Categorized | National News

Georgia Family Still Fighting For Land

Even after winning a landmark court case last summer where a judge ruled they would regain more than 1,200 acres of land in Abaco and New Providence, a family from Stone Mountain, Georgia is back in The Bahamas fighting local Bahamians who are trying to take it all away.

Claudia Cyrus said Tuesday that after the court made its ruling, she thought it would be a walk in the park to reclaim the land her now deceased Bahamian grandmother Elsie Agalla Franks left to her and her family members.

But to her “disgust,” Mrs. Cyrus said it has been revealed that many Bahamians have fraudulently acquired, sold and even built on the 300 acres of land off Harold Road in New Providence and the more than 899 acres scattered across Abaco.

“There’s been so much pilfering of the estate never notifying the heirs that this was taking place, there’s been a lot of court proceedings having the estate involved but no one decided that we needed to be addressed,” she said.

“We live in the United States, so trying to put something in the Bahamian newspapers trying to give us notice, that’s underhanded. The other part is that there have been so many written documents handed into the courts that are fraudulent documents.”

Mrs. Cyrus is on her fourth trip to The Bahamas to meet with lawyers and the police in a bid to finally get access to these properties.

She is one of eight living heirs to the New Providence and Abaco properties.

Mrs. Cyrus explained that her grandmother was born and raised in The Bahamas, but migrated to the United States when she was very young.

Mrs. Cyrus said because she lives thousands of miles away from The Bahamas it is very difficult to keep track of the property and who was illegally claiming it.

But with much determination, perseverance and expensive plane tickets, she and her family saw to it that the matter was investigated by police.

“They’ve (the police) called in a number of people and where it started as going back just a few years, they are going back with the investigations to 40 years,” Mrs. Cyrus added.

“So, a lot of people are going to be involved with this. What they need to do is come forth, contact Commercial Crimes Unit and let them know their part in this whole action.”

The Georgia native added that the undocumented owners of this land have taken things too far in trying to get these properties and noted that they have reportedly gone to the courts claiming that Mrs. Cyrus and the other rightful heirs were dead.

“There’s an affidavit filed in court that says out of the nine heirs only three were living,” she said. “I found out through this document that I was deceased. Not only me but six of the other heirs were deceased too, but really, we are alive and well, except one who has died.”

“And then they want to take it to court and say they own this property because they have been there for so long. Why do we as US citizens have to fight for property that is rightfully ours, when the courts have said over and over again that my grandmother was the lawful legal heir? Why do we as Americans have to fight in the Bahamian court system for what’s legally ours?”

The irate granddaughter said while she prefers to not call names a lot of prominent Bahamians are mixed up in this case.

“All I can say is more will be revealed as this investigation continues,” she added. “When this is finalised you will be surprised at the names that are coming up in this investigation.”

Mrs. Cyrus leaves the island on Thursday but is hoping that anyone who is familiar with the tracts of land will contact them while they are still in town at 462-4177 or email her at

Written by Jones Bahamas

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