While crime spirals out of control in the Bahamas, and former DPM Cynthia Pratt prattles on about young Bahamians turning to lives of crime, a numbers crook has made so much illegal money, he is turning his crooked empire into a legitimate business.
The Tribune reports that numbers kingpin Craig Flowers, and his FML Group of Companies, has purchased the Chez Willie property on West Bay Street.
Flowers says the acquisition will kickstart the transformation of the old property, formerly a popular Bahamian restaurant, into a quasi-Museum/office space for the company.
At the back of the building, built with allegedly illegal funds, is the D’Aguilar art gallery that opens twice per week.
The legitimisation of numbers money is another case of dirty money being laundered into something more legitimate.
This is, of course, nothing new in The Bahamas, where drug smugglers from the Eighties amassed their fortunes, money which still fuels their criminal offspring even today.
One wonders if members of certain Bahamian families would be so well-off if it weren’t for the drug business of the eighties.
Now, we have a new way to make money and buy respectability in The Bahamas. Illegal numbers.
By making secret, but substantial, contributions to political parties, the numbers kingpins have been able to keep the police off their backs, save for an occasional bust for public relations purposes.
In many modern cultures, that would be considered bribery, but this is the Bahamas, where crime pays.