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Deputy Premier viewed FTX as too risky; no TCIG funds invested

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 16, 2022 – The Finance Minister of the Turks & Caicos expressed extreme skepticism about investing in Cryptocurrencies, adding that no TCI Government monies went down in the epic billion dollar collapse of FTX Digital Bahamas.

In a statement obtained by Magnetic Media E Jay Saunders, TCI Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance said, “I’m not sure if anyone from the TCI invested in FTX, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said, directing us to the Financial Services Commission.

What Saunders could tell us though was that no Government funds had been caught up in the affair. In response to our queries he replied with, “No, of course not. I’m very, very cautious when it comes to Crypto – mainly because it allows for the globalization of crime – and I certainly wouldn’t sign off on the TCI Government or Statutory Bodies investing in it.”

The statement by Saunders rings true over and over again as new CEO John Ray III revealed that hundreds of records have just disappeared into thin air. He said FTX’s collapse was caused in part by a complete lack of experience in its senior leadership and little to no proper governance structures in the company in a hearing before the US Congress on Tuesday December 13.

“The FTX group’s collapse appears to stem from absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals who failed to implement virtually any of the systems or controls that are necessary for a company that is entrusted with other people’s money or assets,” he explained.

The fill-in CEO who has extensive experience in managing failed companies like FTX said this was the worst one he had ever seen.

Not only did senior management have free access to customer funds and could move them at will, the security which protected the private keys for millions of dollars was ineffective and poorly encrypted. Another company owned by SBF and headed by an ex-girlfriend of his, Alameda was able to borrow as much FTX funds as it wanted at will.

Ray said the company also could not provide complete documents made for more than 500 investments with company funds and there was a lack of personnel in financial and risk management functions, which are usually present in any company close to the size of FTX Group.

Alarm bells about FTX which has its home in The Bahamas began to ring all across the globe when the company filed for Bankruptcy on Friday November 11 and customers were suddenly locked out of their trading accounts, unable to withdraw the millions they had stored with the company.

Bowing to the desperate pleas of its citizens who had invested, the United States launched a federal fraud investigation alleging that former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried had been intentionally using customer funds for his own gain.

Ray says he has already found $1 billion worth of assets but is convinced that may not be everything and says Bankman-Fried or other senior officers may have squirreled away funds on thumb drives.

Complete recovery will be difficult because of the extremely poor record-keeping done by Bankman Fried and his team but Ray is committed to the task and says US investors will recoup their assets.

For now, it is unknown if Turks and Caicos Islanders were drawn in by the lure and promise of lucrative returns pitched to the global community by FTX, once the world’s third largest crypto currency exchange.

Magnetic Media has reached out to Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor, who oversees the regulatory aspect of the FSC for answers.

 

Photo Caption: Some 3.5 Million people have viewed the FTX Hearing on PBS News Hour alone. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX Digital in The Bahamas was due to appear at this hearing on December 13; he was arrested in Nassau, Bahamas the day before and arraigned on the day of this hearing designed to unearth and expose the alleged misdeeds of the crypto currency exchange which filed for bankruptcy in the US.  Testifying was John Ray III, who is the interim CEO of FTX, which is based in The Bahamas.

Bahamas News

Bahamas Government and Grand Bahamas Port Authority in squabble over millions allegedly owed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas#DavisAdministration#PortAuthority, April 9, 2024– The Bahamas Government according to reports, says the Grand Bahama Port Authority owes 357 million dollars in back payments over the last five fiscal years, 2018 to 2022, and in a letter sent to the Port Authority last week by the Davis Administration, the government is giving them 30 days to pay up. However, the Port Authority clapped back in a statement, denying the government’s claim saying that they do not owe the sum of 357 million dollars

 

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Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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