Bahamians got $100 Million out, before Bankruptcy Filing of FTX… John Ray testifies
#TheBahamas, December 16, 2022 – Following the arrest and eight counts of criminal charges of FTX’s Former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, more wrongdoings have been revealed. Yet, customers’ money cannot be accounted for.
The new CEO, John Ray III, revealed that the company has no form of record-keeping other than Quickbooks, bookkeeping software.
“We’re dealing with literally a sort of a paperless bankruptcy in terms of how they created this company,” said Ray. He added that he doesn’t trust the records that are available.
“We’ve lost billion dollars of customer money. So by definition, I don’t trust a single piece of paper in this organization.”
He believes the entire situation is “old-fashioned embezzlement,” as money was taken from customers and used for personal purposes. FTX filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in November after billions in customer funds were reportedly transferred to Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund.
Ray confirmed that 24 hours before FTX filed for bankruptcy, about 1,500 Bahamians were allowed to withdraw some $100 million, while other investors were denied the chance, having been blocked from their accounts.
FTX’s Twitter account revealed that this was done as per Bahamian regulators’ request. Nonetheless, the securities commission in The Bahamas denied this, saying they did not authorize FTX to prioritize Bahamian clients only.
Additionally, Speaking to the panel at the hearing on Tuesday by the House of Financial Services Committee, Ray said the company was in touch with law enforcement just the day after FTX filed for bankruptcy. Assets were moved out after the bankruptcy occurred.
Ray said they determined money was removed both by a hack and by the Bahamian authorities. He is not sure why the money was taken by Bahamian authorities, however, the authorities reported it was the intention of protecting creditors.
The new CEO of the failed cryptocurrency exchange, FTX had asked for clarity and transparency from authorities but was denied.
Ray had also been asked whether he believes that Bankman-Fried was attempting to undermine US federal bankruptcy law by moving assets to Bahamian Authorities; he said “yes.”
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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