Police: Investigation into Bean’s betting shop was not politically motivated
Police have dismissed Opposition claims that an investigation into alleged illegal gaming at a betting shop owned by PLP leader Marc Bean was politically motivated.
And Acting Police Commissioner Mike Jackman has also rubbished suggestions by the party that Mr Bean's Paradise Games store was the only business targeted in last week's probe.
Officers from the Central Community Action Team visited is “a number of betting shops in relation to the sale of overseas lottery tickets” last week,
In a statement yesterday, the Progressive Labour Party claimed that the investigation had been instigated by the Government after two members of the Cabinet tipped off police,
The party claimed the police investigation “smacks of political interference and persecution of the leader of a party that has been effective in doing its job”.
It questioned why “no other business was targeted for legal violations” apart from Mr Bean's Cort Street store.
And it also criticised Governor George Fergusson for allowing the police “to be potentially used as a political weapon with no consequence, refusing to address these dictator-style tactics”.
But his morning Acting Commissioner Jackman responded to those allegations by stating that the probe “was not directed by any political imperative”.
“The Bermuda Police Service is an apolitical organisation that is governed by very clear obligations and responsibilities laid down by the Bermuda Constitutional Order and the Police Act 1974,” Acting Commissioner Jackman said.
“Political wishes do not feature in our decisions and I wish to assure everyone that this particular case was not directed by any political imperative.
“We have already made a statement about preliminary enquiries into the business activities at some betting shops in relation to lottery tickets. Those enquiries are not limited to one shop. To date, officers from the Central Community Action Team have visited four betting shops in Hamilton to check compliance with Section 2 of The Lotteries Act 1944.
“Those findings have been communicated to the DPP and the Bermuda Police Service is taking legal advice on whether or not any offences have been disclosed at any of the businesses.”
In its statement yesterday, the PLP also questioned why Opposition Senator Marc Daniels had been stopped and searched by police on the same day that officers visited Paradise.
“Interesting considering the timing,” the statement read.
Addressing that matter, Acting Commissioner Jackman said: “I acknowledge that Senator Daniels was searched by our officers. This resulted from an error in judgement by a supervisor and not as a result of a directive from senior officers. The officer has apologised to Senator Daniels and this was followed up by a senior officer who apologised on behalf of the Bermuda Police Service.”