Police launch investigation into officers’ involvement in liquor store opening

Police launch investigation into officers’ involvement in liquor store opening
(Unsplash/Adam Wilson)

COP says public will be made aware of the findings

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle has ordered an investigation into the involvement of several police officers in the operation of liquor store in contravention of the emergency orders.

In a statement, the commissioner said he was aware that police officers were present on the property of liquor licenses premise.

“The commissioner is also aware of a video circulating on social media of an unmarked police vehicle of the premises of a liquor establishment,”

“The commissioner of police wished to inform the public that at this present time he has no authority to permit the sale of liquor by any establishment, nor did he sanctioned the presence of any police officer at any liquor licensed premises.

“The commissioner of police has directed the deputy commissioner of police, who has responsibility for discipline within the organization to immediately conduct an investigation into this matter, the results of which will be made public in due course.

“The police commissioner wishes to thank members of the public for bringing this matter to his attention.”

Footage circulated on social media purportedly shows an unmarked white police vehicle parked outside a liquor store.

A man exits the store after a short while with bottles of what appear to be alcoholic beverages.

Several people stood near the entrance in close proximity of one another.

A man standing adjacent to the unmarked vehicle eventually opens the back trunk after speaking with several more men.

The contents in the trunk remain out-of-focus.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has said liquor stores will remain closed during the mandatory curfew, which remains in effect.

In Parliament last month, the prime minister said Minnis said: “Medical personnel feel that at this point in time all resources should be utilized to fight the common enemy that we face and that is COVID.

“It is not unusual for a lot of resources to be diverted to the emergency room to deal with the effect of alcohol.

“In addition some have questioned the social implications. Alcohol may relax the mind as they say and relieve the stress… Alcohol would certainly not relax my mind.”

The prime minister said recommendations indicate alcohol could exacerbate social problems.

“I do no support it, alcohol stores are closed and will remain closed,” he said.

While Attorney General Carl Bethel said recently that a number of businesses may be made exempt from the 24-hour curfew in an effort to maintain necessary commerce, liquors will not be among them.

So far, there have been 55 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Nine people have died.