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Bahamas worried about prostitution of young males

Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

NASSAU — Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday his ministry is worried over reports of prostitution of boys, drug dealing and solicitation in the tourist hub Festival Place.

Wilchcombe said he feared that the reports of illicit activities, coupled with the recent murder of an American man in New Providence, would damage the country’s reputation.

“We’re hearing about a lot of solicitation taking place,” he told reporters outside of Cabinet. “We’re hearing about a lot of drugs being sold and we’re hearing that [there is] also a very troubling situation about prostitution involving boys.

“It’s something that has me troubled because that’s not what we’re supposed to be all about. Desperation sometimes necessitates [drastic measures] but that doesn’t make sense.”

He said the reported incidents point to deterioration of morale and social values.

However, Superintendent Ashton Greenslade, head of the Central Police Station, said he could not confirm the reports.

“We haven’t been able to prove that,” he said when told about Wilchcombe’s statement.

Wilchcombe also hit out at Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis for his recent comments on crime and accused him of waffling on the hot-button issue.

On Monday, Minnis said the government is paralySed in its fight against crime.

“When you cannot protect your own guests, that’s a problem,” he said.

“They said they’re the solution to crime, but in spite of all their energy and drive, they’ve not demonstrated it.”

Wilchcombe said Minnis was a government minister when the former administration dismantled the Tourism Police Unit, a move he thinks has hindered crime prevention.

He said crime did not happen overnight and Minnis should have taken a tough stance when he was a Cabinet minister. (Nassau Guardian)

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