GB Port Authority investigates fast food power theft allegations

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), the regulators of Grand Bahama Power, has launched an independent investigation into the ongoing allegations of power theft involving several fast food franchises and the energy-saving devices that were installed at these restaurants by a GPBA licensee.

“The Grand Bahama Port Authority limited wishes to advise the public that as Regulators, we were notified by the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) that during a course of their recent meter audit, they discovered a number suspected electricity diversions at several businesses within the Port Area. As a result, we immediately began our own independent investigation into this matter which is currently ongoing,” outlined a statement released yesterday evening from GBPA.

“Thus far, we can confirm that all of the work performed by the licensee was unpermitted and was executed outside the scope of the license.”

Eyewitness News understands that a person of interest was arrested yesterday by Grand Bahama Police for questioning in relation to the installation of the energy-saving devices that were being used by the Cooper family and other businesses in the nation’s second city.

The Cooper family are the owners of Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Pollo Tropical franchise in Grand Bahama.

Electricity at these franchises were disconnected last week Wednesday, leading the Cooper family to state at a press conference earlier this week that some 500 jobs were in jeopardy if the power was not restored.

It was not until yesterday, a week later, that power was restored at Pollo Tropical and the Cooper’s three Burger King restaurants. However, the Burger King restaurant on Ranfurly Circle in Freeport was closed for business on Wednesday.

The GBPA said as the matter of the alleged theft of electricity is currently being investigated by the Royal Bahamas Police Force and is still ongoing, it would not comment any further to prevent interference.

“We do believe that due process will be carried out and we are hoping to have this matter amicably resolved as soon as possible for the benefit of the entire Grand Bahama community,” the GPBA said.

“We will continue to dialogue with the Grand Bahama Power Company, and have scheduled a meeting with the Cooper family and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

“We encourage the public that if you had any energy cost savings work done on your premises, to please contact our Building and Development Services Department to ensure that the work carried out was permitted and the installation was carried out in accordance with the Building Code,” the GBPA statement concluded.