Tag Archives: Barbados Corruption

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart: Lack of anti-corruption laws not important

Freundel Stuart Barbados

BBC does a little promotional video about our excellent Transparency International perceived corruption rating, and the PM chirps in.

Not a word from the BBC about the broken promises by the DLP and how they failed to deliver anti-corruption laws. Not a word about the past and passed PM David Thompson money-laundering for his friend Leroy Parris.

The Barbados Advocate has their own opinion: Perfect place ’bout hey!

Also nobody talkin ’bout how former Prime Minister Owen Arthur got his self caught stealing campaign funds and putting the money into his personal bank account.

“We know now that on May 15, 2005 while acting as CLICO’s lawyer, David Thompson signed a secret contract between CLICO and Leroy Parris’ private company that in effect deceived shareholders into believing that Parris was being paid less than he really was.”

…from the BFP article Leroy Parris’ defence of Prime Minister David Thompson rings hollow now

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US State Department: Barbados politicians ask for bribes and business equity in exchange for favours

US State Department Barbados

The US State Department just published its annual Investment Climate Statement for Barbados. There is some wishful thinking in the report, but also some solid reasons why Bim is a good place for offshore investment. As far as the politicians asking foreign businesses for bribes or shares… That’s news?

You can read the whole thing yourself, but here’s our take on a few interesting spots in the report – the good, the bad and the ugly…

Barbados – The Good

Openness To Foreign Investment

The Government of Barbados, through Invest Barbados, strongly encourages foreign direct investment in Barbados.

The government offers special incentive packages for foreign investments in the hotel industry, manufacturing, and offshore business services.

Foreign nationals receive the same legal protections as local citizens. The police and court systems are unbiased in commercial matters, and the government operates in an essentially transparent manner.

The Bad

On December 20, 2012, Moody’s downgraded Barbados’s rating to one notch below investment grade. Moody’s also gave Barbados a negative outlook, meaning that a further downgrade is more likely than an upgrade. With this downgrade, Moody’s rating is in sync with Standard & Poor’s, which downgraded Barbados in July. Fitch Ratings does not rate Barbados. Moody’s cited two main reasons for this downgrade: poor economic growth prospects and government deficit/debt levels. These are generally the same two reasons Standard & Poor’s cited in July.

The regulatory system can be slow at times, and some companies have complained that the Ministry of Finance does not give adequate justification for rejecting a license.

According to the U.N. World Investment Report, Barbados Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) peaked at $464 million in 2008. This was followed by a decrease to $247 million in 2009. In 2010 and 2011 FDI totaled $290 million and $334 million respectively.

The Real Ugly Stuff

Corruption is not a major problem in Barbados, but some U.S. companies have reported unfair treatment by Barbados’ Customs and Excise Department.

Other U.S. companies have reported efforts by political actors to trade political support for payment or partial project ownership.

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Barbados vote buying scandal starts at the top with BLP and DLP leadership

barbados-offshore-money

“How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?”

“Deals are commonplace and state agencies are used to distribute largesse.”

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group.

The Mahogany Coconut Group submits that the real vote buying is in the upper echelons of our society. What we witnessed on Election Day was some voters getting cash, cell phones, iPods and a bill paid here and there. The real votes were bought by those shadows – black and white – who Dr. Don Blackman referred to a few decades ago! Of course Dr. Blackman talked only about white shadows but the corporate landscape has dramatically changed over the years – we now have shadows of all colors and ethnicities.

While we shout from the roof tops about what took place on elections day, we bury our heads in the proverbial sand by refusing to ask one simple question: How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?

We ask Dale Marshall (BLP) to tell us about the successful “cake sales and car washes” that raised their money.

We ask Ronald Jones (DLP) to tell us more about the “$500 here and there” that was given to his party by well wishers.

Let’s face it; elections are now big business and the corporate shadows are well entrenched in both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. Anybody who believes that car washes, cake sales and a five hundred dollar donation here and there, can raise this large amount of money, needs to seriously wake up from their slumber! Continue reading

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Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both?

Barbados Election Corruption

Voter arrested for photographing ballot – only one caught of many!

Did the voter support the DLP or BLP candidate?

by Passin Thru

Why photograph your ballot? To prove your vote so you can receive payment!

Police made an arrest today after a voter was seen about noon using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot while voting. This arrest absolutely proves that the rumours of the past three elections are true: people are being paid for their votes. But this was only voter arrested and obviously this was not the only person bribed to vote. How much were they paid? Who paid them? How many other voters were paid for their vote?

The practice of paying for votes strikes right at the heart of our democracy. This person should be jailed for the full six months penalty and all inquiries should be made with the party and candidate supported by the arrested voter. The voter’s jail sentence should be doubled if he or she doesn’t tell the name of the person who paid them for their vote.

The results in that constituency  should be nullified and a new election should be held.

Biscuits and Tinned Beef

In ‘de good ol day’ candidates would drive through the village handing out tinned beef, biscuits and rum. The corruption is a little more sophisticated these days with voters required to document their vote via cell phone camera. That was the rumour and now we know it is for truth.

Was the voter putting his mark on the DLP or BLP? Bajans deserve to know!

Arrested for photographing ballot

One person is in police custody following an incident in a polling booth where the individual reportedly took a cell phone picture of the ballot after it was marked with an x for one of the candidates contesting the 2013 general election.

The incident occurred after allegations surfaced that some individuals were paying Barbadians for their vote in the 2013 election.

CBC understands that the incident occurred just after midday and that the individual is likely to be charged with breaching the requirement of secrecy in an election.

Legal officials have told CBC that the penalty for such an offence on summary conviction is six months in jail.

… thanks to the CBC for the news story and the photo!

Also see CBC’s Cash for Votes

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Two cheques prove it doesn’t matter if DLP or BLP win Barbados election

"Campaign Donation" deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

“Campaign Donation” deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

During the 2007-2008 election campaign, then Opposition Leader David Thompson produced a cancelled $75,000 cheque proving that Owen Arthur deposited a ‘campaign donation’ into Arthur’s personal bank account.

In other words, at best Prime Minister Owen Arthur stole $75,000 from his own party’s political donations, and at worst that the $75,000 was a straight bribe to the Prime Minister – disguised as a ‘campaign donation’ that was never intended to make it into the BLP’s bank account.

David Thompson jumped all over this, and ran the DLP election campaign on promises of personal and party integrity, and to implement ITAL: Integrity Legislation, Transparency and Accountability Legislation. Thompson promised Freedom of Information within 90 days and Conflicts of Interest Rules immediately.

David Thompson and the DLP lied.

Then we had the CLICO mess where it was learned that Thompson had performed all manner of unethical acts when he was CLICO’s lawyer. After being elected the corruption continued with Thompson and the DLP using the CLICO business jet for free and money-laundering for his old friend Leroy Parris.

At the time of the big collapse, David Thompson issued a phoney invoice from his law firm to CLICO – without the knowledge of Thompson’s law partners. His friend Leroy Parris approved the cheque $3.3 million dollar cheque to the Thompson law office – but that cheque went straight back to Parris through David Thompson on January 16, 2009! That’s right folks… while David Thompson was the Prime Minister of Barbados and within days of the CLICO collapse.

Clico Parris Theft

(click photo for larger)

It’s called theft. Stealing. Money Laundering… and Prime Minister David Thompson did it!

Owen Arthur and the BLP are thieves. David Thompson, Freundel Stuart and the DLP are thieves.

Two cheques – two corrupt political parties.

So tell it true, folks: does it really matter if either the BLP or the DLP form the next government?

I think not.

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Violet Beckles supporter rants – but on a foundation of truth

Al Barrack scandal started under the BLP. The Violet Beckles scandal touches BLP and DLP

Al Barrack scandal started under the BLP. The Violet Beckles scandal touches BLP and DLP and so many lawyers!

Violet Beckles scandal nothing less than massive land fraud by lawyers, politicians

Submitted as a comment by BFP reader ‘Look’

The BLP throughout the year embarked upon numerous issues, any and everything they could think of to sink the DLP ship. Arthur just months ago reported to Midweek Nation that REDjet might still be flying if government has honored its commitment to the collapsed airlines. Arthur, apparently did not consider FACT that Bajans owe REDjet nothing, absolutely nothing but indeed owe Al Barack millions. Barrack has in his possession a court ordered judgment; REDjet does not.

Mia Mottley fusses to the Nation News (July 2012) that government owes more than $100 million to the University of West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus and called for an “urgent” permanent solution to the mounting debt problem. Laugh. Go ahead and laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Government at moment owes Al Barrack $77 million, a mounting debt problem that occurred because Arthur was into folly with Julie Price, had hit upon one of his drinking binges and or was sleeping. Barrack wants to get paid. Barrack has in his possession a court ordered judgment, Bajans must pay. Mottley herself has taken possession of property that belongs to Violet Beckles not her. David Thompson investigated Violet Beckles claim of which involves the BLP administration, and the National Housing Commission (NHC), a government entity. . . . . moving tax numbers from one person with deed to another person with no deed and no proof of sale. . . . massive land fraud. Continue reading

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Kickbacks at Queen Elizabeth Hospital: Supplier “a shadow company” ?

bribery.jpg

Something ‘on the side’ as Bajan as whistling frogs

Call it ‘consulting fees’ or whatever you like. Everybody on this little rock knows what you’re talking about. It’s that extra one percent or ten percent or twenty percent that taxpayers pay for everything; for every road project, for every new school desk, for every latch and toilet in the new prison. For everything.

And it has cost our children and our grandchildren and Barbados the greatness we have sought and so rightly deserve. It undermines our economy. It teaches our young people that success comes from manipulation and theft, not hard work. These ‘consulting fees’ are never asked for, never offered in a direct manner. It is subtle and incideous because it is so casual and difficult to prove. And on this little rock, no one likes to say too much about the subject.

Now it is done subtly, never with too much flash like the old days… and it works like this:

I want that government contract for that new school, or new road or new batch of medical supplies for the hospital. You have the ability to make that contract happen, or to influence the information that the deciding government official bases the purchasing decision upon. You also have a son who wants to go to school over and away. So… my company hires your son as a ‘consultant’. Maybe he gets some ‘reports’ or ‘research’ for my company to make things look good. Then my company pays your son in the UK while he’s going to school.

And my company gets that contract.

See? Nothing wrong there! Just people doing business. Can anybody prove there is a trade? Can anybody prove that the consultant job is related to the government contract? See? Nothing wrong there!

Except… there is something wrong…

Bajans for Prosperity says…

Duguid recently pointed out on national airways that certain items were being purchased by the QEH from J&R World Trade at rates substantially higher than could be obtainable locally. Duguid has called J&R a “shadow company”.  Although  J&R claims to have been in business for 25 years, we are not of the opinion that Duguid is entirely wrong. We are convinced that J&R is in fact one of the companies through which (Name removed by BFP editor) makes certain arrangements to inflate costs and put extra cash from the QEH into his pocket. If it is not his own pockets being lined, then as (position removed by BFP) we believe that he should take all the blame nonetheless for the purchasing scandal nonetheless. Continue reading

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Prevention of Corruption Act not law – probably will not become law. “Timed to fail”

no time left

We at BFP don’t share the enthusiasm of the traditional press. We don’t think the Prevention of Corruption Act will become law before the next election. We think it’s all timed to fail.

 

What say our readers?

Timing is everything, and time has run out for Integrity Legislation

The DLP are congratulating themselves with the passing in the Lower House of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2012 – timed exquisitely to coincide with the latest release of Transparency International’s perceived corruption index.

Amidst the celebrations in the local press is a distinct lack of questioning: Why only now? Why not in 2011 or 2010? Why did the bill sit for years with nothing happening?

Why only now? That’s easy!

The Barbados Advocate makes point number one: The act isn’t law yet. Several more steps are needed…

“This is not to say, of course, that the Prevention of Corruption Act 2012 is yet law. It still has to be debated in the Upper House and, after that, it will have to be proclaimed into force. But the necessary first step was retaken two days ago after an earlier attempt at debate last July saw the Bill being referred to a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament for further consideration.”

… from The Barbados Advocate story On preventing corruption

Point two: The election will be called before the act becomes law.

Barbados Free Press predicted the current scenario several years ago. We predicted that the Democratic Labour Party government would go slow on Integrity Legislation, then pass it through the Lower House at the last moment before the next election. The act would then die before being proclaimed as law – allowing the DLP to claim they kept their promise while keeping the law from becoming reality.

Those piggies at the trough don’t want any gatekeepers, ya know!

AND DON’T FORGET: Integrity Legislation whatever it is called is of limited value when there is no Freedom of Information. The DLP promised Freedom of Information legislation too but it died years ago.

Nope. We’ll save our celebration, folks. This Prevention of Corruption Act is not law, and if I were a betting man, I’d bet it will not become law prior to the next election. Of course if the DLP figures it will lose the election, they might pass it quickly as a spoiler for the BLP, but that is a 2nd choice for the DLP because they doan want to face the Prevention of Corruption Act when it is their turn to again form the government.

Those bad bad bad Blogs…

Why, to listen to the debate in Parliament you’d think that the most evil things in the world are the Bajan blogs.Well my friends, there wouldn’t have been talk of Integrity Legislation without the blogs.

How dare those blogging citizens point out the corruption by elected and appointed government officials! How dare we point out the CLICO mess where Prime Minister David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer when the bad stuff was happening! How dare we point out that Thompson as PM had a terrible conflict of interest with government policy about CLICO – the company his law firm made millions from!  How dare we point out that Thompson’s law firm received commission on the purchase of CLICO’s business jet! How dare we point out that Thompson’s government made incredible concessions to CLICO and also looked the other way when CLICO broke the rules.

Heck, Thompson himself was CLICO’s lawyer when the law about filing financial statements was ignored for years and years! The boys in Parliament can criticize blogs all they want: just so the Prevention of Corruption Act becomes law.

We at BFP don’t share the enthusiasm of the traditional press. We don’t think the Prevention of Corruption Act will become law before the next election. We think it’s all timed to fail.

What say our readers?

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Charges against CZMU Director politically motivated by election, ongoing Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary litigation?

Why now? Why not charge Brewster years ago?

Brewster did nothing different than many government officials!

Barbados Today is reporting ‘insiders’ say that six charges are pending against CZMU Director Dr. Leo Brewster, but this is years after Brewster’s corrupt activities came to light. Why charges now? Why not a year or two ago?

The circumstances under which Dr. Leo Brewster was recently placed on leave from his position as Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit are perhaps more complex than one would think.

There is an election on the way and as people on this rock know – a nearby election usually means some public actions designed to show that the government is in control and doing the right thing. Yup, election time is always a busy time ’bout this place. Investigations and charges can fade away later (like Hardwood Housing and so many others – Remember Owen Arthur stealing a political donation cheque? Remember Liz Thompson’s husband?) but it’s important to show some action at election time!

Brewster a BLP Government appointee

You also have to consider that Dr. Brewster was an Owen Arthur BLP government appointee and that the corruption took place under the Barbados Labour Party government. That makes it nice and convenient for the DLP to push for charges.

There is also an ongoing international lawsuit against the government of Barbados brought by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – that might have something to do with CZMU work subcontracted to Brewster’s private company. Continue reading

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Prime Minister Stuart and the FBI report: When idiocy meets the politics of corruption

“Campaign Donation” deposited into Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. DLP & BLP politicians engage in corruption  without fear that the next government will investigate and lay charges.

The DLP doesn’t want to see the FBI report any more than the BLP does

Nobody wants to break the DLP – BLP agreement that no corruption charges will be laid

Ten years ago, then Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur publicly acknowledged that the US FBI had delivered to him a report on the corrupt activities of Barbados ‘public officials’ – whatever was meant by the term ‘public officials’ at the time. Were the ‘public officials’ elected? Appointed? Both? Bajans never knew because the moment the news of the report appeared, that was the end of the story as is usual ’bout hey…

Until the other night in Parliament when Owen Arthur and our accidental Prime Minister had it out in a child-like ‘Did so!’ – ‘Did not!’ exchange.

Said PM Stuart about the FBI report…

“One of the first things that my predecessor in office [late Prime Minister David Thompson] enquired about in my presence at Government Headquarters on the Friday after the general election, was that FBI report.

“It could not be found anywhere, although that honourable Member [Arthur) had said that it was received, and he was aware it was on his desk.”

…Prime Minister Freundel Stuart talks about David Thompson trying to find the FBI corruption report.

Big news for the DLP and the Prime Minister: The FBI has a copy of their own report! (Gasp!)

Here we are heading for five years of DLP government and only now our PM (and former Attorney General) raises the issue of the ‘missing’ FBI corruption report? When the report couldn’t be found back in 2008, did PM Thompson or his Attorney General Stuart ask the FBI for another copy? Nope, they didn’t.

I guarantee that if the FBI delivered a report to the Government of Barbados, that agency would have a copy of it filed away. There is NO WAY that the FBI would deliver a report to a foreign government and not keep an exact copy of what was delivered. The current little stage play in Parliament is nothing more than politics at its worst.

If the DLP government really wanted a copy of the FBI report, they could have arranged to have it… but they didn’t really want it.

The DLP deceived Bajans about Integrity Legislation, FOI, conflict of interest rules…

The DLP was elected largely because of the public disgust with the open corruption of the Arthur/Mottley government and the DLP’s promise to implement Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information as a priority in their first 100 days in office. The DLP also promised to put conflict of interest rules and a Ministerial Code in place “immediately” on the first day in office.

The integrity and corruption issue was what pushed the DLP over the top to victory in the January 2008 election – that much was stated clearly at the time in both the Bajan and UK news media.

But almost five years later the DLP government hasn’t laid a single corruption charge against anyone – although the government has had ample time and opportunity. The promised Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation will never become law prior to the next election. It will die with this last session of Parliament. The conflict of interest rules and Ministerial Code were never declared.

You see folks, the DLP and the BLP have had this agreement for 20 years and more: lots of shouting and talk and accusations, but no real action, no charges against each other. Neither party wants to start what would be a destructive war that might consume all, and therefore neither party will ever lay corruption charges against other politicians.

It just wouldn’t be wise for either party to start that kind of a fight.

And the public interest be damned to hell… the politicians don’t want to stop their ability to make something on the side.

Further Reading

Readers are encouraged to visit The Nation to read the below article online, but we have to reprint it here in its entirety as The Nation sometimes removes news stories for political reasons…

Bring it!

TEN YEARS AFTER controversy first arose over an alleged FBI probe of Barbados public officials, the issue was resurrected late last night in the House of Assembly. Continue reading

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Firebombing followup: Barbadian businessman’s family still stalked

by David Weekes

Two nights ago two men came back to my cul-de-sac at maynards.

When my neighbours came in, (the same Brits who were firebombed last week Tuesday), the men DID NOT BUDGE when the lights of the car the visitors were driving, shone on them.

These stalkers remained unconcerned about the fact that they were bathed in the car’s headlights.

The Brits remained in their car for 5 minutes. The men remained in the cover of the overgrown bush and trees and DID NOT MOVE.

The visitors finally made a dash for the house and there they called the police who arrived five minutes later. By the time the Police arrived the men had left.

Yesterday I left the house to go for some foodstuff. During that time a white truck started to do what I can only describe as stalk the area. Take a look at the video my daughter made of the vehicle that was loitering in my area for about 15 minutes. (Link here if the embedded video doesn’t work.)

Watch how when she goes to one side to video the vehicle they reverse to the other side and watch how she moves to that side they drive forward. She (unfortunately) did not call the police. She was not able to get their truck number. My neighbours were sleeping at the time.

By now most readers may realise that I am not as paranoid as some detractors to this firebombing incident have claimed that I am. My neighbours indicate that the police still think it is a prank even in the face of these two men who are unafraid and do not shy away, even if the full glare of headlamps.

I must now spend thousands of dollars to clean lots 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 31, 26, 27, 22 and 23 around my home that respective owners have left unattended, spots where the bush is so high and provides lurking areas for these emboldened stalkers.

Of course to date my attempts to reach The Rt. Hon Owen Arthur and the Rt. Hon. Haynesley Benn (the BLP & DLP representatives respectively) have been unsuccessful. To the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Navanethem Pillay, she who so recently passed through Barbados. I would only say that all is not so hunkadorie in this “Gem of the Caribbean Sea”,

My daughter and I, and my UK neighbours, have become veritable prisoners in our homes at the mercy of what the police call “pranksters”

If I should fall here Lupo, do not let me fall alone.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law

Why Prime Minister Stuart never mentions Freedom of Information legislation anymore

DLP thick as thieves with Parris, Duprey, CLICO & CL Financial

by Nevermind Kurt

It is readily apparent to anyone without a political agenda that the introduction in Parliament of the DLP’s promised Integrity Legislation was strategically withheld for the last four years so the DLP could again use the issue in the coming election. Their lies fooled the voters last time, so why not use the same technique again?

The obvious plan is to have the legislation ‘almost’ make it through this session of Parliament, but not be declared as law. That has been the intent all along: to have the legislation stillborn so a/ the current government would not have to conform to integrity rules, and b/ the current government can now say “We almost made it except for the damn Opposition. Give us one more term to finish it.”

Fool me once, etc…

How quickly the electorate forgets that the DLP promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information within the first 100 days. The DLP also promised to introduce a Ministerial Code including conflict of interest guidelines “immediately upon forming a government”. That code was to have been a policy declaration and could have been implemented on the very first day as promised.

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

The DLP didn’t introduce any of these promises because as it turned out Prime Minister David Thompson and his gang were thick as thieves with Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey of CLICO and CL Financial infamy. It also turned out that David Thompson and his law firm were money-laundering for Parris. (That’s the auditors talking, not us, and you can read about it here.)

Under those situations and many more questionable activities of the DLP, it’s no wonder that the current government didn’t keep its promises concerning integrity legislation. A big part of the DLP/CLICO/Parris/Duprey relationship would have immediately become illegal under the new legislation and there’s no way that Thompson or Stuart would permit that.

So the DLP leadership lied to get elected and then delayed, delayed, delayed integrity rules until the DLP was well into its fifth year of majority government when the designed-to-be-stillborn legislation could be produced again at the right moment like a rabbit from a magician’s hat.

What happened to the Freedom of Information Act?

Prime Minister Stuart has been in the papers recently pulling out the Integrity Legislation, telling folks “It’s coming!” and setting up the public so the DLP won’t be blamed when the legislation doesn’t make it into declared law in time for the next election. Stuart fully intends that the promised integrity legislation “almost made it!” will be an asset, not a liability during the coming election.

But he never mentions Freedom of Information anymore.

The reason that the DLP never mentions FOI is that the thieving politicians know that Freedom of Information is the key to making the integrity legislation a real threat to the way things are ’bout hey.

Freedom of Information legislation gives ordinary citizens an easy and economical means to legally force the government to provide copies of documents and information that citizens need to hold officials accountable. Integrity Legislation isn’t much use if you can’t force the government to surrender the paperwork that proves offences. Stuart and the DLP know this and THAT is why FOI became a non-subject.

Look at the plight of David Weekes – and know why the Government hates Freedom of Information

David Weekes is an ordinary Bajan man trying to sue the CARICOM government and the cartels that run this place. PM Stuart won’t provide him with the CARICOM ratification documents he needs for his case. These are documents that every citizen should have a right to see, but the Barbados government is denying them to Weekes to spoil his case… and some people are so upset with Weekes that he believes (and we do to) they tried to burn down his home. With no Freedom of Information legislation and process, ordinary citizen Weekes has no effective means of forcing the government to provide the public documents that he needs.

That’s why the BLP and DLP elites and their cartel cronies have never implemented any kind of Freedom of Information rules and process: they desperately want to keep information out of the hands of citizens.

The thieving politicians simply don’t want the little people to become empowered by knowledge and access to public documents.

And that, my friends, is exactly why the DLP will not implement Freedom of Information and why the Opposition BLP is silent too.

Nevermind Kurt

Further Reading about Barbados political elites and (cough, cough) ‘integrity’

September 24, 2011: Prime Minister Owen Arthur “invested” YOUR money in Nigeria. A predictable result.

August 28, 2011: We told you so! Integrity Legislation buried in a dark hole

October 17, 2009: Prime Minister Thompson’s new strategy for avoiding Integrity Legislation, FOI

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

British tourists firebombed in Barbados: Mistaken identity over anti-government lawsuit.

Barbadian businessman says his home was the real target

Four British tourists just learned what most Bajans already know: litigation, especially against government, is dangerous business in Barbados.

The Brits rented a holiday home not knowing that it was next door to the family home of David Weekes: a Barbadian international businessman who has become a very inconvenient thorn in the side of both the Barbados and CARICOM governments.

“David Weekes told this newspaper he was certain his home was the target of what he suggested was a fire bomb. Weekes explained that since his house was the only one in the area which was normally occupied, the assailants or assailant could have aimed their wrath at the next door home because the lights in it were on.”

… from the Barbados Today article Fire bombed

At 2am on Tuesday April 3, 2012, an unknown person (or maybe more than one) firebombed the Brits’ holiday rental home with two exploding incendiary devices. Fortunately, no one was injured – but next time it could be different.

Why do we say “next time” people could be injured? Because there will be a next time, if not in the Weekes case then in some other legal battle. Barbados has a long history of incidents like this related to legal and other disputes. This is certainly not the first arson or similar attack associated with a Barbados court battle and it is unlikely to be the last considering our island’s recent history. We’ll get to that history in a minute, but for now let’s look at the litigation involving Mr. Weekes and the Barbados and CARICOM governments…

“Law Courts of Barbados seems unwilling or incapable of adjudicating my CARICOM civil suit”

… David Weekes, Barbados business owner and inventor

David Weekes is the inventor of a software and hardware visa solution that he claims Caricom stole from his company and used to issue visas during Cricket World Cup. Mr. Weeks claims that he showed the system to Caricom in 2003, and that Caricom used the software and system without his authorization in 2007. Weekes filed a lawsuit in 2007.

Adding credibility to Mr. Weekes’ case is that in October 2006 – just before Cricket World Cup – some Barbados Government people accidentally left a black folder at the Hilton Hotel, Bridgetown. When the staff saw the papers had Mr. Weekes’ name on them, they contacted him. Aha! According to Mr. Weekes, the Barbados Government papers showed that “confidentiality surrounding certain trade secrets Weekes had divulged to CARICOM representatives during many months of meetings had been compromised. Another company got the contract he was expecting.” (see Patrick Hoyos’ column at The Nation: David vs legal Goliath)

‘Normal’ in Barbados lawsuits: Delay the court case. Attack all the family. Steal the home.

David Weekes says powerful, connected lawyers of Carrington & Sealy were able to ‘rush’ their litigation through the Barbados court while stalling Weekes’ litigation.

Now throw in another layer: Weekes borrowed money to patent the visa software, and he put his home up as collateral – with the Barbados Central Bank guaranteeing the loan. Now Mr. Weekes is about to lose his home…

As Mr. Weekes explained it in a recent letter to Barbados Attorney General Brathwaite (and copied to all the news media and blogs – full letter later in our post)…

“(My home) is advertised to be auctioned by none other than (CARICOM lawyers) Carrington and Sealy on April 18th.

The travesty and injustice of this situation can be couched in one salient fact. The same CARICOM lawyers of Carrington & Sealy whom, like you, I have beseeched for the documentation at caption i.e. the Instruments of Ratification, from 2007 until now, are the same parties who have been able to rush concomitant litigation through the Barbados courts and get a judgment against David Weekes and IBIS Latin America Corp – two of the plaintiffs in CARICOM’s litigation!

This Carrington and Sealy, while stalling our substantive CARICOM case, aided by the fact that the Law Courts of Barbados seems unwilling or incapable of adjudicating my CARICOM civil suit, have simultaneously been able to put my company in court and get a civil judgment, against me, in a personal capacity, not my company, for default on a Central Bank backed Guarantee.

This is the same security my company used to finance the commercialization of the technology that I purport that CARICOM purloined!”

… Business person David Weekes in a letter to Barbados Attorney General Brathwaite

For 5 years CARICOM & Barbados Government refuses to provide Copies of Ratification

It gets even worse, folks. The Barbados Government and CARICOM have a real interest in not providing Mr. Weekes with access to government records that will assist his lawsuit… so Prime Minister Stuart and Attorney General Brathwaite put Mr. Weekes on ‘ignore’. He can ask and demand all he wants, but CARICOM and the Barbados Government want him destroyed, so they will not provide the records he needs to pursue his case.

Firebomb! Sue the cartel that runs this place... expect trouble at your family home.

The message of firebombs delivered at 2am

We don’t expect that the police will do anything substantial to find the culprits who arsoned what they thought was the Weekes family home: the police are pre-disposed to look the other way when the victim is suing the government. If you need some examples of this normal police blindness, neglect and complicity, just read on.

The Weekes case is yet another real lesson to international investors who might be considering Barbados as an investment or business location. If the deal goes wrong and you go to court, you will soon discover that litigation in Barbados carries risks that aren’t part of the court process in New York or London – like firebombs at your family home.

Barbados is a wonderful country with good, friendly and loving people – but we have some serious problems with rule of law, less than independent courts, disappearing government files and court cases that take up to 20 years to reach trial. Throw in the usual threats, arson and intimidation against persons who stand up to the small cartel that runs this place and you’ll see that business, investments, oversight and legal recourse in ‘Little England’ aren’t exactly as advertised to prospective foreign investors.

Barbados Free Press has been highlighting this problem for over seven years in hopes of driving change, but this latest arson (yet again!) against a family home shows that when it comes to doing business with and in Barbados… investors and business people had better be prepared for big trouble if it goes wrong – because law suits in Barbados are dangerous business. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Arrest warrant issued for Michael Misick – former Turks and Caicos premier

BREAKING: Misick seeking asylum

Michael Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, says he has sought political asylum in an undisclosed country because of “political persecution”.

“Let be clear. I am not a fugitive, and will never be a fugitive. I have applied for political asylum from another country and I am merely seeking protection from political persecution. I will continue to bring challenges to clear my name and that of my government and colleagues. I dream to return to my homeland as an independent, victorious, proud and free nation.”

Misick said he is convinced that he is being persecuted because of his views and firm plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards Independence .

“ This plan goes counter to the British and their supporters in the Turks and Caicos Islands . That is why stories were fabricated by the opposition, the British and their supporters in order to call for a Commission of Inquiry , ” he added.

Do we believe him? On first blush, not a f’ing chance. But on sober second thought: it wouldn’t be the first time that an innocent man has been set up.

Truth is… we just don’t trust the established system anymore.

Original story…

Corruption, Money laundering alleged

That’s Michael Eugene Misick you’re looking at and what an amateur he is! That’s why he’s in trouble: not for corruption or money laundering because God knows that’s standard operating procedure in the Caribbean. Nope. He’s in trouble because he was sloppy and amateurish. If only he had of followed the lead of so many of our politicians and government officials in Barbados, he’d be on easy street right now with not a thing to worry about.

Nobody in government has to STEAL money or take overt kickbacks. That’s stupid. What he needed to do was to form ‘consulting’ companies or better yet have some friend or relative front a ‘consulting’ company where he was a share holder. Then he could award government contracts to his friend’s company and legally take a dividend because there’s nothing in law to prohibit that.

Oh. Wait a minute… That’s just in Barbados where it is legal for elected and appointed government officials to award government contracts to companies owned by relatives or companies in which they have an interest. In the Turks and Caicos that doesn’t apply because the place is a British Overseas Territory and comes under the anti-corruption legislation of the United Kingdom.

Oh. Now I get it. Now I see why former Premier Misick is the subject of an Interpol Red Alert.

Man, here in Bim we do things so much differently! Take former Prime Minister Owen Arthur for instance… the guy gets caught red-handed depositing a $75,000 ‘campaign donation’ into his personal bank account. The DLP and then Opposition Leader David Thompson publicly rip the hell out of ‘Goin wid Owen’ for corruption and stealing from his own BLP party, call him down to the lowest and then the DLP and Thompson soundly won the 2008 election.

Then David Thompson didn’t prosecute Owen Arthur for corruption. Instead, he appointed him as the head of a Commonwealth team in the Maldives that was tasked with ensuring that the elections were conducted legally! Woaloss!

Then just a few weeks ago we learned that Prime Minister David Thompson was himself involved in money laundering CLICO funds by acting as an intermediary to transfer money from CLICO to his buddy Leroy Parris. This was to conceal from CLICO policy holders how much money Parris was taking from the company. And we still don’t know how much CLICO money went to the DLP political machine or to ‘consultants’ who happened to be related to DLP politicians.

Dirty, dirty, dirty… isn’t it?

Michael Misick is such an amateur.

Further Reading

Stabroek: Warrant issued for arrest of former Turks and Caicos premier

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Misuse of Barbados Government property for DLP political fundraising?

The DLP Democratic Labour Party Barbados (UK) is holding a function on January 28, 2012 at Pembroke House, 9 Roehampton Gate, London SW15 5JR. The price of admission is 20 pounds.

An anonymous source forwarded us a copy of an email sent to Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, asking the PM “Misuse of government property, is this legal???????”

DLP function using Government resources? Click photo for large.

We’ve been unable to determine if Pembroke House, 9 Roehampton Gate, London  is a Barbados government property, but if it is then the event should be moved or cancelled. It is unethical to use government facilities for a political party function. Most countries have rules against this type of thing, but alas, Barbados has no rules at all when it comes to elections financing, conflicts of interest or the use of government facilities for party politics.

Above is the photo of Pembroke House taken from Google – at least we think it’s #9 Roehampton Gate.

The sidebar contains the function notice sent out by the DLP Barbados (UK). Click on the photo for the large version.

How about it, readers… does anyone know if Pembroke House is a Barbados Government property?

Here is the email originally sent to Prime Minister Stuart and others.

We’ve removed the email addresses and date & time it was sent…

From: ‪<‬?????‪_bajan@‬??????‪.com>‬
Date: Jan ?, 2012 at ??????
Subject: Misuse of government property
To: fstuart@???,
CC: mmcclean@???, cburnette@???

Dear Prime Minister,

Misuse of government property, is this legal???????

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Government raids public pension money to fund collapsed Four Seasons Resort project

“This is not about saving the Four Seasons project: it’s about using NIS pension funds to protect private investors who are already in. Who are these private investors?”

In 2009 Avinash Persaud said Four Seasons was all about trust. We trusted. Look what happened. (click photo for large)

Newspaper reports say the Government of Barbados is about to take your pension money from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and loan it give it to the developers of the collapsed Four Seasons project. (Nation report here)

The $60 million dollar “investment” is necessary because no further private money wants to “invest” in the project.

Why don’t private investors want a piece of a project that Finance Minister Sinckler says will yield “massive returns”?

The answer is simple: Private money wants nothing more to do with the project because they believe it is not a viable investment.

Private investors examined the risks, possible profits, projected revenues, tourism projections, project management, and the likelihood of success or failure and determined that only fools would continue to “invest” in the collapsed Four Seasons boondoggle.

“To whom the benefit?”

When Finance Minister Sinckler makes the official announcement later this week, he will talk about the construction jobs and future employment prospects of a re-started Four Seasons project. He will talk about the fact that Barbados government money is already into the project and that we risk that “investment” if we don’t put in more. “In for a penny, in for hundreds of millions” is apparently the motto of the Sinckler government.

(I’d say “Stuart government”, but there’s no proof that Stuart has been running the government up to now, and as for next week, who knows?)

The one thing that Mr. Sinckler will NOT talk about is conflicts of interest. He will not name the investors who are at risk, and who will benefit from the gift of public money. He and his fellow MPs will not declare if they or their close family members have anything to do with the project: as investors, suppliers, contractors, creditors or in any way will benefit from the bailout using your pension funds.

A few questions for Prime Minister Chris Sinckler…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Former Canadian diplomat “Barbados a case study of systemic corruption”

 

“I have come to question the country’s laws and constitution and intend to expose the rottenness of its corrupt system.”

… former Canadian diplomat Isaac Goodine in his new book

Book be released on November 30th – Independence Day?

by Junior Campbell – AllVoices

I persist with Canadian diplomat Isaac Goodine’s story of how he and his family fell victim to fraudsters in my homeland because I believe that any hardship arising from this expose is outweighed by the benefits to Barbadians that may accrue from confronting the corruption that plagues the island.

In his book “How Barbados Works: A Case Study of Systemic Corruption” Goodine declares that his intention is not to tarnish Barbados’ image, but rather to demonstrate that “there are many honest ‘Bajans’ on the island and abroad, who are frustrated by the prevailing corruption in the system and feel powerless to bring about change by themselves.

The silenced majority

These Barbadans Goodine calls “the silenced majority” and states his intention to challenge some of them to tell the truth. He expresses the hope that persons in Barbados’ civil society will help the government and its agencies clean up their act.

“This is also their story.” he says.

“When their victims, local or foreign, lose confidence in them, it is the elites’ lofty positions and corresponding connections that intimidate many into silence.”

AllVoices & Junior Campbell publish Part 2 of excerpts from the soon to be released book by former Canadian diplomat Isacc Goodine: “How Barbados Works: A Case Study of Systemic Corruption

Also see BFP’s previous story: Former Canadian Diplomat to publish Barbados exposé – Corruption, Greed, Opportunism

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Call for civil disobedience to stop Cove Bay Development

Professor Henry Fraser targets conspirators in government and business

“Places like Cove Bay must be protected from concrete, cranes and capitalist conspirators, even if we have to lie in front of the bulldozers”.

Sam Lord’s Castle “betrayed… plundered and pillaged… destroyed by a series of acts of piracy on land”.

Professor Henry Fraser talks with Barbados Today Fight Back!

by Nevermind Kurt

Strong words indeed from one of the academic establishment types, but will Professor Fraser really do it?

Even if he does sit down in front of the construction machines, will he have any company? How old will his friends be? Will his students join him?

The kind of social activism that Henry Fraser is talking about – peaceful but physical acts of defiance against traitorous political and business elites – hasn’t been seen in Barbados for a long, long time. The garbage on the roadside and couldn’t-care-less about over-development attitudes of the under 40 crowd don’t provide much hope for this island’s future.

Look at what the West Coast became as we all watched it happen and that includes yours truly. It didn’t matter whether the DLP or BLP was in government: there was no planning for green space or public access to the beaches. Our greedy politicians and business people like Owen Arthur, the Williams brothers and (insert dozens more names here) conspired to sell off our natural heritage, block off our beaches and spoil our most beautiful views – and we let them do it.

“Why do we continue to allow the elites to pave over our little piece of paradise? I think that’s simple…

No rules or disclosure about election financing means that developers pay big money to the political class. Owen Arthur, David Thompson and Freundel Stuart made decisions against our national interests because they were paid to.”

The politicians we elected for saying fine things about preserving our natural heritage betrayed us for money at every opportunity.

In the May 2003 election Owen Arthur’s cry was “Keep the best of Barbados for Bajans”. Shortly thereafter the government came out in favour of developing destroying Cove Bay. Barbados Tourism Investment said this on their website:

“Cove Bay is a delightful address overlooking the Atlantic ocean to the north of the island. It will provide the investor with one of few remaining opportunities for ocean front residential development, which in itself creates a unique selling point for the project. The site offers several options for other well chosen complementary uses which will enhance the residences by providing services and amenities and possible income opportunities for purchasers.”

from the Barbados Tourism Investment website here. The page is gone now but we preserved it in a February 2007 post here.

The DLP are no better. With all their 2007 campaign talk about stopping the concreting of Barbados and preserving the environment, the first thing they did after gaining power was to remove the protection from the Graeme Hall wetlands so Thompson’s developer friends like Leroy Parris could build on the watershed.

As BFP’s Cliverton once said:

“The DLP promised in writing in their “Pathways to Progress” policy booklet that they would require a 2/3 free vote in Parliament to change agricultural land to allow development.

That’s the promise that Thompson and the DLP put in writing and it’s a promise that they broke with their first piece of legislation that killed the Graeme Hall National Park, and since then in many other cases.

What makes these betrayals possible?

Why do we continue to allow the elites to pave over our little piece of paradise? I think that’s simple… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Environment, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption