The Department of Immigration, along with the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF), Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), Ministry of Works (MOW), and the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) went on a tour of the Pigeon Pea and Mudd shanty towns.
The walkabout resulted in several businesses in the area being discovered to be operating without a proper business license or permit. Three males of Haitian decent were also taken into custody for breach of the Immigration Act.
There were also quite a few derelict vehicles, large amounts of garbage and other environmental health hazards that the DEHS was able to take note of.
One location in the Mudd that was visited had some grocery items and appeared to be selling numbers. Upon the arrival of the officers and other agents a woman suddenly left the building. Mr. Curry said that the register and receipts were secured by the police as they were abandoned, and invited the shop owner to present proper documents to the police in order to reclaim the items.
He said “We want to encourage persons in the Pigeon Pea and Mudd communities, and throughout The Bahamas, if you are going to sell wares please get the prerequisite documents, so when we see you and you have the correct documentation, we will pass by.”
He added that “those who are selling illegally, those are the persons we are interested in, and we will [prosecute] them with the full brunt of the law. So we want to encourage them now at this time to take a few minutes and seek the relevant agencies and acquire the proper documents.”
Mr. Curry noted that the police had a private meeting on Tuesday with the owner of a place considered to be a nightclub on Charles Sawyer Blvd. in the Mudd. The owner told police that he is not running a nightclub but a Haitian dance party and claimed he had documents, which Mr. Curry said have not yet been produced.
He said that Haitian migrants building and operating on Crown Land is a concern for them because they know there are a number of requirements needed in order to get a license. “We are not sure that those requirements were met,” he said.
Mr. Curry added that “there are a number of breaches and flaws especially in the designs of the buildings.” He encourages all persons operating a business in the area without the documents, to “go and seek them and let us know at the police department so we know that you are straight and all is well.”
Mr. Curry said “we would be happy to accompany Mr. Krezel to actually do some rectifying and if it calls for demolishing we would be happy to support all of the agencies who have a stake in this overall venture in making Abaco a better place to live.”