By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2022 – The Royal Bahamas Police Force has boots on the ground in Turks and Caicos Islands and that fact did not sit well with some in The Bahamas and others… it led to well-founded comments and a case of wrong information which said one of the deployed was on suspension for murder.
[SIC] “Isn’t this Archibold Miller whose charged with murder and manslaughter? Corruption at its finest lol. How is this even possible for the police force to send him to work in turks if he’s on half pay for murder.
SLACKNESS CAN DONE…”
The post was vehemently debunked by Trevor Botting, who also defended the integrity of the partnership with Bahamas law enforcement.
“The public is hereby advised that yesterday (09th October, 2022), the profile “Kingrobert King” used social media platform, Facebook, to publish and cause to be circulated, a completely fabricated and misleading statement, calling into question the integrity of a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The “Kingrobert King” profile proceeded to use an official picture, the property of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, to inaccurately identify the officer as being on both murder and manslaughter charges…”
Botting, TCI Police Commissioner issued his statement on Monday. The bogus post and claim made on Friday, following the swearing in to the TCI Police Force of the 24 members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
“The officer identified in the photograph is not the officer who is charged.”
Magnetic Media discovered that while the matter of a trio of officers facing murder charges is real, the man identified in the photo to be a part of the case is not.
“I condemn completely the dissemination of fake news that is clearly malicious and intending to create harm to personal reputations. The officer identified is not the officer who is under investigation and is on the TCI to support policing and make the TCI safe and secure for which we are thankful.
“Circulating hateful and false messages are offensive as is the use of the RTCIPF official photograph. I am asking that people think about what they are sending out on social media before they hit the send button and consider the impact on others.”
Bahamian authorities had confirmed on Saturday October 8 that the social media claim was wrong, no officer on deployment to Turks and Caicos was facing charges.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch
By Dana Malcolm
February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.
Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.
Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.
Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.
In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”
Those responsibilities include:
- Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
- Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
- Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.
With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.
74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – In Magistrate’s Court #1 today, seventy-two (72) foreign nationals were arraigned before Magistrate Algernon Allen Jr. for various immigration offenses.
Thirty-two (32) Cuban nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) of them were subsequently sentenced to four months in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS). Thirty (30) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department of Immigration to be deported.
A total of forty (40) Haitian nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) received custodial sentences of three months at BDOCS, and thirty-seven (37) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department to be deported. In addition to the charge of Illegal Landing, one (1) Haitian man was also convicted of Knowingly Attempting to Misleading an Immigration Officer and subsequently sentenced to six months at BDOCS on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Three (3) Haitian nationals were also charged with Overstaying. Two (2) pleaded guilty and were convicted. Respectively they were fined $2,000.00 or, in default of payment, served six months at BDOCS, conditionally discharged, and deported. One (1) Haitian female pleaded not guilty, and the matter was adjourned to a later date. Upon payment of fines, completion of sentences, and discharge, all persons were ordered to be turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.
The Department remains committed to executing our mandate to ensure compliance with the Statue Laws of our country.
For more information, call the Public Relations Unit at 1-242-322-7530, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.bs, or call our Investigation hotline anonymously, at 1-242-604-0249.
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