Government must remove blemish from FBI probe

  • Corruption perception impacted by FBI probe

  • No update provided after meeting with US

  • Government must treat matter with urgency

  • Lack of moral authority not excuse for inaction

The Minister of Finance expressed shock following the recent release of Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index. While there has been several allegations of conflicts of interest, cronyism and unethical conduct levied against members of the Free National Movement (FNM) administration, the government seemed to have been surprised that The Bahamas ranking’ had deteriorated since they assumed office.

According to media reports, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has materials in its possession that reveal bribery and corruption with the Bahamas’ Department of Immigration. It is unfortunate that following the announcement that a Bahamian delegation was headed to Washington to meet the FBI, there has been no update provided by the government.

The Bahamas is a country of laws with due regard for the rule of law. It is vital that this matter is given the utmost attention and urgency to demonstrate our commitment to good governance. The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) calls on the government to address this matter without further delay. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear on any and all persons that have been implicated in this probe. This matter should not be politicized or swept under the rug; the chips must fall where they may.

While the FNM may feel constrained to ignore the findings of the FBI probe because it feels it has no moral authority to do so following the actions of its members, we submit that such an approach is not an option. The reputation of The Bahamas and the integrity of our people is on the line. The government must do all within its power to remove any blemish that this probe may have put on our country.

The DNA awaits the government’s response to these allegations and findings.

Omar Smith, Chairman

Democratic National Alliance