Pinder shuts down visa fraud scam claims

Director of Labour John Pinder on Thursday shut down speculation that the department might be involved in the reported visa fraud scam and the issuance of work permits by senior immigration officials investigated by the United States (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Pinder explained that the Labour Department only issues labour certificates indicating that the employer went through the process locally in an attempt to find a Bahamian worker and was not successful.

“If an employer is looking for a particular skill and that person cannot find someone by way of an advertisement, if no one applies they complete a notice of vacancy form,” Pinder clarified.

“If a potential applicant is not successful we issue a certificate that then goes on to Immigration who would decide whether or not a work permit is warranted.”

The Labour Director said that he was not surprised at the investigation and it is unfortunate.

“I’ve heard stuff prior to this. Sting operations are always going on between two countries so it was not a surprise to me that something was going on. It can happen to anyone. We as department heads have to rely on employees, to be honest.”

Pinder suggested that government move quickly to modernize revenue collection from government agencies.

He added that the Complaints and Corruption Unit established by the Immigration Department in the wake of the FBI investigation is a step in the right direction.

“If we can get rid of cash payments that will hold down the entire attempt for someone being tempted to accept a bribe.”

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