Category Archives: Barbados

Newly revealed report details Harlequin Resorts due diligence disaster

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

If you can’t see fraud and Ponzi schemes here… you aren’t looking!

According to a due diligence chart posted online, Harlequin Resorts’ The Merricks development in Barbados did not file financial accounts for seven years between 2006 and 2013.

During that same period The Merricks took in £47,946,581 in payments from victims ‘investors’ but only spent £7,971,246 for land and construction costs.

That leaves £39,975,335 outstanding, or… a better way would put it: that leaves £39,975,335 MISSING.

How many Ministers of Government received ‘campaign donations’ from Harlequin during this period? How did our government protect investors and Barbados’ reputation during this period?

Why did the Barbados government allow this to happen? Seven years without required filings and Barbados politicians were content to line up for photographs with Harlequin’s David Ames? What the heck were they thinking?

Or… were our politicians simply delivering the service that they had been paid to deliver? With no Integrity Legislation and no Freedom of Information laws, Bajans will likely never be able to prove who the villains are.

The Harlequin Resorts chart is nothing more or less than a confirmation that Harlequin was and is nothing more or less than a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

More and more the questions are shifting from Harlequin to the UK and Barbados authorities charged with maintaining the law…

The question has become: Why have the authorities not acted to arrest and charge David Ames and his co-conspirators?

Comments are open!

You can download the due diligence report at Barbados Free Press here, or download it from FileTea.

 

 

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Barbados government punished 5,000 hotel rooms to reward Sandals’ 280 rooms. Wise tourism strategy or not?

“When you look across the state of our entire tourism industry perhaps the closest comparison can be made with Rome burning while Nero played the fiddle in A.D. 64.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Even if the repeatedly broken promises confirming that all registered hotels will qualify for the same concessions given to Sandals last year came into practical effect this week, it is now far too late for the vast majority of properties to make any meaningful use of them this year, at least in terms of major upgrading.

Whether it was Government’s honest intention or not, Sandals look like they will re-open with an enhanced quality product advantage in late January 2015 that virtually every other hotel cannot hope to compete with.

Again, it’s important to repeat that like most other tourism businesses we welcome the group’s arrival and in the long term hope that it will drive additional investment and upgrading on a level playing field.

Despite the continued speculation about added airlift, it simply will not happen until the Beaches property is hopefully completed in a yet indeterminate number of years from now. The short term reality is that we have lost a potential 25,000 airline seats in the interim reconstruction period.

That would not have happened if the former Casuarina/Couples hotel had remained open.

Only time will tell if punishing around 5,000 rooms, while rewarding just 280 will prove to be a sustainable long term solution to the overall industry challenges.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Loveridge: Deadly reality strikes the Barbados Tourism Authority, but opportunity awaits!

“Any entity, whether private or public, operating for such a long time without a specific mandate that ensured spending was cost-effective and directly related to a reasonable return on investment is simply unacceptable.” 

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I have always tried to stay away from the various personalities that have been entrusted to guide our number one foreign currency generator, but it would have been almost impossible not to comment on the remarks accredited to the outgoing Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Industry recently.

If accurately reported, there certainly was some very robust and frankly blunt language used including describing the agency as ‘a slothful, wasteful and inefficient organization in an increasingly dynamic technologically-driven and commercial industry’.

Perhaps, in less colourful words, this has been stated by many in the sector repeatedly over several years, so why is it after more than three years at the helm, only being recognised now?

And if you analyse the figures, why were corrective measures not put into place much earlier?

After assuming the position of Chairman in May 2011 that year only recorded two months of long stay visitor decline.

However, by April 2012 Barbados witnessed a reduction in arrivals for 21 consecutive months. Sadly the release of tourism numbers seem to get later and later each month, with the May 2014 figures taking a staggering 60 days to be posted on the Barbados Statistical Service website. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Will Owen Arthur write his memoirs?

David-Jessop

Who will write our Caribbean history?

By David Jessop

As far as I can determine, few if any of the current group of Caribbean Prime Ministers, or opposition leaders keeps a diary recording events and conversations of importance. Moreover, on demitting office no longer does there appear to be any desire to produce an autobiography or even encourage a biography explaining the detail of their experience in government or in politics. The same holds true for the private sector.

Unlike their counterparts in other parts of the world senior Caribbean figures either do not have the time, or they lack the desire to explain to history what drove them, or the reasons why decisions, domestic, regional, or international were taken or avoided.

It was not always so. Many internationally respected figures in the region’s past, including Michael Manley, Errol Barrow, and Edward Seaga, and some who came before, either wrote about their experience, their philosophy, or to a lesser extent their exchanges with colleagues and regional counterparts; while a small number of others, with or without permission, have published books about regional figures.

Some like the late Tom Adams and a few of the region’s diplomats carefully recorded while in office the events and conversations that changed the region; but almost without exception, these private records have yet to see the light of day.    Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, History, Political Corruption

A Bit of Barbados History: 1855 letter to W.W. Somerville, 69th Regiment of Foot in Barbados

barbados letter 1855 front  (click photo for large)

by Cliverton

There was a time on this rock when governments, both colonial and post-independence, did everything they could to erase every vestige of our origins. It was almost as if some people thought we could progress only if we forgot about the past. What foolishness!

Our government left gorgeous plantation houses and noble public buildings to rot – forgetting (or maybe not forgetting) just who built these structures: slaves and the children of slaves. Not satisfied with destroying historical buildings, they also let the humidity, salt air and rot take care of books, letters and historical objects. The destruction was so long term and widespread that it simply must have been deliberate.

It is true to say that much of Barbados history has faded away irrecoverably – gone forever.

So it is that when I see a tangible bit of Bajan history I get excited, because I know that with a little bit of work on the internet I will discover so much more about this piece of soil where my navel string is buried.

Today’s discovery is offered by Scotia Philately – a letter to Medical Doctor W. W. Somerville of the 69th Regiment in Barbados, West Indies postmarked September 2, 1855 at Plymouth and stamped received in Barbados on September 21, 1855. That’s nineteen days from England to Barbados, a distance of 3504 nautical miles for an average speed of 7.5 knots postal stamp to postal stamp. Meaning that the Royal Mail sailing vessel probably averaged over 10 knots on the journey. Clippers (fast sailing vessels on the mail and opium runs) could easily make 13 or 14 knots and maintain that speed in all but the worst weather.

Who was Doctor Somerville and why was the 69th Regiment of Foot in Barbados? (or “Barbadoes” as it was then called.)
Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History, Slavery

The real reason greedy Bajan political elites want to dump the Westminster parliamentary system

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

submitted by Not Michael Carrington

“Rare indeed is a Barbados Cabinet Minister without a bank account in New York, London, the Caymans or Zurich.”

Every few months we hear rumbling from our esteemed political elites that the Westminster parliamentary system is somehow “obsolete” or that it no longer fits a modern society.

Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington recently said the Westminster system “pits Government and Opposition inexorably against each other in aggressive, contentious and oftimes seemingly unnecessary confrontation.”

Mr. Carrington has it only half right. The two parties often go at it aggressively and unnecessarily, but not because of the Westminster system – it is because they feel the need to put on a show for the electorate to create the illusion that something is happening. The politicians certainly can’t have the public judging them solely upon actual accomplishments because, well, that just wouldn’t do. This would happen no matter what political system Barbados chose. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized

Beware November… Let’s do something about it now!

rum shop barbados

“We need to drive an additional average of 170 visitors per day over the month to get back to the highs of the previous decade.”

November’s core should be the Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

2014 will mark the hosting of the fifth annual Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival and I firmly believe that this event has enormous further potential, especially as it takes place during November which is traditionally one of our quietest months.

While I understand the challenging logistics of spreading the invited celebrity events over a longer period, there are many additional initiatives that the private sector tourism partners can put into place, which could prolong the benefits.

First I think the entire 30 days could be promoted as a ‘gastronomic’ month with our restaurants, at all levels, offering more affordable eating options.

Perhaps the more innovative car rental companies could smart partner with a selection of the eateries to provide an island-wide lunch ‘passport’, even including our attractions at a reduced entrance fee.

November provides every component to ensure the concept has the highest possibility of success. From the UK, excess seat capacity on the legacy carriers with Virgin and British Airways, plus scheduled charter seats from Manchester with Thomas Cook offering lead-in return fares from GBPounds 322.

Climate is also on our side from certain areas of the US and Canada.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism