NASSAU, Bahamas -- UBS (Bahamas) has issued a public statement on the detention last week of its executive director Emmanuel Fiaux by immigration officers in The Bahamas exclusively to Guardian Business, which the newspaper agreed to print in full.
The statement reads as follows: “UBS (Bahamas) Ltd has had a presence in The Bahamas since being invited to come and do business in The Bahamas in the late 1960s.
“As part of the UBS AG group, the largest Swiss bank, headquartered in Switzerland, we have been and remain proud to be an important member of The Bahamas financial services industry.
“Last week, one of our employees was detained during a routine immigration check. While the employee did not have his original work permit on his person, the employee was provided within 20 minutes with an electronic, certified and notarized copy of his work permit, in accordance with the terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2003 (ECA), confirming his authorization to work in The Bahamas which was shown to the officer in charge.
“Although the ECA legally equates an electronic document in all material respects with a hard document, the electronic document produced by our employee was disregarded by the officer and our employee was taken to the detention center where, shortly thereafter, the hard copy of the previously electronically shown, certified, notarized copy of the work permit was provided and the employee was immediately released.
“UBS respects the laws of all of the 50 countries within which we are privileged to do business, and we take a very keen and protective interest in the well-being of all of our 70,000-plus employees worldwide, irrespective of their race or national origin.
“Accordingly, we were perturbed at what transpired last Tuesday, given all of the factual circumstances, and this was conveyed to the government. We are very grateful to The Bahamas’ minister of financial services, who, being fully aware of the needs of the industry and also to the sensitive and highly competitive international financial dynamics, took the time to meet and convey a courteous apology.
“This listening ear, of which we apprised our head office which has been closely monitoring and assessing events, has gone a tremendous way in helping to put this ‘one off’ matter behind us. We have moved on from last week’s events.”
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian