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The Cooper family with their Attorney Carlson Shurland at last Sunday’s press conference.

The conduct of the Freeport Power Company over the past week with the issue of the allegations of meter tampering in Freeport was disgraceful.  The Freeport Power Company in a depressed economy declared a 40 million dollar profit last year while most of Grand Bahama was scrounging and scrapping to make ends meet. Last week the power company showed up and cut off the power to the Burger King and KFC franchises in Freeport.

The fact is that these franchises are owned by the most prominent Black business family in Freeport.  They were dead in the water and had to go to emergency power.  The power company refused to turn the power back on and no executive of the company would speak to the Coopers.  This despite years of relations with the company and no doubt paying millions of dollars to Freeport Power. That history and their prominence counted for nothing. They were invited to the police station, then unceremoniously arrested and well God knows what.

By the midweek, the emergency power that they had to one of the stores failed and one of the stores had to close their doors.

The Coopers were forced last Sunday about this time to hold a press conference with their lawyer present.  They made the case that they had been tricked into going into the police station to cooperate in the investigation and then arrested.  They were held for 12 hours and questioned by the police.  Meanwhile no one from Freeport Power would give any solution to the business issue.

The Coopers made a compelling case.  They said that they were targeted by the company because they were not the only ones who were using the purported energy saving device that the power company was upset about. They said that the Freeport Power Company itself had been stealing from the people of Freeport for years.  They reminded the country that in a bad economy in  Grand Bahama they had 500 workers in their employ

Meanwhile hiding in the tall grass and nowhere to be seen were the five FNM MPs for Grand Bahama, well at least four of them because we exclude Frederick McAlpine. They were mealy mouthed and had nothing to say to get people back to work. They did nothing to get the crisis resolved.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority was similarly useless and they are the regulators.

By the end of the week, the power company and the Grand Bahama Port Authority issued a statement saying that the people who used the device had been duped and been involved in a fraud.  So, the question is why if the Coopers were victims there was no apology?  Why were they arrested? Why were they targeted?

We don’t expect to get an answer from the Grand Bahama Port Authority or the Power Company.  They are simply tone deaf.  They have no feel for what is actually happening in Grand Bahama.  Their only issue is pay us our money. 

That is the real reason why Freeport cannot get off the ground. You have a Government that sits on its hands and does nothing.  You have a regulator in the Port Authority who gives not one wit about the commercial or other sectors in the islands so long as they get their fees.  The power company are simply a set of rapacious capitalists who care for nothing else than making profits.

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