Friday, Jul 19, 2019
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DNA demands answers on NEMA’s $20 mil

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader and Bamboo Town MP Branville McCartney said yesterday that reports that $20 million is missing from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are raising red flags.

The party issued a statement last night.

“There are many red flags sprouting from reports that $20 million is missing at NEMA, the most important one being, why are Bahamians finding out about an investigation six to seven years later,” the statement said.

Yesterday, The Nassau Guardian reported that NEMA is still trying to account for nearly $20 million that came in during the relief efforts following Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne more than seven years ago, according to NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell.

Opposition Leader Perry Christie, who was prime minister during the time in question, told The Guardian that he was not briefed on that matter and expressed surprise over the amount of money involved.

“If $20 million is missing then I would presume that it’s a police investigation,” he said.

The DNA said however it was not pleased with Christie’s response.

McCartney said, “This not only looks bad on the opposition, who was the governing party at the time these monies allegedly went missing, but the present government—perhaps the prime minister and his party did not consider this.”

The party said it suspects a political ploy by the present administration, considering such a serious issue is just now becoming public.

At the time that the funds went missing, Carl Smith, who is now permanent secretary at the Ministry of National Security, was the director of NEMA.

“Considering this, the answers to where the money went should be more forthcoming,” McCartney said.


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