The global financial world has been shaken up by the collapse of crypto currency giant FTX in the past week, and its move to file for bankruptcy has forced authorities in The Bahamas to determine whether any crime has been committed as the firm had been headquartered in the Caribbean archipelago off Florida. 

Local officials reported on Monday that the Bahamian securities commission wants to know whether company officials are guilty of breaking any local laws, so the cabinet has assembled a team to probe to what extent the Caribbean nation is embroiled in this scenario. “In light of the collapse of FTX globally and the provisional liquidation of FTX Digital Markets Ltd, a team of financial investigators from the financial crimes investigation branch are working closely with the Bahamas Securities Commission to investigate if any criminal misconduct occurred,” a police brief had stated.

As news about problems inside the company began to leak out, authorities rushed to protect clients by freezing assets and seizing control of the firm. The Tribune newspaper reported Monday that FTX had acquired a whooping $74 million in real estate assets for this year alone so local involvement cannot be avoided, officials said. The company filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. last Friday.

The local high court, meanwhile, has also appointed top attorney Brian Simms as the liquidator of the company to take control of it and any related assets it might have held in The Bahamas. 

The Bahamian securities commission said on the weekend that it had become aware of reports that FTX had misappropriated and had mishandled client assets and or had transferred assets to Alameda Research, one of its so-called sister companies in the U.S., so regulators want to know if any laws were breached.

Additionally, company boss Sam Bankman-Fried is reported to be cooperating with local investigators even as the administration of Prime Minister Phillip Davis is under pressure to explain whether any local money had been invested in FTX.  Police also say they are waiting to question him. He reportedly met with security commissioners on Saturday.

Davis, one of the Caribbean leaders who have been campaigning for polluting nations to pay for their negative role in climate change, had said he was exploring the idea of setting up a carbon credit exchange in The Bahamas with the help of FTX. It is unclear whether any of his plans had been implemented and whether any state funds had been used but the opposition Free National Movement now wants explanations according to Leader Mike Pintard.

“We are all shocked by the daily revelations that are now becoming known nationally and internationally and call upon the government to provide the investing public a clear and cogent statement on the matter and the steps being taken to guard against the jurisdictional fall out and to shore up investor confidence,” he said. “Given current events, what impact will this development have on the potential for carbon trading, what alternative arrangements are being made and when will we see the first trade and benefit from this activity, if any?” he asked.

While headquartered in The Bahamas, the company was registered in Antigua after being founded in 2018. Up to mid this year, FTX had had over a million users and had functioned as a crypto currency exchange for global traders.

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