COP: No complaints about complicit officers of RBPF past or current
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Canadian fashion designer and longtime Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard has “never” been interviewed by local police regarding sexual allegations against him, confirmed Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle yesterday.
Nygard was arrested in Winnipeg, Canada, on Monday, after federal prosecutors accused him of a more than two-decades-long string of criminal conduct involving racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes against women and minors.
A nine-count unsealed indictment outlined alleged crimes stemming from The Bahamas, Canada, New York and elsewhere.
Nygard has been charged with using fraud, force and coercion to cause “at least dozens” of adult and minor-aged girls to engage in commercial sex acts for his gratification, and on occasion those of his personal friends and business associates.
Asked about local investigations into those allegations, Rolle noted he has yet to see the indictment against the fashion mogul.
Rolle insisted that he has not received any complaints about the “complicity of any officers of Royal Bahamas Police Force current or [past]”.
He noted that he could not comment on the matter due to sub judice protecting the ongoing court matter.
“After Nygard left the Bahamas, we received four complaints,” Rolle said.
“We dispatched officers to his residence and on arrival were informed that he left. We met persons loading all of his belongings into a shipping container.
“We made contact with Nygard and he refused to return and surrender to The Bahamas and that’s the last of it.
“So, he, as far as we know, has never been interviewed by local police and all of our complaints that came in, came in after he left.”
Back in February, former Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson confirmed his officers were actively investigating allegations against Nygard, but would not confirm they involved sexual assault.
Rolle noted yesterday that he will not speak further on the matter.
“That matter is before a judge, so please don’t draw this commissioner into that,” he said.
In the latest court filings, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis was named as someone who was “close” with Nygard when he served as deputy prime minister.
The affidavit alleges that Nygard “regularly met with him and paid bribes to him and his political aides”.
It further claims: “Davis allegedly introduced Nygard to known Bahamian gangsters and convicted criminals, Livingston ‘Toogie’ Bullard and Wisler ‘Bobo’ Davilma. Nygard paid ‘Toogie’ and ‘Bobo’ with funds from the Nygard Companies to intimidate anyone who spoke out against him or his initiatives by, among other means, directing them to firebomb his detractors’ vehicles and/or businesses, instructing them to threaten to kill those who oppose him, and commit other acts of violence and intimidation.”
Davis has yet to address the allegations.
However, in a post on his official Twitter account on Wednesday, Davis said: “The allegations against Nygard are extremely serious and disturbing and should be pursued to the full extent of the law. We hope the women involved receive justice.”
Former PLP Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson was also named in a federal class-action lawsuit against Nygard filed in a Manhattan court earlier this year.
The class action complaint claimed Nygard bribed Bahamian police officers and provided PLP party members and corrupt officers with “children and young women to engage in commercial sex acts with”.
The affidavit furthered that “Nygard regularly invited political figures, such as Bahamian Parliament members including, without limitation, Shane Gibson and police officers, to attend his ‘pamper parties'”.
A photograph wrongly identifying Gibson at a “pamper party” in 2014 was also included in the affidavit.
Gibson told Eyewitness News at the time that he did not want to get into details, but said he believed the allegations relating to him were politically motivated.
He said he planned to take legal action after being named and wrongfully identified in the affidavit.
At the time, Davis called the allegations linking party members “mere scare tactics”, suggesting that the claims were perpetuated by Free National Movement (FNM) “surrogates”.
In April 2017, it was revealed in a Tribune exclusive that Gibson received payments totaling $94,131.10 over an 18-month period from the fashion mogul between August 4, 2011, when Gibson was an opposition parliamentarian, to January 8, 2013, when he was a Cabinet minister.
Following the revelations, Gibson said the “contributions” were made toward his 2012 election campaign and for community initiatives in his constituency.
The country still has no laws on campaign financing that would prohibit politicians from receiving donations from individuals.