Immigration Director Clarence Russell declared yesterday that “arrests will follow” in the wake of a number of allegations levied against senior Immigration officials by the United States (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
In the report published by a local daily yesterday, FBI officials alleged that there was a bribery ring between senior local immigration officials and justice of the peace for fraudulent work permits.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations reportedly paid foreign nationals handsomely to participate, which led to the reported arrest four Haitians living in the Bahamas.
In response to the allegations against Immigration officers, Russell said via text message when contacted by Eyewitness News that “arrests will follow.”
Russell also would not confirm nor deny whether or not an internal investigation was underway.
Following that, Russell launched a “Complaints, Corruption and New Intelligence Unit” within the department. He said the new branch will be headed by a credible Superintendent of Immigration, with quality support staff and the full support of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and other Law Enforcement Intelligence Agencies.
“While I cannot and do not respond to speculative remarks from any quarters, so long as this director serves at the helm of the Immigration Department, any and all Complaints of Corruption or irregularity will be investigated thoroughly,” Russell said.
“Anyone found wanting through due shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the Law. It matters not whom you are; no one is above the law,” Russell said in a statement.
The Director added that the department operates from a point of innocent until proven guilty,” which, he said, is consistent with the rule of law.
“Corruption and it’s tenants thereof by any means or form will not be tolerated on my watch,” Russell said.