Bahamas News

BPL $1m Theft Probe Finds Payments To ‘Fake Firms’

Bahamas, May 26, 2017 – Nassau – Four Bahamas Power and Light employees have been suspended and one person has been terminated pending an investigation into the theft of nearly $1m at the power company.

According to a source close to the matter, the employees were accused of “orchestrating an elaborate scheme” over the course of one year, that allegedly involved fake companies and forged cheques. At least one bank employee was also allegedly involved in the plot and is being investigated.

According to the source, BPL conducted an internal audit but forensic accountants are also being brought in to “ensure” transparency.

“BPL uses external vendors frequently,” the source said. “What we understand is that the employees are accused of sending in invoices from fake companies, getting a cheque for the amount and then using someone in the bank to cash the cheques.

Attorney Wayne Munroe, who is representing one of the employees, said he feels the government is under pressure to live up to promises of accountability and prosecution of those found stealing public funds. He warned that “public pressure can ruin people’s lives that money cannot compensate for.”

“My client is on paid leave and as far as I know she has not been terminated,” Mr. Munroe stated.

“I have been hearing so many different stories. They are saying payments went out to vendors and no work was done, but they are also saying the funds were missing. Well that isn’t missing funds, you know where the money is, that is fraud. We need to be careful, the last time the government changed they charged a woman at Bahamas Electricity Corporation, put her through court and she was acquitted and they had to pay her.”, he said.

Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean confirmed that several persons have been questioned in relation to missing funds but said on Sunday that no one was in police custody and no one has been charged. He said the investigation is till “open and active”.

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