The BEC bribery scandal has concluded with the sentencing of Fred Ramsey,
The former board member was convicted on May 3 2016 of accepting $221,457.81 in bribes to influence the award of a contract for a generator to the French power company SA Alstom.
He escaped being hit with a custodial sentence and instead was fined $1,000 for each of the 14 bribery-related charges. In addition, the judge ordered the entire $221,457.81 he received from Alstom be repaid to BEC or any successor of BEC within nine months.
Despite this fine, Ramsey left the courthouse smilling, it could've been worst; he was facing four years in Jail afterall!
During the case it was easy to feel sorry for Mr Ramsey;
- His U.S. visa has been cancelled
- His insurance license revoked
- He's been publically humiliated
- He is in ill health, having suffered a series of strokes in 2015.
The Judge took these and other mitigating factors surrounding the case, such as Ramsey's clean criminal history, his civic and social engagement, his occupational reputation – all of which the judge said Ramsey has lost as a result of his actions in deciding on the final penalty.
The Truth About Corruption In The Bahamas
The problem in The Bahamas is that many upstanding members of our society are engaged in corrupt activities that sabotage our progress. They use the cloak of respectability to cover criminal activities that, except for this BEC scandal, go unpunished.
However, If we truly want to reduce corruption in The Bahamas we must hold these people accountable and look at them with the same disdain that we look at the rapist, the murderer, the armed robber and your basic street bum.
The BEC Bribery scandal is by no means an issolated incident in The Bahamas. With the conviction and sentencing of Mr. Ramsey The Government must now assure the people of The Bahamas that it is doing everything in its power to eliminate the potential for these kinds of activities in the future.
What measures have the Christie administration put in place or intend to put in place to reduce corruption?
How have they made the process of bidding and granting contracts more transparent?
What we've seen is a lot of lip service paid to the idea of anti-corruption and accountability. This BEC bribery scandal proves that the time for lip service is over, Its now time for action.
PS. What are your thoughts on this? Anything to Add? Comment below…