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Gov’t Got Full Revenue From Fyre Festival

According to Acting Customs Comptroller Dr. Geannine Moss, the government received every bit of the government’s revenue from the failed Fyre Festival back in 2017. 

Her comments come following the release of the jaw dropping Netflix documentary which left everyone wondering if the government got paid.

“As is required for any even coming into The Bahamas, typically the goods are imported under a temporary basis and so to do that we have to get deposits for goods that would be returning as well as duty payment on goods that would be consumed during the festival. 

“So, all the goods that came in like the water and all of that stuff, the duty were collected to the tune of some $175,000 or so. The balance of the equipment did not leave. 

“We had some businesses in the states who owned the equipment was able to come forward, pay the outstanding temporary import fee and those goods were returned,” she said.    

Dr. Moss said the majority of goods customs seized from the festival -like mattresses and tents – were auctioned off to Exuma residents.

She added though that despite the fiasco, the documentary  did not have a negative impact on the Customs department.

She  opined that she was most disappointed in the Bahamian public who tore down the government and the customs officer that was mentioned in the documentary.

“Social media decided to cannibalize the officer and also the Member of Parliament,  both current and former and I think that we go right back to the black crab syndrome of pulling one another down.

“I didn’t hear anybody pulling down the documentary, or demonizing Netflix or Andy King or anybody else and I think that’s what’s wrong with our society.

“The officer in question is a veteran of some 34 years. He has served through many islands in The Bahamas;  all the island persons know him very well and there has never been any kind of scandal on his professional or personal life,” Dr. Moss said.

Despite the well publicized fiasco, the Customs  Comptroller says the procedure for temporarily imported goods is an efficient one.

“The way that the goods come in, those protocols have been in place. I have been in customs for 29 years and I met them in place. It’s a great check and balance and of course customs first priority is always the revenue. 

“I’m revenue driven, I’m revenue based, I think revenue. So any exemptions or wavers would come from the Ministry of Finance or tourism to accommodate any event that’s coming in. 

“For any goods that are imported temporarily, there is a protocol in place which is law and is mandated.” 

“You can have an item come in here temporarily and apply.  We’ll expect you to put up a deposit to cover the revenue in the event that the goods do not exit in  The Bahamas or are misused for any purpose other than that which it was imported for,” she said.    

Fyre Festival was marketed as an exclusive  luxury experience, but what attendees got was an entirely different experience – a remote island with little to no running water, electricity, or food.

Fyre Festival Co-Founder Billy Mcfarland was found guilty in a Manhattan court last year of defrauding investors of the festival and sentenced to six years in federal prison. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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