May 28, 2024

May 26, 2024

Opposition demands immediate investigation into $675k FTX payment to public

The Opposition is alarmed by the reported allegation that FTX paid some $675,000 in
donations to companies with close ties to senior government officials. These disturbing
allegations were reportedly contained in a preliminary assessment by the US Justice
Department-appointed special examiner Robert Cleary, who was assigned to
investigate matters incidental to FTX's collapse.

To protect the Bahamas' reputation as a credible and legitimate place to do business,
the Prime Minister must immediately agree to launch a complete and thorough
investigation into these allegations of potential public corruption.

Which companies received these monies, and who were the ultimate beneficiaries of
the funds? What purposes were the monies paid out for? Did the senior government
officials involved declare the conflict of interests? Were these senior government
officials in positions that directly or indirectly influence decisions impacting FTX, its
competitors or the digital marketplace? Do the Bahamian court-appointed liquidators
have access to this information regarding nearly $700,000 in "donations" to companies
affiliated with high-ranking Bahamian officials and their families?  Have the Bahamian
liquidators put the matter forward to the authorities for further criminal investigation?

Prime Minister Davis must bring the same energy to investigating this matter as he has
brought to investigations of alleged wrongdoing by Opposition members. We do not
want this to be yet another case where the Prime Minister loses his appetite for
accountability when it comes to matters impacting people associated with the PLP.

We anticipate that the necessary investigation will examine the activities of all public
officials who had spheres of influence over decisions related to FTX, regardless of
political affiliation, before and after the change in administration. Let the proverbial chips
fall where they may.

Let's not forget that although the investigation and subsequent trial of now-convicted
felon Sam Bankman-Fried uncovered a series of crimes that would also breach the
DARE Act of The Bahamas, we have received no explanation for why those apparent
breaches of Bahamian law were never thoroughly investigated and pursued.

The Opposition is renewing our call for the Government to appoint a bipartisan Select
Committee of Parliament that would review all matters related to the FTX debacle and
the enabling legislation and domestic operating environment that gave rise to that
unfortunate situation. We must look past partisan politics and work collaboratively
across the aisle with industry stakeholders to ensure that our legislative, regulatory and
policy framework can build a robust and nimble digital assets industry that attracts only
credible entities committed to sound business practices.

The Prime Minister must ensure that the Bahamas government gets out front on the
investigation and not be pressed to move by subsequent revelations from external
sources. If the Davis Administration shirks from its constitutional duty to protect the
integrity of the jurisdiction from grave allegations of apparent misconduct by Bahamian
public officials, the Prime Minister will yet again demonstrate to the Bahamian people
and the global investment community that he and his Cabinet have neither the interest
or the inclination to uphold the rule of law and the necessary standards of conduct in
public life.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement

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