Bahamian Numbers Racketeer in TCI Bank Rescue

Friday 09th, March 2012 / 12:16 Published by

Bahamas-based numbers racketeer, Craig Flowers, and BISX-listed Bank of the Bahamas International, were both separately approached to rescue a failed Turks & Caicos Island bank that desperately needed a $27 million cash infusion to stay afloat.

A report to the courts by the Bahamian-based liquidators for TCI Bank revealed the involvement of Mr Flowers, a well-known convicted numbers kingpin and head of the FML Group of Companies.

Numbers kingpin Craig Flowers

The report said that “the following persons/entities were contacted or either made inquiries with regard to a rescue plan” for TCI Bank, listing those persons as “Bank of the Bahamas International” and “Mr Craig Flowers”.

Apparently, a rescue plan did not materialize and the bank is now in the process of being wound-up and liquidated.

Disgraced former Attorney General, and current Fort Charlotte MP, Alfred Sears is the Bahamian attorney working on the TCI Bank liquidation. Mr Sears has been accused by Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of using money from drug kingpin “Ninety” Knowles to finance his last political campaign. Sears denies the allegations.

Sears is also Mr Flowers’ attorney, having represented him in a recent trial, which resulted in Flowers being found guilty of running an illegal lottery promotion and allowing his business premises to be used as a lottery shop. Mr Flowers and his attorneys are appealing that ruling. It is unlikely that mr Flowers will ever be punished as he has numerous politicians and high-ranking police officers in his pocket.

Flowers, whose wealth is supsected to have been achieved illegally through the numbers racket, is a regular visitor to the Turks & Caicos Islands. His FML Group has about 200 employees in the Bahamas and the company operates out of an $8 million property on West Bay Street near downtown Nassau.

Meanwhile, Paul McWeeney, managing director of the Bank of the Bahamas International, said the BISX-listed institution had been approached directly by TCI Bank back when it was still solvent, concerning a proposed joint venture/merger.

The TCI Bank rescue attempts involved a number of Bahamian people and entities. Apart from Bank of the Bahamas International and Mr Flowers, another Bahamian, former Landfall Centre head, Dr Gilbert Morris represented the Altima group, while David Kosoy, chairman and chief executive of the Bahamas-based Sterling Financial Group, headed another offer. All ultimately proved unsuccessful.

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