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BPSU monitoring BAIC probe

  • Bahamas Public Services Union President John Pinder (right) speaks with The Nassau Guardian outside the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation on Old Trail Road yesterday. PHOTO: Ahvia J. Campbell

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: May 19, 2017

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Amid an open probe into the theft of electronic items at the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President John Pinder yesterday stepped in to ensure employees were not being “politically victimized”.

“I just want to ensure that they know they have the union’s support in terms of this not being no case of political victimization or anything like that,” Pinder said.

“We are satisfied that based on information that we have received it has to do with persons removing supplies from the administration building.”

Seven employees were detained for questioning on Tuesday at the Central Detective Unit (CDU).

Another employee was arrested for questioning on Wednesday, according to authorities.

The employees were all released yesterday pending further investigation.

Former Nassau Village MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Dion Smith was also taken into custody in the investigation yesterday.

“We just want to find out what their fate is,” Pinder said.

“...We want to ensure that if they are interdicted, they are on half pay, and their pay is not stopped, and they receive what they are entitled to while under interdiction, if charges will be brought against them.”

According to authorities, the BAIC reported that electronic items, including televisions and computers, were removed from the department on the night of the recent general election.

Assistant Commissioner Clayton Fernander and other officers were seen leaving the BAIC yesterday with several electronic items in hand.

Fernander said the investigation is still very much open and more people could be questioned over the matter.

Pinder added that another concern at the BAIC is the recent hiring of 15 new employees the day of the May 10 election and the day after.

“We are not too sure what their fate is,” Pinder said.

“How were they hired? Who authorized the hiring?

“...So there are some concerns of some of the other staffers who were looking for advancement.

“So many people came in some positions and there were some challenges with the salaries and all the rest of that.

“So we are going to try as best we can to make sure that at the end of the day, we are not trying to take from anybody, but you may have to bring some people up to avoid any form of supersession.”

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