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The Dirty Secrets of Lyford Cay

Lyford Cay residents are up in arms and calling for the resignation of Mary Braithwaite, the executive director of the Lyford Cay Property Owners Association (LCPOA). Members of the 2,000-strong Lyford Cay community are reportedly upset after unflattering press resulted from the association’s alleged efforts to oust millionaire Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard.

Stories appeared in both the local and international media last week alleging a conspiracy hatched by Mr. Nygard’s neighbour – billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon – to destroy the fashion mogul’s reputation by having him falsely charged with rape and deported from the Bahamas.

The shocking allegations were revealed in a sworn affidavit by former Scotland Yard detective, Alick Morrison, during a property dispute case between the two neighbors being heard in the Bahamas Supreme Court.

Mr. Morrison alleged that Jerry Forrester, a former FBI agent, conspired with Bradley Pratt, a disgraced former Bahamas police officer, to fabricate “dirt” on Mr Nygard.

Mr. Bacon’s attorney, Ms Braithwaite and the former head of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) have also been implicated in the conspiracy.

“Their intent is to force Nygard from The Bahamas, by whatever means, because they appeared not to like Nygard or did not approve of his lifestyle,” Morrison said in his affidavit.

The affidavit claimed that Ms Braithwaite, in her zeal to rid Lyford Cay of Mr. Nygard, said that the purpose of the plot was to ensure that Mr Nygard “…could not sell another blouse anywhere in the world.”

Braithwaite was also accused of allegedly attempting to bribe a young woman into claiming that Mr. Nygard had raped her.

Residents of Lyford Cay, an enclave for the rich and famous, located at the western end of New Providence Island, are said to be furious over the unwanted press.

“Never in the history of Lyford Cay has anything like this occurred,” a long-time resident told a local reporter from the Bahama Journal.

“Hampton Davis (LCPOA President) should get rid of her [Braithwaite] and make peace with Nygard. This all looks very bad,” said another member of the property association.

In his sworn statement, Mr. Morrison from Scotland Yard also claimed that Mr. Forrester bragged to him that, while he was an FBI agent, he used to “kidnapped” Bahamians he had arrested in Florida, who were wanted in the Bahamas, and fly them back without any formal review of their cases in U.S. courts.

“(Braithwaite) hired Jerry Forrester as the LCPOA security consultant. She allegedly admitted in a recorded conversation that she wants to get rid of Peter Nygard not only from Lyford Cay, but from The Bahamas where he is a resident. She also admitted to arranging for secret reports and photographs of Nygard Cay,” the statement claims.

According to Morrison’s affidavit, Ms Braithwaite didn’t like Mr Nygard, who she considered a thorn in her side. Even Mr. Forrester admitted that he had been a paid consultant for the CBC, planting false information to defame Mr. Nygard.  Nygard has filed a criminal complaint against the CBC, alleging the Canadian state broadcaster defamed him in a documentary that aired last spring.

The affidavit also claims that Braithwaite secretly took a photograph of some dredging being done at Nygard’s home and sent the photo to a local newspaper.

Braithwaite has also been accused of covering up scandals in the past, like the details surrounding the death of Dan Tuckfield, whose lifeless body was found in a pool on Louis Bacon’s property. The death was never properly investigated and Tuckfield’s body was cremated and flown out of the Bahamas in record speed, without an autopsy.

Another incident was the discovery of supposedly illegal ultrasonic speakers that were allegedly used by Mr Bacon against Mr Nygard in response to the noise from parties hosted at the fashion designer’s home.

Then, there is the the reported dredging for a marina at Louis Bacon’s Point House property, for which government approvals were not handled correctly. Bahamian government officials have failed to explain the lack of permits. But it is rumoured that a secret deal was struck between Earl Deveaux, the Minister of the Environment and Pericles Mailis, attorney for Mr Bacon.

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