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Bahamas News

CEO gone after Bahamian-based FTX Digital Markets assets frozen in a multi-billion dollar meltdown

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#TheBahamas, November 14, 2022 – He is in The Bahamas after there was speculation that the 30-year old crypto currency king who somehow crashed his once lucrative company was suspected of being on the run to South America.  Sam Bankman-Fried said, to Reuters that “nope” he had not left The Bahamas.

Another media report informs the former CEO is also planning an escape to Dubai.

This has information surfaced that Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic believed around $473 million worth of crypto assets were “moved out of FTX wallets in suspicious circumstances … no one is however able to confirm if the assets were stolen.

On Friday morning, social media and global financial reporters swarmed around the fresh kill of a death that could only be described as epic and shocking to those who thought, FTX was solid.  But it was Bankman-Fried himself who admitted he messed up; big time and it led to assets being frozen, a liquidator being appointed, a bankruptcy claim being filed and the 30-year old genius trader being removed as chief executive officer.

With a social media post saying he is sorry and admitting he messed up on calculations, Sam Bankman-Fried is scrambling to find billions of dollars to soothe outraged investors.

“The full story here is one I’m still fleshing out every detail of, but as a very high level, I f**ked up twice.  The first time, a poor internal labeling of bank-related accounts meant that I was substantially off on my sense of users’ margin. I thought it was way lower,” he tweeted.

The buzz is that he is trying to raise between $4 and $8 billion and The Bahamas is now nursing a black eye just when it claimed the islands would become the Crypto Currency capital as a result of attracting FTX.

Before this billion dollar meltdown, FTX was listed as the second largest crypto currency exchange on the plant. Ground was broken in Nassau, The Bahamas in April 2022.  That soil turning was followed by an epic show of support of the venture by world leaders including Bill Clinton, former US President; Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister and Bahamas country leaders including Philip Davis, Prime Minister and Ryan Pinder, who is the Attorney General for the islands – all appeared at the first, Crypto-Bahamas Conference held at the Baha Mar resorts.

FTX watched investors rally to get out earlier in the week following an acquisition went bust; the draw down was reportedly $5 billion.

A Binance bail-out flopped when,  Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, its founder announced it would no abandon the deal with FTX; implying the Bahamain-based FTX was in trouble.

“Today, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas took action to freeze assets of FTX Digital Markets and related parties.  The Commission also suspended the registration and applied to the Supreme Court of The Bahamas for the appointment of a provisional liquidator of FTX Digital Markets Ltd, said a press released on Thursday November 10, 2022.

The Securities Commission said its action now stabilizes FTX Digital and preserves its assets.

“The Commission is aware of public statements suggesting that clients’ assets were mishandled, mismanaged and/or transferred to Alameda Research.  Based on the Commission’s information, any such actions would have been contrary to normal governance, without client consent and potentially unlawful.”

On Friday, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for 130 of its affiliates in a US court. The filing allows the now floundering company to also hunt down billions of dollars and satisfy dismayed investors, which Bankman-Fried has vowed he will attempt to do.

Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

 

#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.

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Bahamas News

Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

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.

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Bahamas News

74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court

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#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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