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Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs Hosts Risk Assessment Workshop



#TheBahamas, April 26, 2022 – Non-Profit Organizations were invited to participate in a workshop to assist the government in meeting its goal of becoming fully compliant to Recommendation 8 of the Financial Action Task Force’s Risk Assessment Criteria in relation to Non-Profit Organizations. The country’s rating as it relates to Non-Profit Organizations is currently ‘Partially Compliant’ since the last assessment in 2021.  A two-day workshop was conducted by the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs at Baha Mar April 5-6, 2022 led by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Ryan Pinder.

Among the participants were church leaders, controllers and presidents of charitable organizations and other stakeholders. Also in attendance was the Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Jomo Campbell.  Moderators for the event included Dr. Cassandra Nottage, National Identified Risk Co-ordinator and Tiffany Moss, Senior Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer at the Office of the Attorney General.

Minister Pinder said that the NPO Risk Assessment Training and Workshop is a very important and necessary exercise, given the important role that the sector plays in the country’s economy.

“As most of you would know, The Bahamas is a founding member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) , the regional Financial Action Task Force (FATF) body. In 2015, The Bahamas underwent an assessment of its implementation of the FATF 40 Recommendations. Of these, Recommendation 8, which deals with non-profit organizations, was evaluated as “Partly Compliant” by examiners.  A partially compliant rating essentially means that The Bahamas has not fully implemented the requirements of Recommendation 8, and there are deficiencies within its legislative framework.”

The objective of Recommendation 8 is to ensure that NPOs are not misused by terrorist organizations:

1.To pose as legitimate entities.

2.To exploit legitimate entities as conduits for terrorist financing, including for the purpose of escaping asset freezing measures.

3.To conceal or obscure the clandestine diversion of funds intended for legitimate purposes, but diverted for terrorist purposes.

Mr. Pinder said that currently, there are approximately 1,047 NPOs registered in the country.  He explained that the Compliance Unit has completed the process of a preliminary assessment of the sector by conducting a desktop review to enable the risk profiling of each individual NPO.

The team, he said, has employed risk rating criteria, which when coupled with the detailed analysis of information obtained from questionnaires, and interviews, will allow an identification and comprehensive assessment of the types of NPOs that are likely to be at risk of terrorist financing abuse.

“The results of the risk assessment exercise will inform a risk based or, in other words ‘targeted’ supervision and monitoring of the NPO sector in The Bahamas,” he said.

“I am sure it will bring much comfort to many of you if the outcome of this risk assessment demonstrates that you are at little to no risk for terrorist financing abuse. This will, no doubt, place you in a low risk category with little supervision and monitoring. If the outcome, however, if there are risks to terrorist financing abuse, and corresponding vulnerabilities due to the nature of your activities and engagement with international elements, then by all means, enhanced monitoring and supervision would be warranted.”

He noted the vital role NPOs play in the local economy, but said they also play a role in the global economy. “Your efforts complement government activities in providing essential services as well as comfort and in many cases, spiritual guidance and hope to those in need, “he said. “NPOs have been a critical partner in providing much needed assistance with disaster relief efforts in The Bahamas and throughout the world. We have seen this first hand with our own experiences with Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Our NPOs were on the ground providing support to thousands of Bahamians; along with many of our churches, which were involved. These efforts are commendable.”

He said, however, that despite legitimate efforts, the events of September 11 coupled with the ongoing international campaign against terrorist financing have demonstrated that terrorists and terrorist organizations exploit the NPO sector to raise and move funds, provide logistical support, encourage terrorist recruitment or otherwise support terrorist organizations and operations. This misuse, he emphasized, undermines donor confidence and compromises the integrity of NPOs.

The Minister explained that in May 2021, The Bahamas applied to the CFATF for a re-rating of FATF Recommendations, which were rated as partially compliant and two recommendations were revised since the Bahamas’ Mutual Evaluation.  During The CFATF Plenary in December 2021, The Bahamas received nine upgrades, one downgrade and two ratings were maintained. Recommendation 15 was downgraded from Largely Compliant and Recommendation 8 maintained a rating of Partially Compliant.

“The completion of the risk assessment, with your input through questionnaires and interviews, will enable The Bahamas to further comply with Recommendation 8.  In May 2022, next month, The Bahamas will make an application for an upgrade from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” or better yet “fully compliant.”

During her overview of The FATF Recommendation 8, Tiffany Moss pointed out that several criteria increased the risk of NPOs as it relates to terrorist finance abuse, including those with annual turnovers of $75,000 or higher and cross-border movement of cash (such as those with parent companies or affiliates in another jurisdiction), among other risk levels.


Letisha Henderson


Bahamas News

CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe



#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

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Bahamas News

Beloved Bahamian Obie Wilchcombe dies; shocking, heartbreaking loss for The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


#TheBahamas, September 26, 2023 – The Bahamas’ Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe made headlines in a completely unexpected way on Monday September 25; the veteran broadcaster and long-time politician, who passed away suddenly in his home island, Grand Bahama.

Reports to our newsroom were that Wilchcombe was found unresponsive and rushed to the Rand Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Reports say the Minister passed due to heart failure at 64 years old.

The Office of the Prime Minister informed the prime minister would immediately travel to Freeport, Grand Bahama to be with loved ones of his Cabinet colleague.

The office offered this:  Expressing condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and colleagues of Minister Wilchcombe, a true patriot, visionary leader and his cherished friend, the nation’s leader, in his official statement, said he was doing so with the heaviest of hearts.

“Obie’s untimely passing is very shocking and very sad. Even though he has achieved much in his many years of public service, he still had so much more to offer,” Prime Minister Davis said.

The Minister, affectionately called Obie Wilchcombe, was a fierce Member of Parliament  who has been serving in politics for about 28 years, starting in 1994, according to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

Not only did he serve as Senator and Cabinet Minister, but he was also the former Minister of Tourism and a National Chairman of the PLP.

“Our party is reeling this morning,” said Minister Fred Mitchell, current PLP National Chairman in a statement, “The party joins in those expressions.  We have a deep sense of loss from one we have known over the decades of public life.

On behalf of the PLP, our leader and the entire team, supporters and friends, we can extend condolences to his family.”

Former prime minister and PLP party leader, Rt Hon Perry Christie said, “Obie served with distinction as Minister of Tourism.  He was a dedicated servant of the people and a chief steward of our nation’s number one industry for some ten years.  Any student of the tourism industry for the period of Obie’s ministerial tenure will be left in no doubt as to the magnitude and importance of his numerous accomplishments in relation to the growth and development of Bahamian tourism.”

In fact, as Tourism Minister, his notable accomplishments, according to party leader and prime minister, Davis included the introduction of sports tourism and the creation of a policy which helped to cement The Bahamas as an ideal film destination; two of the top three films of 2006 were shot in The Bahamas.

Additionally, the late Minister was a sportsman.

Wilchcombe served as former President of the Grand Bahama Basketball Association and the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL).

His career in journalism is legendary.  Having worked with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas as a reporter, anchorman and eventually taking on leadership roles including Deputy General Manager.  At the time of his death, Minister Wilchcombe was holder of the Information and Broadcast portfolios of the Davis Administration.

“This is a very sad occasion for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as you’d be aware one of our Frontline soldiers who would have labored very long in the public service Vineyard had passed, we learned early this morning the Honorable Obie Wilchcombe  passed away the free national movement wishes is to extend condolences to his immediate and extended family and to members of the Progressive Liberal Party and to members of the journalism fraternity, having lost someone who has played an integral role in the development of this country,” said Michael Pintard, fellow Grand Bahamian and Leader of the Official Opposition, Free National Movement.

From the region, there is also reflection and condolences. From the Caribbean Tourism Organization:  The CTO deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

“The Premier and Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands sends its condolences to the family, friends, government, and people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the sudden passing of the late Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, MP.

May his soul rest in peace,” said Hon Washington Misick, TCI Premier.

The death of Minister Obediah Wilchcombe is the first; a cabinet minister dying while still in office has no place in recent memory for many.  It will mean a by-election for The Bahamas and a mournful experience when parliament reopens on October 4; Hon Wilchcombe with his vast experience and eloquence was also the Government Leader of Business in the House of Assembly, which is currently prorogued.

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Bahamas News

Government in talks to address housing situation in Garden Villas, Grand Bahama



By LEDEDRA MARCHEBahamas Information ServicesGRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas – As the government moves ahead with its strategy to bring relief to the people of Grand Bahama, the Hon. Keith Bell, who recently took on the portfolio as the new minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, travelled to Grand Bahama, September 21, to meet with Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey and relevant stakeholders.Top on the agenda was the decrepit state of the housing complex situated in the Garden Villas area, a stone’s throw away from the downtown shopping district.Minister Bell was also accompanied by Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Hon. Lisa Rahming and a delegation from New Providence.Before conducting a walkabout in the Garden Villas area, Ministers Moxey and Bell headed the contingent in meetings with executives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Grand Bahama Development Company Thursday morning.“We’ve also had tours at various facilities that will help us carry through some of these projects that we want to do. But I’m just excited that we will begin to see action because there is so much that our people have been going through and so we are working hand in hand, the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Housing and Urban Renewal, to ensure that we not only bring relief but that we will revitalize these communities,” Minister Moxey said.The delegation performed a general walkthrough in the Garden Villas area to get a first-hand view of the living conditions and spoke to a number of residents.Cognizant of the work ahead and the relief it would bring to the area residents, Minister Moxey was elated to collaborate with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal and private stakeholders to get the projects started.“I’m so excited that they are here on Grand Bahama to really assess the situation on the ground. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We are now in the Garden Villas area that requires numerous issues to be addressed. One of them is housing. You can see many of these dilapidated structures that exist,” she said, while pointing out that Minister Bell has made Garden Villas a priority as one of the initial projects to be undertaken on Grand Bahama.The delegation also visited the area Urban Renewal Office and the Heritage Subdivision.
PHOTO CAPTIONHOUSING PROJECTS – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey and Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Hon. Keith Bell led a delegation on a walkabout of Garden Villas on Thursday to get a first-hand view of the living conditions as part of government’s plan to further address the housing situation on Grand Bahama.(BIS Photos/Lisa Davis)

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