The searching of several web shops by police is the first of many such exercises, according to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, who revealed yesterday that police have planned several covert operations.
“We’ll turn up when you least expect us,” Greenslade warned.
“So when we turned up on that particular afternoon no one expected us and we arrested people,” he said, referring to the exercise on Monday.
“We arrested people because they were running businesses without a license and we arrested people because they were committing crimes. So yes, you’ll see us again and again and again.”
Police searched several web shops in the East Bay Street area.
They closed one web shop for alleged breach of the Business License Act, but did not arrest anyone for illegal gaming and did not seize any assets.
Following an inspection of Bahama Dreams at Okra Hill, police arrested four employees — three women and a man — and shut down the establishment for allegedly operating without a license.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethell said police found several
other breaches though he did not detail what those were.
Police also searched Island Luck on East Bay Street and Paradise Games on Balls Alley on Monday, but said there was no sign of illegal activity and both businesses had valid licenses.
Police are also targeting other businesses.
In addition to Bahama Dreams, police also shut down Double D’s Restaurant at the foot of the old Paradise Island Bridge for allegedly operating in breach of its liquor license.
There have been increased calls for the police to shut down web shops in the weeks since Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett lifted a conservatory order that protected web shops from interference by authorities.
However, Greenslade said police have to tread carefully since the decision is being appealed. The case is expected to be heard in the Court of Appeal next Friday.
By Krystel Rolle
Guardian Staff Reporter