of the view that they are being sought out and preyed on by criminals who view them as easy and noncombative prey. “It needs to be clear, we have long been the victims of robberies, I am talking about people walking up to drivers and demanding their valuables while we have people in our cars,” he said. “It seems that has taken on a new face in these last two incidents, with drivers being robbed and then shot.” Mr Watkins continued: “(Mr Brown) was shot in front of his home after

OFFICIALS at the scene of Saturday’s shooting of Wilton Brown. pulling up with his kids. They say he was asked for all he had and once he handed everything over, he was still shot. “He worked the docks

and the cruise ships for many years where I did. I know he and the driver shot earlier last week were from the Cowpen Road area. We

are concerned that these bandits are boldly running up on us like this.” Investigations into both incidents are continuing.

whatever they want whenever they want to. That is quickly coming to end and we will pursue them to ensure that they understand that as long as they live within this country they are going to abide by the laws of this country. But we cannot have young men roaming the streets whatever time of the day or night feeling that they can do whatever they choose to whomever they choose. “The police clearly understand that and we will continue to send that message out to every pocket of this country until every person engaging in criminal activity gets the message.” Mr Dames said the Bahamas is faced with crime challenges because of decades of neglect in which Bahamians have abdicated their responsibility as adults and as parents. He said children were allowed to roam aimlessly without structure or direction causing social decay. The government, he said, is now faced with trying to build communities where young people can find wholesome and meaningful ways to live a law abiding and peaceful existence. “We’re building it through programmes through our revamped Urban Renewal; through our Citizen Security Programme; through our National Neighbourhood Watch Council. We’re building it through job programmes in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry

of Youth (Sports and Culture). We’re building it through multi-ministerial programmes that involves all of the Ministry of Works and Education, National Security, the Attorney General’s Office. “These are the medium and long-term measures that we’re beginning to roll out and especially during the upcoming fiscal period. But as we do that we recognise that many will gravitate towards it,” Mr Dames said.

MARVIN DAMES, Minister of National Security. 

‘NO REASON TO FEEL UNSAFE’ from page one

Malik Cartwright, 17, and Delano Cartwright, 18, both died on Saturday morning after two armed men wearing hoodies opened fire in Roy’s Super Cuts Barbershop. One of the brothers died on the scene and the other died a short time later in hospital. They were two of three people killed in a 12-hour period. A father, Wilton Brown, was also shot dead during a robbery on Saturday night shortly after he pulled up to his home at Refuge Court. His children were in the car at the time. “I don’t want to speak directly to any of the incidents per se but the police have been investigating both matters,” Mr Dames said in an interview with reporters yesterday. “They’re pleased with the direction they are headed. They are getting information and this is the struggle we face in this country. “You know you have matters such as the matter on the weekend and sometimes there are no signs pointing to these dangers. Because many of these young persons who are engaged in gang related activities tend to keep it within the group and feel as if they will resolve it the way they know how to. But our concern is for every single Bahamian. “We are fully confident and capable of addressing these issues and that we

will. We’re hoping that as we move throughout the rest of the year, these matters will become a thing of the past. “We are confident that we will do whatever it takes within the framework of the law to ensure that Bahamians are safe and that’s our primary objective. “We will not allow a small group of individuals who feel as if they can do whatever they choose whenever they want to reap havoc in this country and the police have zeroed in on these activities and they have informed me that they will do whatever it takes again within the frame work of the law to bring a level of order to this most recent incident.” The weekend murders came four days after seven-year-old Camron Cooper was shot dead. Cooper, a second-grade student at Columbus Primary, had just left home to get into a vehicle waiting nearby to take him to school. A short distance away, two men were allegedly involved in a drug dispute in which a firearm was produced by one of them and shots were fired. Camron’s body was hit by a stray bullet. He was taken to hospital, but died of gunshot related injuries. Asked whether Bahamians have reason to feel unsafe, Mr Dames said: “Absolutely not. “And it’s a warning to those young men in particular who are out there who feel as if they can do

Anyone with information about these or any other crimes is asked to call the police at 919 or Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS.

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PAGE 6, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

Man accused of helping suspect in boy’s killing evade justice from page one 9mm ammunition two days after Cooper’s death on June 7. He returns to court on September 20 for service of a voluntary bill of indictment. In a separate matter, two other persons, 32-yearold Ramont Knowles, and 18-year-old Nearo Nicholls, were charged with being the alleged culprits behind two separate murders that took place on May 23 and June 6, respectively. And another man, 23-year-old Akeem Jackson, a Jamaican, was also arraigned in connection with the attempted murder of two police officers last week. Concerning Knowles, it is alleged that on May 23, he murdered Stanley Barr aka “BJ”. According to reports, shortly after midnight on the date in question, police responded to Bahama Avenue and Market Street, after receiving reports of gunshots being heard in that area. Upon their arrival, officers discovered a male with gunshot injuries. Paramedics were called to the scene and took the man to hospital, where he later died. Knowles was not required to enter a plea. His case was adjourned to September 5 for service of a voluntary bill of indictment. Concerning Nicholls, it is alleged that on June 6, he murdered Saintonas Jonas at Bacardi Road. According to initial reports, shortly after 9pm on the date in question, police responded to Carmichael and Bacardi Roads, after receiving information that a male had been shot in that area.

JOHNNY St Luc outside court yesterday. Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff Upon arrival, officers that Nicholls is to be given discovered an unconscious a psychiatric evaluation, male with gunshot injuries and admitted into the to his head. Paramedics Sandilands Rehabilitation were called to the scene Centre. She adjourned the matter and attempted to revive the victim, but were unsuc- to September 6, at which cessful. He was pronounced time she said the psychiatric report will determine dead at the scene. Nicholls was not required whether or not the charge to enter a plea to the of murder should be read to the accused. charge. Regarding Jackson, it is Prior to the end of the arraignment, his attorney alleged that on June 4, he Dion Smith indicated to intentionally and unlawthe chief magistrate that fully attempted to cause on May 10, his client was the death of Police Constaexamined by Dr Wayne ble 3827 Sawyer and Local Thompson, who found that Constable 5026 Miller. Jackson is further alleged the 18-year-old is suffering from some form of psycho- to have robbed Nika Delancey at gunpoint on sis and hears voices. Thus, Mr Smith asked that same date of one blue that his client be profes- and grey Michael Kors handbag worth $75, which sionally evaluated. Chief Magistrate Fer- contained $16,000 belongguson-Pratt indicated that ing to her. He was also charged with Mr Smith should have informed her of that fact dishonestly receiving the prior to her reading the same. Jackson along with charge to Nicholls, stating that she could have sent another man, Doobensky him for evaluation from the Antoine, 23, were charged with allegedly conspiring to outset. Nonetheless, she ordered commit armed robbery on

DOOBENSKY Antoine outside court yesterday. the same date. Jackson was further charged with allegedly being found in possession of an unlicenced .40 pistol, as well as five live rounds of .40 ammunition on the date in question. Jackson was further charged with allegedly robbing Hansel Ferguson of a black Samsung cell phone worth $950 as well as $50 cash on January 20, and also robbing Marguerite Bain of a black Gucci handbag worth $300 as well as $300 cash on March 13. Neither Jackson nor Antoine was required to enter a plea to the charges. Their matters were adjourned to September 12 and 20 for service of the VBIs in connection with their matters. All of the accused men and the teenager were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services until their respective adjourned dates, if and until they are successful at applying to the Supreme Court for bail.

AKEEM JACKSON, who is accused of the attempted murder of two police officers.

PAIR ACCUSED OF CRUELTY TO 11-YEAR-OLD CHILD By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

SOPHIA Sands outside court yesterday.

A JAMAICAN man and woman were arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court yesterday over accusations of cruelty to an 11-year-old girl. Roger Omoy Hanson, 37 and Sophia Sands, 39, stood before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt charged with one count of child cruelty stemming from the June 7 incident. It is alleged that on the day in question, Hanson

and Sands unlawfully ill-treated the child in a manner that caused her unnecessary suffering. Both Hanson and Sands pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Crown indicated that it had no objection to bail for the two accused, and the chief magistrate proceeded to grant the two $2,500 bail each with one surety. However, noting the issue with the virtual complainant being known to Sands, the chief magistrate adjourned the matter to June 19 for

the appointment of a suitable third party to facilitate and mediate interactions between the two. Should a third party be found before that time, Chief Magistrate FergusonPratt said counsel for the accused is free to approach the court on the issue. Otherwise, she ordered that Hanson and Sands have no contact with the child, verbal or otherwise until they return to court on June 19, or until a suitable third party is found and confirmed by the court.

ROGER Omoy Hanson outside court.

DAMES TO TESTIFY TODAY IN FRANK SMITH TRIAL from page one

The case was was due to resume yesterday, after having been adjourned from May 17 following discrepancies between the call logs of Barbara Hanna, the virtual complainant in the matter, and Smith’s phone bill. However, it was ultimately adjourned to today, due to the Crown serving the defence with “a thousand” pages of documents

sometime yesterday morning. And those documents, Mr Gomez said, revealed the existence of other documents that were not disclosed. Last month, lead defence attorney Keith Knight, QC, suggested that a statement submitted by ACP Rolle could lead to at least one current Cabinet minister being called before the court. Mr Knight revealed that his brief review of the written statement gave the

indication that the senior officer was not the “first link in the chain” but rather “link number two or three.” While that statement was never read in court, Mr Knight, in response to concerns raised by the chief magistrate, said his brief review of the document led him to consider the need to call other witnesses to verify the contents of ACP Rolle’s report. And having read ACP Rolle’s report, Mr Knight said he better understood

certain aspects of Mrs Hanna’s evidence, and the defence would have an “even greater understanding” of that evidence if it got a statement from a Cabinet minister. Smith is facing 15 criminal charges concerning his alleged solicitation of $65,000 in bribes from a woman he is said to have assisted in getting a contract. He is currently out on $50,000 bail. It is alleged that Smith, between April 2016 and April 2017, in respect of his duties as a public officer, demanded and obtained $5,000 per month from Mrs Hanna, knowing he was not lawfully authorised to do so. He is also alleged to have attempted to extort another $5,000 from Mrs Hanna. Concerning the bribery charge, it is alleged that he solicited $5,000 a month from Mrs Hanna for aiding her in getting a contract with the Public Hospitals Authority, where he previously served as chairman. Smith pleaded not guilty to all the allegations during his arraignment.

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394


THE TRIBUNE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, PAGE 7

TAMBEARLY READY FOR A NEW ERA TAMBEARLY School has opened its new high school building - ready to serve grades nine through twelve for the 2018-2019 school year. “The opening of the new high school brings to our students a state-of-the-art science lab, a magnificent music room, and spacious classrooms,” a statement from the school said. “Alice Langford opened the doors of Tambearly School for the first time in early September, 1985, on Queen Street and has proudly educated thousands of Bahamians from kindergarten to secondary school. The school has been at its current location

in Sandyport for the past 27 years and continues to expand. “As our campus facilities grow, Tambearly’s curriculum continues to develop, offering our students the finest educational opportunities available. “Officially registered as an Advanced Placement School of Education through College Board, students meeting the expectations of the curriculum requirements will be able to earn college credit while completing the Tambearly high school programme. “Our first graduating students in 2020 now have the opportunity to begin their

college journey with their first semester of college complete as they earn their advanced placement international diploma.

“With time comes change. Tambearly has experienced many new developments over the years enhancing our

students’ educational experiences. “What has remained the same and will continue is Tambearly encouraging the

love of learning and the pursuit of excellence while guiding our students with a moral compass,” the school said.

Urban Renewal centres approved as civilians take over operations By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net THE Minnis administration has approved the establishment of Urban Renewal community centres on all major Bahamian islands, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lanisha Rolle said yesterday. Mrs Rolle made this statement while speaking at the Urban Community Centres rebranding and renovation launch, which was held under the theme “One Urban, One Bahamas”. During her remarks, she addressed the important role Urban Renewal plays in society, particularly in New Providence, the government’s commitment to the initiative, and led a tour of the renovated

Pinewood Urban Community Centre. When asked by reporters how this rebranding differs from what was done previously, Mrs Rolle pointed to infrastructure, staff, and accountability. She said the centres are now run by civilians, as opposed to police officers as was the case under the former administration. “One of the significant changes is the transparent doors in centres. That is required in all centres to ensure safety (and) transparency,” she said.  Pointing around the centre, Mrs Rolle showed how the doors to the computer lab, library, and recreation area are all see-through. “What is also significant is the provisions for disability,” she continued. “Before, we did not have

that access in the urban renewal centres, and so we made it our business to ensure that urban centres are compliant with the law in regards to access for disabled persons.” In terms of staff, Mrs Rolle noted that previously, the urban centres were “substantially” run by police officers. “They are now being run by civilian staff who are trained individuals, qualified through experience or academics or otherwise and they are running the centres. “So we now have a greater sense of structure. You now have not only the centre manager, but you have trained programming officers to run the programmes at every centre. You have trained special projects managers. “So a greater level of

accountability you will find now in the centres. That is what you are going to get from this government. We will do what we said we will do.” In her remarks, Mrs Rolle discussed the wider role of social services and Urban Renewal in society. “Social services focuses on assistance,” Mrs Rolle said. “The focal point of urban development is people and community empowerment. “Countries [around the world] have determined that sustainable development goals are dependent upon effective urban development approaches. After all, the urban areas are the places and spaces where the majority of populations live and function. To this end, Mrs Rolle noted that approximately 75 percent of The Bahamas’

population lives on New Providence. “If Nassau is sick, no island is well. Given our unique make-up and system of operation, and the government’s mandate of transparency and accountability, urban has recognised that if it is going to carry out its mandate of empowerment, it must function as a collective unit. “Demonstrating our commitment to this goal, the government of The Bahamas has approved the establishment of urban community centres on all major islands to address the empowerment needs and challenges of those living in rural areas and urban spaces.” Mrs Rolle added that over the past year, the Urban Renewal Commission has been focused on “strengthening the

structure of the programme, refining the system in which it operates, and acquiring and training staff to deliver excellence in service.” Thus, renovations and changes have been made to reflect a “franchise model approach to operations.” The central control and processing office remains, and “through the instructions of that office, the programme has established consistency in appearance, operations, and quality of services in all centres from Bimini in the North to MICAL in the south,” she said. During the tour of the Pinewood centre, Mrs Rolle noted that this centre alone can hold at least 80 people. There is a library, computer room with eight desktops, sewing machines, and spaces for empowerment programmes.


PAGE 8, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

W

HEN looking for solutions to the problems that face this country, we often look to our religious, political and social leaders for the answers. We look for grownup solutions to problems that are affecting children as well. But what if some of the answers we need could be found in the children? When I sat face to face with two aspiring scientists with a passion for solving problems in their country, I realised that children may have more great ideas for the solutions than we think. If we invest in their dreams and fuel their passions while they are young, the country stands to benefit in ways that would create a brighter future for us all. When Maxanna Lloyd and Carmetta Barry signed up for the science competition at their school, CR Walker Senior High, they had no idea that they would learn so much vital information that could help their fellow Bahamians in the process. They are both 16 years old, 11th grade

Two girl scientists on a mission

Face to Face

THE TRIBUNE

YOUNG scientists Carmetta Barry, left, and Maxanna Lloyd and, background, an image of e-coli bacteria, which swabs taken by Maxanna from community water pumps showed a possible presence of during testing by the Water and Sewerage Corporation. Below, the girls showing off their displays.

By FELICITY INGRAHAM

students, they both aspire to work in the health and science fields, and they both love to research and explore. The school competition literally changed their lives. They found practical ways to help loved ones, the community and country by taking a closer look at some of the problems we have. Their determination throughout the months-long competition not only ended in them becoming the first and second place winners respectively, it is also affording them the opportunity to travel to the Island School in Eleuthera this summer and become immersed in a field they love. Maxanna won the competition with a thorough research project on the local water pumps. She wanted to do something

different with her experiments – something she felt would help the community. “There are many people who use the community water pumps because there is no water supply in their house,” Maxanna explained. “Usually when I pass the water pumps in the inner city, I would see pests and other animals in the area. I would also see tracks of mildew and mould on the walls of the pump, and the faucet may look rusty or have corrosion on it. So I became very interested and I wanted to investigate more about it. My experiment was about investigating possible contaminants and the high risk of the residents being sick or catching diseases. I also wanted to see if there was a proper water drainage system.”

Funeral Service For TAMMY SAMANTHA DAVIS, 41 of Dumping Ground Corner and formerly of Grand Bahama, will be held on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Boyd Road. Officiating will be Monsignor Alfred Culmer, assisted by other ministers of the Clergy. Interment will follow in Catholic Cemetery, Tyler Street. Tammy was predeceased by her father Samuel Davis and her mother Maria Forbes née Bethel. She is survived by her sisters: Jennifer Mangra (Jairam) and Tanya Pinder-Carey (Trevor); brothers: Tyrone Forbes of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Wayde Forbes, Robert Forbes and George Huyler of Freeport, Grand Bahama; aunt: Emrald Bethel of New Bight, Cat Island; uncle: Glenville Bethel of Ft. Pierce, Florida; nieces: Robyn and Tyrese Forbes, Adele Mangra, Torrance Carey, Jalinska DeLoach of Arkansas, Georgette and Georgae Huyler of Freeport, Grand Bahama; nephews: Bradley Forbes of Atlanta Georgia, Tamar Rahming, Trystan and Trevino Carey, Wayde, Jaheim and Raheim Forbes; grand nieces: Alicia Bree, Ra-keitra, Norvette, Turia, Asia; grand nephews: Brett, Shogan, Christian, and Tico; numerous cousins including the families of: John (Marjorie) McIntosh, Darnell (David) Whymms, Ulrick McIntosh Sr. (Tamela), Kenton McIntosh (Shermika), Deborah Huyler, Kim (Kendal) Ritchie, Troy (Toya) Ritchie, Devaughan (Theresa) Ritchie, Kendal (Garnel) Ritchie, Maurice Ritchie, Kym Ritchie, Jason Ritchie, Eulamae Bodie, Margaret Pierre, Cherise Saunders, Sheila Forbes, Shantel (Calvin) Smith, Winston Carter, Dr. Novia Carter-Higgs, Rohan Carter, Toneca Carter, Cynthia Roberts, Arlene Bethel, Florence Rolle, Shirley Maycock, Carydah Sands, Deon Stewart, Joe and Eugene Ford, Jackie (George) Seymour, Dr. Copeland (Anjanette) Seymour, Shafena (Montgomery) Brown, Joseph Romer, Rufus Sands, Harry Sands, Peter Sands, Linda Hanna, Andrea Bethel, Eugene Bethel, Raymond Bethel, Gail Cooper, Joan Bethel, Liz Somaru, Beverley Bethel, Matthew Albury, Otto Albury, Vanessa Albury, Tanya Albury, Charles Albury, Elgin Albury, Kevin Albury, Audrey Albury, Lillian (Glen) McPhee, Cheryl (Robert) Rolle and Mae Larrimore and family; other friends and relatives include: Terrice Curry and family; Troy Carey, Terrance Carey; Trease Malcolm and family; Raymond Rolle and family; Bradley Lightbourn; Jackie Alleyne and family, Patricia (PJ) Johnson and family (Freeport, Grand Bahama); Mary Williams and family (Freeport, Grand Bahama); Shavonne (Stanley) Cooper (Freeport, Grand Bahama); the children and grandchildren of the late Ezra and Daisy Baillou; Amos Saunders and family; Stevenson family of Dumping Ground Corner; Pauline McPhee and family (Freeport, Grand Bahama) Merlene Gilbert and family; the Rose, Larrimore and Thurston families (Freeport, Grand Bahama); Elizabeth Stubbs (Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera), the Port Lucaya Straw Vendors of Freeport Grand Baham; the McPhee and Culmer families. If we failed to mention your name please forgive us, it was not intentional Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians #44 Nassau Street on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until service time.

Maxanna said she collected water samples and took them to a laboratory, and she carried out swabbing and microbiological testing on the pumps. “My findings were that inside the nozzle, there was rust, mould and mildew; but that study was inconclusive. I took the water into the Water and Sewerage Corporation’s lab to be tested and we found that there was possible e-coli or coliform growing in the samples. I found out from residents after a survey, that there were strong scents of urine in the area. The pumps are extremely close to the road and someone in the area that I canvassed had been knocked down three months earlier while collecting water. Also, the nozzle was slack. Pulling down the nozzle could cause contamination of the water being collected from unsanitary hands pulling the nozzle.” She gave this advice to the entities responsible for the water pumps: “The water pumps are not fully protected and there should be major changes made to the drainage system. Someone from the Ministry of Environmental Health should also check the pumps regularly and sanitise them.” Meanwhile, Carmetta also took a look at how she could help her community from a health standpoint. With more than half of illness-related deaths being caused by non-communicable diseases, Carmetta decided to undergo a body alkalinity maintenance research project. She chose this topic because she would see persons with water bottles infused with lemon or fruit, and when she asked, they would say because it is alkaline. She therefore wanted to find out if this was a true statement. “The body’s blood alkalinity should be at 7.3 to 7.4, and any reading above or below this could be dangerous for the body, so I researched foods that would give the body this state of alkalinity,” Carmetta explained. “I put fruits and citrus like lemons and strawberries and saturated them in water for 12 hours. I tested the pH of the water tested and found that it was on the acidic side, ranging from four to six. But I did further research. I used a process to burn it and mix it with water to simulate digestion in the body, and it showed me that these acidic fruits become alkaline through digestion. So they actually are good for you.” “I then tested fried chicken. Before going into the body, it was alkaline. But when we simulated digestion, we found that it was acidic with a pH of five to six. From all the research I did, I found that good

foods (like fruits and vegetables) may be acidic before taking them in but digestion makes it alkaline to help you maintain an internal alkaline environment.” Carmetta said that too often, Bahamians blame issues like high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease on all sorts of factors, but still don’t change their eating habits. “If we eat healthier and cut down on fast food and junk food, we would decrease the chances of getting these diseases,” she advised. Carmetta is now drinking water infused with fruit or lemon, and her favourite is raisin water. She tries to get family members to do the same, but sometimes they say they would take the water and put sugar in it, which she says is a “no, no”. “I live with my grandmother and she has high blood pressure, but she tells me the raisin water looks like urine,” she shared. Maxanna’s research also led her to eat healthier, but she, too is teased for her change in diet – schoolmates laugh and say she is eating “bush” when she brings her salad to school. But she, too is determined to do something about it because her mother, like Carmetta’s grandmother, suffers from high blood pressure. Maxanna wants to become a cardiologist or blood pressure specialist, because non-communicable diseases are all too familiar in her life, from her family to others with whom she has come into contact. Carmetta wants to become an environmental specialist or engineer so that she can help tackle an ever-growing landfill problem in New Providence. CR Walker is a science magnet school, meaning that government school students in junior high interested in the field would consider this school, located directly behind Government House, as its first choice. There, biology and health teacher Sharnell J Cox and her department decided to host a science competition to get the students excited about science. “Because we are a science magnet school, we are trying to get the students groomed to be mental science students, to improve their science ethics so they can naturally execute scientific skills,” Sharnell said. She added that the joys of science must be instilled from the primary school level, providing more practical experiments for

children to engage in. She says that science is a part of every day life and by inspiring youngsters, more of them would be able to find solutions to the problems in their country with the use of science methodologies. Maxanna and Carmetta are being rewarded for their efforts through the science competition. What began as a teacher reaching out to a company to assist in the science competition has turned into so much more. Sharnell had reached out to Anna Maria Roberts of Commonwealth Drugs and Medical Supplies (CDM Corporate Group) to see if they had any equipment or apparatus the students could use. After seeing the end result of the competition, Anna Maria approached CDM’s CEO Pedro Roberts about a grand idea to send the two winners to the Island School in Eleuthera for a summer immersion programme that she felt would really solidify their interest in science for a lifetime. He obliged, and the young scientists are excited to attend “a transformative educational semester and summer term” on the island of Eleuthera. Island School states: “High school sophomores and juniors from around the world join our community to learn outside the walls of a classroom. With the campus and surrounding ocean as our laboratory and with help from our partners at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, we teach students how to live sustainably in the twenty-first century. Together, we engage in the process of inquiry in order to discover solutions to real world problems.” “We want to support them in the schools of sciences because that’s what CDM’s philosophy is, and we wanted to do this for these students as we celebrate our 27th anniversary,” Ms Roberts explained. “We want to provide opportunities and open many doors for deserving young people who may not usually be given such opportunities due to their circumstances.” With tuition taken care of, Carmetta and Maxanna are now seeking additional funds to take care of a few other essentials on the list, such as airfare. They have created sponsor sheets to request assistance from family, friends and the general public. Anyone wishing to assist these aspiring scientists could contact mroberts@ commonwealthdrugs.com.


THE TRIBUNE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, PAGE 9

Humanitarian award for ‘Mother’ Pratt By FARRAH JOHNSON FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia “Mother” Pratt has received an international humanitarian award for her commitment to community building throughout the years. Mrs Pratt was awarded last year with the Kentucky Colonel Award – the highest title of honour the Commonwealth of Kentucky can bestow upon an individual. The award is given to notable individuals in recognition of their accomplishments as well as their exceptional service to a community, state, or country. “I was invited to speak at the convocation at Kentucky State University and in doing so, the NAACP was also in attendance and they had invited me to come on their television show,” said Mrs Pratt, the Bahamas’ first woman deputy prime minister.  “They were asking me about the country, about the community work that I do… and the governor - I guess they were impressed with what I did, what I said, and my work, (so) they decided to honour me,” she continued. Reading from the congratulatory letter she received from the House of Representatives, Mrs Pratt said: “Kentucky colonels are Kentucky’s ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world… with your commission as a Kentucky colonel, the governor recognises your service and accomplishments on behalf of others. “The certificate, signed by the governor and secretary of state and bearing

CYNTHIA “Mother” Pratt.  the great seal of Kentucky has hung on the wall of such distinguished leaders as (former US) President Lyndon B Johnson, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, John Glenn, America’s first person in space… and now Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt.” When asked how she felt about receiving the award, Mrs Pratt said: “I go about doing what I feel I need to do to make life better for others, I don’t really give it a thought as such, I’m grateful, mind you, but I just feel like if I can help somebody as I pass along, then I know my living is not in vain.” She said she was “taken

aback” by the honour because she wasn’t aware that anybody was paying attention to her. Still, she insists she is grateful that God has allowed her to make a difference in the lives of many Bahamians. Mrs Pratt added that she does consider her award to be an inspiration to the inner city community, because she wants to prove to residents that it is possible to be successful. “If they can see that you are in the inner city, but not of the inner city... you can still build a country, you can contribute to this community, and show them that it’s about us improving

ourselves. That’s the message I want to send, it’s not be caught up in the community, you make the community, don’t let the community make you,” she said. “And in that, the young child who might not have the best of material things, but they have respect. They have values and standards, and they’re trying to make a difference in building the community wherever they are.” She said her takeaway message is not to “move but improve,” and emphasised

Career Opportunity

READERS OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR AWARD NOMINEES IN view of the Advisory Committee for National Honours calling for nominations of Bahamians for a national award, we asked online readers who their picks would be. Sickened had these suggestions: “I would have to say people from social services (I don’t know of any off hand) and environmentally conscious people, such as from BREEF - Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, or George Maillis from Bahamas Protected Area Fund and even George’s father – a long time protector of the environment.” CatIslandBoy said: “There are many deserving Bahamians who have unselfishly sacrificed themselves for the betterment of our country. Many of them have never held political office, or received any special titles, appointments or recognition. I will definitely be making some suggestions directly to the Honours Committee.” After Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said the government had collected some $2.5bn in value added tax revenue since 2015 and accused the former Christie administration of mismanaging the money, readers gave their reaction. Proudloudandfnm thought duty should be eliminated: “I honestly believe if we eliminate duty we’d see massive economic growth and, as a result, higher tax revenues. All we need is a courageous leader to just take the gamble and do it! VAT is not the problem. Duty is. Bahamians need to stop being manipulated and start dealing with facts. Concentrate on duty! We can leave VAT in place!” That was backed by Dawes: “Agreed. I also think that is the plan in the long term as they need to

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff it is the people who build men there. She said these the communities. instances prove people are “It’s not about what you recognising she “has somehave, it’s what you do with thing to offer.” what you have. And so I “People who have benkeep saying to the young efited from the little I have people whenever they say to offer tell others, and negative things about you that’s how the word gets don’t answer… you either around,” she explained. prove them right or you Mrs Pratt joins a long list prove them wrong,” she of prominent individuals said. who are also recipients of Mrs Pratt, a former minis- the prestigious award. The ter of national security, also list includes academy award recalled instances where winning actors George she was taken to prisons Clooney and Johnny Depp, in the United States and as well as musical artists the Turks & Caicos Islands Katy Perry and the late to speak with the young Elvis Presley.

Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited is seeking the services of a

Client Relationship Manager, Dual Role for its Corporate & Commercial Banking Center Position Summary:

do reductions on duty with WTO, they are just going to use the next year or two to get the extra income from VAT and duty before reducing duty. They are hoping by then to have reduced the government’s expenditure and have a surplus on the budget so things can move forward. As I said, they hope so we shall see.” Sheeprunner12 said: “Better to take your VAT medicine now from KPT . . . than from the IMF in five years.” ThisIsOurs thought there was risk with the government’s plans: “Let’s assume that they implement VAT and everything goes great, the economy grows, employment goes up and government is able to balance the budget. Let’s assume that can happen because truly nobody knows the future. The problem with that scenario is it’s EXTREMELY risky and the probability of that outcome is low. Just look at all the examples of devastated countries you want to list, they all increased taxes then SUNK. The risk of things going wrong with an unnecessarily narrow timeline and an astronomically high increase is simply too great. “Is the govt mixing the studies on WTO Ascension with this VAT hike? Could it be that WTO Ascension has nothing good in it for the small man and they are

putting a heavy burden on the poor so the govt maintains its revenue level and rich businessmen have the ability to trade their goods in other countries? I honestly don’t know why we’re speeding down the road to WTO Ascension when we KNOW we’re not ready to compete, we have no products to trade and the EU will ensure that offshore services die a slow death. Why not identify the strategies that would make us competitive and a timeline to implementation?” And there was this from Well_mudda_take_sic: “The 2019/20 budget in and of itself clearly demonstrates that Minnis, Turnquest and the other members of cabinet have no political appetite whatsoever for the kind of serious belt tightening that urgently needs to be done. Instead, the budget and the additional candy giveaways since it was first publicly announced clearly indicate that the additional 4.5% VAT will be squandered by the Minnis-led FNM government in the same way the original 7.5% VAT was squandered by the previous Christie-led PLP government, i.e. used to grow the size of the already grossly over-bloated public services sector in an effort to ‘buy’ political support.” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on tribune242.com.

The Client Relationship Manager – mid market is responsible for contributing to the profitable growth and quality of the Bank’s Commercial portfolio in the mid-market segment focusing on the marketing to new and existing clients through cross-sell, up-sell, and retention of existing commercial customers. This includes meeting financial objectives related to the profitable growth and retention of your individual assigned portfolio. He/she conducts sales planning and fulfills the execution of services for existing customer base. Incumbent has primary responsibility for analysis and completion of credit applications for diverse industry segments by using standardized products and processes.

Key Accountabilities for this role: • Ensures all aspects of assigned relationships receive ongoing attention, as required to maintain, improve, grow and retain the relationship. • Contributes to the profitable development of Commercial Credit business. • Promotes the development and profitable growth of the commercial banking portfolio according to agreed upon growth objectives. • Ensures accurate communication of the terms and conditions of an authorization effective and timely implementation of same. • Ensures ongoing quality of the assigned credit portfolio through control and administration of the specific conditions and reporting requirements as specified in individual authorizations are adhered to. • Safeguards the Bank’s assets and liabilities. • Executes the Branch Compliance responsibilities as reflected in the Branch Services and Procedures Manual.

Functional Competencies: • • • • •

Good networking and interpersonal skills Good communication skills (oral and written) Good relationship management skills Experienced credit skills Strong knowledge of Bank’s commercial lending and deposit products and services, and customer profitability model. • Strong sales/closing skills • Good level of computer skills. • Thorough knowledge of relationship building and teamwork skills

Educational Requirements: • External education and/or licensing prerequisites: Graduate Degree in Business, Finance or Economics or work experience equivalence. • Other training requirements as determined by the Bank from time to time with particular emphasis on Corporate & Commercial Banking.

Qualified candidates should submit curriculum vitae via email to: hrbahamas@scotiabank.com on or before June 18th, 2018. Note: Only persons short-listed for an interview will be contacted.

Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).

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PAGE 10, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

DISCLOSURE REVEALS KUSHNER DEBT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Financial disclosure forms released late Monday show that White House special adviser — and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law — Jared Kushner’s wealth and debt both appear to have risen over the year, an indication of the complex state of his finances and the potential conflicts that confront some of his investments. Disclosures issued by the White House for Kushner and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka, showed that Kushner held assets totaling at least $181m. His previous disclosure filed in April 2017 had showed assets in at least the $140m range. The financial disclosures released by the White House and filed with the US Office of Government Ethics routinely show both assets and debts compiled in broad ranges between low and high estimates, making it difficult to precisely chart the rise and fall of the financial portfolios of federal government officials. A spokesman for the couple said Monday that the couple’s disclosure portrayed both assets and debts that have not changed much over the past year — and stressed that Kushner and Ivanka Trump have both complied with all federal ethics rules.

TRUMP AIDE KUDLOW HAS HEART ATTACK NEW YORK (AP) — Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, suffered a “very mild” heart attack and was being treated at a military hospital, the White House said last night. Kudlow was in good condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. She said Kudlow was doing well and that doctors expect him to make a “full and speedy recovery.” News of Kudlow’s illness was broken by Trump himself just minutes before he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. “Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack,” Trump tweeted.

CHEWBACCA IN FIGHT FOR VENEZUELANS BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — He fought in epic battles against the galactic empire. Now an actor who portrayed “Star Wars” legend Chewbacca is fighting for Venezuela’s poor with an online fundraising campaign whose proceeds will benefit a charity feeding underprivileged children in the crisis-wracked South American nation. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in five “Star Wars” movies, has so far raised more than $10,000 through the sale of commemorative coins showing the Wookiee warrior’s hairy legs and a bullet belt slung around a map of Venezuela. The 74-year-old actor, who is retired, said that the idea emerged after he met Elisa Arguello, a Venezuelan actress and “Star Wars” fan who migrated three years ago to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where Mayhew also resides. “We follow her on Facebook, and were aware of the deteriorating situation in Venezuela,” Mayhew told The Associated Press. “It had been bothering us for a while and one night, my wife Angie picked up the phone and asked Elisa if there was any way we could get involved. She started crying and said yes.” The copper coins are being sold online for $10 by the Peter Mayhew Foundation.

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore yesterday. 

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

Handshake between president and dictator SINGAPORE Associated Press

PRESIDENT Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un came together for a momentous summit last night that could determine historic peace or raise the specter of a growing nuclear threat, with Trump pledging that “working together we will get it taken care of”. In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago, the leaders met at a Singapore island resort, shaking hands warmly in front of a row of alternating US and North Korean flags. They then moved into a roughly 40-minute oneon-one meeting, joined only by their interpreters, before including their advisers. For all the upbeat talk, it remained to be seen what, if any, concrete results the sitdown would produce. “We are going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success. We will be tremendously successful,” Trump said before their private session. Kim said through an interpreter: “It wasn’t easy

for us to come here. There was a past that grabbed our ankles and wrong prejudices and practices that at times covered our eyes and ears. We overcame all that and we are here now.” Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment that many people never expected to ever see, Kim remarked that many of those watching “will think of this as a scene from a fantasy ... science fiction movie.” In the run-up to the meeting, Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back. The meeting was the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. Critics of the summit leapt at the handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took

Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimise Kim on the world stage as an equal of the US president. Kim has been accused of horrific rights abuses against his people. During his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim’s name and jostled to take pictures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore officials. Trump responded to that commentary Tuesday on Twitter, saying: “The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the US, say the haters & losers.” But he added “our hostages” are back home and testing, research and launches have stopped. Trump also tweeted: “Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly ... but in the end, that doesn’t matter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!” Addressing reporters on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to keep expectations in

check, saying: “We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks.” The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked US allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialised economies to alienate America’s closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump left that summit early and, as he flew to Singapore, tweeted that he was yanking the US out of the group’s traditional closing statement. As for Singapore, the White House said Trump was leaving early because negotiations had moved “more quickly than expected” but gave no details. On the eve of the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with US and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel. The president planned

to stop in Guam and Hawaii on the way back to Washington. Trump spoke only briefly in public on Monday, forecasting a “nice” outcome. Kim spent the day mostly out of view — until he embarked on the late-night sightseeing tour of Singapore, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world’s biggest glass greenhouse. Less than a year ago, Trump was threatening “fire and fury” against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a “mentally deranged US dotard”. As it happens, the North Korean and the American share a tendency to act unpredictably on the world stage. Beyond the impact on both leaders’ political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people — the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North’s nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide. Or, it could amount to little more than a much-photographed handshake.

US ATTORNEY GENERAL REJECTS DOMESTIC AND GANG VIOLENCE AS PLEA FOR ASYLUM SAN DIEGO Associated Press

IMMIGRATION judges generally cannot consider domestic and gang violence as grounds for asylum, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday in a ruling that could affect large numbers of Central Americans who have increasingly turned to the United States for protection. “Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-government actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote in a 31-page decision. “The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes — such as domestic violence or gang violence — or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.” The widely expected move overruled a Board of Immigration Appeals decision in 2016 that gave asylum status to a woman from El Salvador who fled her husband. Sessions

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. reopened the case for his review in March as the administration stepped up criticism of asylum practices. Sessions took aim at one of five categories to qualify for asylum - persecution for membership in a social group - calling it “inherently ambiguous.” The other categories are for race, religion, nationality and political affiliation. Domestic violence is a “particularly difficult crime to prevent and prosecute, even in the United States,” Sessions wrote, but its prevalence in El Salvador doesn’t mean that its government was unwilling or unable to protect victims

any less so than the United States. Sessions said the woman obtained restraining orders against her husband and had him arrested at least once. “No country provides its citizens with complete security from private criminal activity, and perfect protection is not required,” he wrote. The government does not say how many asylum claims are for domestic or gang violence but their advocates said there could be tens of thousands of domestic violence cases in the current immigration court backlog. Karen Musalo, co-counsel for the Salvadoran woman and a professor at University of California Hastings College of Law, said the decision could undermine claims of women suffering violence throughout the world, including sex trafficking. “This is not just about domestic violence, or El Salvador, or gangs,” she said. “This is the attorney general trying to yank us back to the dark ages of

rights for women.” Sessions sent the case back to an immigration judge, whose ruling can be appealed to the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals and then to a federal appeals court, Musalo said. She anticipates other cases in the pipeline may reach the appeals court first. Fifteen former immigration judges signed a letter calling Sessions’ decision “an affront to the rule of law.” “For reasons understood only by himself, the Attorney General today erased an important legal development that was universally agreed to be correct,” they wrote. “Today we are deeply disappointed that our country will no longer offer legal protection to women seeking refuge from terrible forms of domestic violence from which their home countries are unable or unwilling to protect them.” The decision came hours after Sessions’ latest criticism on the asylum system in which he and other administration officials

consider rife with abuse. The cases can take years to resolve in backlogged immigration courts that Sessions oversees and applicants often are released on bond in the meantime. An administration official said last month that the backlog of asylum cases topped 300,000, nearly half the total backlog. Despite President Donald Trump’s tough talk on immigration, border arrests topped 50,000 for a third straight month in May and lines of asylum seekers have grown at US crossings with Mexico. “Saying a few simple words — claiming a fear of return — is now transforming a straightforward arrest for illegal entry and immediate return into a prolonged legal process, where an alien may be released from custody into the United States and possibly never show up for an immigration hearing,” Sessions said at a training event for immigration judges. “This is a large part of what has been accurately called ‘catch and release.’”


THE TRIBUNE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, PAGE 11

Marching together to save the oceans ENVIRONMENTALISTS, NGOs, students and Grand Bahama residents turned out in force to march for the protection of the oceans on Saturday. The event took place one day after World Oceans Day. Spearheading the local initiative was reef restoration firm Coral Vita. The company joined forces with Save The Bays, the Bahamas National Trust, Earthcare, GB Nature Tours and other environmental protection groups including the KGBC Committee. “We could not have been more pleased with the turnout for this event” said Coral Vita scientist Stephen Rason. “The level of support we received from our environmental partners and even from the general public is a testament to the fact that more of us are becoming

aware of how things we do in our day to day lives, impact the environment – most importantly the ocean.” More than 100 participants dressed in blue and converged at the Lion Club lodge in Freeport for a four-mile clean-up march to Williams Town Beach. After prayers for residents to be better stewards of our earth by KGBC member Edith Gardiner, there were presentations by Jinnel Sturridge of the Bahamas National Trust and Jensen Sweeting of Save The Bays. The event also included a bird watch and tutorial with Erika Gates, who shared the importance of the oceans for birds. “Oceans really are the lifeblood of our planet” said KGBC co-chair Olethea Gardiner. “As an archipelagic nation, The Bahamas, relies heavily on the bounty

of our oceans for food and sustenance, but there must also be balance. We must do everything we can to protect the ocean so that it will continue to serve us well into the future,” she said. During the march, participants picked up approximately 70 bags of debris as they walked Beachway Drive. “It’s sad to see that we have collected this much garbage on a well-known tourist route,” said GBPA director Rupert Hayward, who marched with his wife and two young children. “All of these groups can tell you what damage garbage does to the earth, but its destruction to our ocean life – which is a large part of our livelihood, is worse. I am so pleased with the turnout today and hope we inspire others to think before they throw trash.”

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PAGE 12, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

CUTTING THE RIBBON ON HOME’S NEW WING

GOVERNOR General Dame Marguerite Pindling cut the ribbon yesterday to mark the opening of the new Emalean Demeritte Wing and Edmondo Quarters at Pat’s Senior Citizen Home and Daycare Centre. Home founder Patricia Moxey was present for the opening and is pictured right addressing the crowd at the event. Also among those attending were Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira and Senator Fred Mitchell, pictured bottom left, Leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis and Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social Services Vaughn Miller. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

FIVE CHARGED OVER IMMIGRATION OFFENCES By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net 

FIVE men were charged in Freeport yesterday before Magistrate Rengin Johnson for immigration offences. Among the group were three Ecuadorians: Luis Leonardo Mizhirumbay Chuqui, 32; Angel Salvador Bueno Chumbay, 32, and

Daniel Ernesto Molleturo Juela, 32. It is alleged that Chuqui overstayed his time by eight months. He arrived in The Bahamas in September 2017 and was granted a 12-day visitor stay. Chumbay and Juela had overstayed their visitor’s time by two months. Both arrived in the country in early April 2018 and were granted a seven-day visitor

stay.  The men did not seek to have their visitor’s status extended.  They pleaded guilty to the charge and Magistrate Johnson order the men pay a $3,000 fine or in default serve six months in prison. The men were also ordered deported on payment of the fine or on completion of their court imposed custodial

sentence. Chumbay paid the fine and has since been sent to New Providence where he will be detained at the Detention Centre to await repatriation. Two Haitian men were charged with illegal landing contrary to Section 19(1) (a)(b) & Section 19(2) of Chapter 191 of the Immigration Act. Godlow Dior, 46, and

Cartho James, 27, were found in Freeport on May 30 after having landed from a place outside The Bahamas without the leave of an immigration officer. This charge on summary conviction carries a maximum penalty of $300 or in default one-year imprisonment or both.  The men pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay a $300 fine or in default

serve six months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services in New Providence. It was ordered the men be deported on payment of the fine or completion of serving custodial sentence.  Both men paid the fine and were sent to New Providence to be detained at the Detention Centre to await repatriation.

WOMEN ACCUSED OF OVERSTAYING IN THE BAHAMAS By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net 

TWO women, who pleaded guilty in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court to overstaying their time in the Bahamas, will have to pay a $1,000 fine and were ordered to leave the country by Friday.   Mary Delice, 55, and her

daughter Teffany Delice, 33, both of St Lucia, appeared before Magistrate Charlton Smith on May 31. The women were charged with overstaying contrary to Section 28(1) & (3) of the Immigration Act, Chapter 191.  According to the particulars, the Delices were granted visitors’ status in

2014 on their arrival in the country. It is alleged that the women were found in Freeport in May 2018 after overstaying their time in The Bahamas by some three-and-a half years. The mother and daughter were represented by Wendell Smith, Jr. They pleaded guilty and were given a conditional discharge.  The charge on summary

conviction carries a penalty of a $3,000 fine or two years imprisonment, or both. Magistrate Smith ordered the women to pay a $1,000 fine, surrender their travel documents to the Immigration Department, and leave the country by June 15. The judge told the accused that once they comply with the court’s

order, they would be granted an absolute discharge. A status hearing was set down for June 14. Meanwhile American Stephen Logan, 33, was charged with harbouring the two women. It is alleged that on May 31, 2018 while at his apartment at Suffolk Court, with deliberate intent to evade apprehension by the

Department of Immigration, Mr Logan knowingly harboured Mary and Teffany Delice. The charge carries a penalty of up to $10,000 or up to five years imprisonment, or both.  Wendell Smith represented Logan, who pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Smith granted him an absolute discharge.

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