Munroe addresses Bay Street stores allegedly defrauding tourists, calling it ‘foolish’ and ‘self-destructive’


Tribune Staff Reporter

NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe is concerned that some Bay Street businesses are allegedly defrauding tourists, thus jeopardising the country’s tourism industry.

Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) research and training manager Lavade Darling said last week that “certain stores” on Bay Street target tourists, particularly cruise ship passengers.

“They would purchase an item for X amount of dollars and they give you some free items, and when these tourists get back to their home, they find that their credit card has been charged $10,000, $15,000 for an item that really only should cost what they agreed to purchase.”

Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said he had “no information” about this when asked yesterday.

Mr Munroe also said he is unaware of the issue but urged people to complain to authorities if they are affected.

“(For) police to become involved, a complaint (is required),” he said. “Once a complaint is made, then that one should be very easy to investigate because the charge would be at a merchant terminal which would be assigned to a particular business which would be used by a particular person. And then if they cannot show that they have provided goods to the value of what is shown on the charts, then there would be a problem.”

Mr Munroe said defrauding tourists is self-destructive.

“You are foolish, because you can track credit card charges back to a terminal,” he said. (And) that’s self-destructive for your business, (for) every hotel worker, (for) everyone who depends on a hotel worker to work, (for) everything that drives this country’s tourism.”

“And if you mess with that, then you’re messing with the country’s prosperity, and there should be strict enforcement of that. And if it’s happening, we would invite the complaints.”


trueBahamian says...

We have a consumer protection agency? Is this agency working to help Bahamians as well?

It's interesting the article is about how this negatively impacts the tourism product but no one bothered to check with the AG's office to see.what criminal charges should be brought and where the police are in investigating this crime. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe fraud ain't a crime. Lol. This lil country! And we wonder why we're looked at as a banana republic.

Posted 22 March 2023, 12:45 a.m. Suggest removal

trueBahamian says...

They said for the police to become involved a compliant is required, so how do.they know this was happening? I doubt someone being charged $10,000 for a $5.00 T-shirt is sitting at home overseas thinking, I'm simply not going back there again. If you live in the US or some other country and you get your bank statement weeks or even a month after your trip, is Mr. Munroe expecting someone to Google "Bahamas Police" and send an email to some random email address. And knowing our police, some genius gets the email and takes weeks before they read and months before they do anything with it, if they di anything. Then an investigation may start and that drags in forever, then the AG office may get involved and that drags in forever. Then a court case is filed and the courts take a million years to set a date. Then you arrive in court and a lawyer doesn't show or makes some excuse why they can't start that date and the courts schedules another date for some distant future date. After all of this, the plaintiff is left with the idea, just let the criminals have the $10,000.00 or $15,000.00 because it will.cost you 10 or 20 times that amount plus tons of frustration to solve it by taking action. Someone say "banana" and I'll say "republic".

Posted 22 March 2023, 12:54 a.m. Suggest removal

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