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Booted PI Vendor Has Valid Business Licence

One of the beach vendors removed from Cabbage Beach last week said he has a valid business licence permitting him to conduct business on the beach.

Alexander Forbes told the Bahama Journal yesterday that his business licence does not expire until next month – August 10 to be exact.

“I went to work last Thursday and the security took away our stuff,” he said.

“I was already hurting at that time. I understand that they are trying to clean up the beach, which is good, but this is hurting me. I have been on that beach for the last 17 years and I’ve only tried to be an ambassador for The Bahamas. All I try to do is sell my coconut water and some chairs and umbrellas. I don’t think I should suffer, though, because I have a valid business licence to be on the beach.”

Kerzner International Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Retail Services Ed Fields said on Sunday that executives have embarked on a stringent vetting process to ensure that corrupt, violent and unlicenced businesspersons who are working on the popular beach are removed.

Mr. Fields said the resort is serious about pinpointing and removing individuals that should not be there.

“We recently compiled a list of names of all the vendors working on the beach and we started to vet that list. While I will not give an exact number, I will say that a significant portion of persons on that list have been charged with firearm possession; they’ve been arrested for drug possession and we’ve discovered a whole plethora of unsavory behavior that some of these folks were involved in,” he said during an appearance on the Love 97FM Sunday talk show, Jones & Company.

Mr. Forbes said he is the breadwinner in his family.

“I don’t have any other means of employment. I wouldn’t know where to start if I needed to find a new job. Every Monday I usually carry $1,000 to the bank, but I didn’t do anything this weekend. My pocket is empty. I have two kids a 17-year-old and a 12-year-old and this is hurting me a lot,” he said.

“I’ve always made an honest living over the past years. I didn’t have a mother and a father when I was growing up, so I made do with what I had. I have a family now and am happily married and am just trying to do what I can do to make ends meet.”

The Bahama Journal spoke with Mr. Fields after the interview with Mr. Forbes.

He said he did not recognise Mr. Forbes’ name from his list of vendors but encouraged Mr. Forbes forward a copy of his business licence to him.

Mr. Fields also explained that a business licence does not give a person automatic right to conduct work on the beach as they also require permission from Kerzner International.

Mr. Forbes, however, agreed that the beach needs to be rid of people who are being nuisances to tourists and locals.

“The beach was never like this,” he said. “People are getting away with murder, but this is a case where the innocent is suffering for the guilty. I’m not into a life of crime. I won’t subject my kids and my family to that. You can ask about me, I always treat the tourists right. You can ask everyone in tourism about me.”

Last Thursday, Atlantis officials launched a crackdown on unauthorised business operators on the beach. Officials confiscated several vendors’ umbrellas and beach chairs and denied them access to the beach to conduct their business.

“We now have daily altercations on the beach. In fact, the day before the removal of the unauthorised vendors on Thursday, there was an altercation with a vendor who stabbed two other vendors,” Mr. Fields said on Sunday.

“All of this happened in the front of our guests. We’ve had rock throwing, people chasing people with cutlasses; there is the illegal sale of alcohol, drugs and of course other contraband. So it has gotten out of hand and we are simply exercising our right under the law to reestablish law and order on our property.”

Anywhere pass the high water mark on Cabbage Beach is considered property of the Atlantis Resort.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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