Tag Archives: CL Financial Fraud

CL Financial scandal: Government ignores Freedom of Information request, Activist heads to court

CL-Financial-Fraud

At least Trinidad and Tobago has a Freedom of Information law!

What is being pursued here is our right as citizens of a modern republic to the details of these huge expenditures of Public Money – the CL Financial bailout is costing some $24Bn, about $3.5Bn USD! – and the background to how critical legislative support is obtained.  It is my view that S.34 was not the first time and that the spectre of ‘regulatory capture’, which underlines much of the discourse around the Great Depression 2, is in fact founded on a sinister degree of ‘legislative capture’.

Having had a series of ‘cat and mouse’ exchanges with the Ministry of Finance since my Freedom of Information Act application made on 11 May 2012, this is my pre-action protocol letter sent to them by my attorney on Thursday 7 March, seeking their proper reply in 7 days…that time expires at midnight today, Wednesday 13 March.

So stay tuned, because we are going to the High Court after that…

Afra Raymond

15 Comments

Filed under Freedom Of Information, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond reviews the CL Financial – CLICO fraud

CLICO Fraud

Afra Raymond chats with Fazeer Mohammed on the December 10th Morning Edition show giving a year end wrap up of issues including the Colman Commission and The CL Financial bailout. Video courtesy TV6

…click on the photo or here to get to the video

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

CLICO, CL Financial: Trinidad and Tobago Director of Public Prosecutions calls for criminal actions against Duprey, others

Clico CL Financial Fraud

Trini DPP’s letter to Attorney General flowing freely on the internet

A September 10, 2012 letter from the Trini DPP to the Attorney General Ananad Ramlogan calling for Criminal actions against former CEO Lawrence Duprey is circulating freely on the internet and amongst professional journalists in the U.K. and throughout the Caribbean. Carefully worded news articles by the T&T Guardian, Caricom News Network and others report snippets of the letter but don’t quote even 1% of the juicy stuff.

We at BFP aren’t quite sure what we’ll do with this story. Do we publish the entire letter? Some? Bits and pieces?

The letter says that the DPP doesn’t intend to provide details to the public to “in order to avoid others destroying evidence and concealing assets.” Then there follows 25 pages of highly detailed facts including secret companies, secret deals and dirty deeds done dirt cheap on the backs of the public and little shareholders.

We have a feeling that “others’ already have a copy of the DPP’s letter and are busy shredding away records and selling assets if not already done, probably years ago!

But still, we can’t bring ourselves to publish the entire letter right now.

What say all, folks? Should we? Should we not?

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law

Barbados continues the CLICO – Democratic Labour Party cover-up

In Trinidad…

“We are taking the position that CLICO was a massive fraud on the public.”

Ewart Williams, Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Governor, July 6, 2012

Meanwhile, in Barbados there is no mention of the ‘special relationship’ between CLICO and the governing Democratic Labour Party.

No mention at all in this Barbados Advocate article or anywhere else we can find…

Green light for CLICO restructuring

10/27/2012

A plan to restructure CLICO International Life Insurance Limited has been approved by the High Court of Barbados. So too has been the completion of the Forensic Audit into the insurance company’s affairs.

Judicial Manager for the company, Deloitte Consulting Ltd. (represented by Oliver Jordan and Patrick Toppin), made the announcement yesterday afternoon in a press release. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption

Profitable sections of CL Financial sold off… fair price or not?

CL Financial sells Jamaican rum maker Lascelles – Appleton Estate

by Poor RRRicky

The dilemma faced these days not only by CL Financial investors, but by all investors, is that we don’t know who to trust anymore. Recent history is rife with leaders, government institutions and businesses that stole from ordinary people: destroying people, families and lifetimes of work and saving. The CL Financial – CLICO debacle is only one example of many.

As the assets of CL Financial are sold off it is natural to wonder if this is only another method of raping shareholders for their equity. How do we know? Especially when profitable sections of the bankrupt CL Financial are sold, how do we know this isn’t just more of the same going on?

Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey are doing alright – their friends in government looked after them. But how do we know that the same government friends aren’t continuing to strip shareholder value under the guise of bankruptcy management?

I don’t trust them anymore. I did once and look where it got me. I just don’t trust them anymore. Can you blame me?

Campari to buy Jamaican rum maker Lascelles

By Antonella Ciancio and Maria Pia Quaglia
MILAN | Mon Sep 3, 2012 7:31am EDT

(Reuters) – Italy’s Gruppo Campari (CPRI.MI), maker of the eponymous red aperitif, is buying Jamaican rum maker Lascelles de Mercado & Co LAS.JS to boost its presence in growing American markets, as sales in recession-hit Italy lose fizz.

Campari, also owner of Glen Grant whisky, said it agreed to buy an 81.4 percent stake from ailing Caribbean state-owned conglomerate CL Financial, valuing the target at $414.8 million, or around 330 million euros, making it Campari’s third-biggest acquisition behind Skyy vodka and Wild Turkey bourbon.

… continue reading this story at Reuters Edition USA: Campari to buy Lascelles spirits unit

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

“Masterpiece of deception” will extinguish all rights of CLICO Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) holders

The NEL2 Con

by David Walker
Santa Rosa Consulting Team

“Of course all of this is against our laws here in T&T. The company continues to trade while insolvent – illegal. The company has not produced accounts for years – illegal. The company flouts a judgement of the court requiring it to pay according to contract – illegal. Policyholders are denied access even to their own statements of account – illegal. And the list goes on.”

Here we are, at what the authorities hope will be the two closing acts of the tragedy known as CLICO. Firstly there is a final push, through a device going by the name of NEL2, to extinguish all rights and claims of EFPA holders. Secondly we shall witness the winding up and consignment to the dustbin of history, that once all powerful company called CLICO, along with all its books and records.

This article is headlined NEL2 Con but you will have to bear with us while we explain the context in which the con is to be executed. It would be impossible to achieve this masterpiece of deception without all that went before it.

“What we will show you is that many apparently unconnected acts or omissions over the past three years have been for the clear and narrow purpose of facilitating their devious objectives.”

A deliberate program of financial misinformation Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption

CL Financial – CLICO fraud: Dr. Terrence Farrell wilfully blind?

Protecting Sacred Cows…

Our old friend Afra Raymond takes issue with the former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Terrence Farrell and Farrell’s statements in support of the bank’s outgoing governor, Ewart S. Williams.

Considering that Ewart Williams knew in 2004 that CL Financial Group was having serious trouble and was in violation of the law – and that Williams and the Trinidad Central Bank did nothing until the house of cards collapsed, Dr. Farrell’s praise is indeed misplaced and almost comical except for the great human tragedy that the Central Bank’s failures contributed to.

Always an excellent read at AfraRaymond.com:

“The entire scenario reeks of corruption in the highest offices in the Republic and on the largest possible scale.  We are witness to an epic swindle being carried out on our Treasury and in broad daylight.”

from Afra Raymond’s new article The Sacred Cow

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Economy, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados removes assets from CLICO victims: Sam Lord’s Castle to be expropriated by government

CLICO policy holders will never see a dollar for this ‘fire sale’ of assets

submitted by Parris Pauper

The Barbados Government is moving to ‘compulsorily acquire’ the Sam Lord’s Castle ruins and lands. As Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley stated, Sam Lord’s is being acquired “for housing purposes, tourism development and beach access.”

Sam Lord’s Castle has been owned by CLICO for almost ten years (memory fails – if someone has the exact date CLICO purchased Sam Lord’s, speak up please) and is an incredibly valuable piece of property if developed. The hold-up to development approval was always the historic Sam Lord’s Castle building, but just as Barbados Free Press predicted in April 2009 – a fire took care of that little impediment.

If anything, the burning of Sam Lord’s Castle raised the end value of the land because the historic building was totally destroyed and ceased to be a major political obstacle in new development. Only the facia remains and this could be incorporated into any new structure if it doesn’t totally fall down first.

With the collapse of CLICO, the DLP government moved to grab the asset. They didn’t move to protect the public interest in the historic building before the CLICO collapse because Leroy Parris, David Thompson and the DLP were tight as thieves and the idea was to allow Parris to let the building fall to ruin, then maximize the profit from the lands.

And there was also that one little sticking point about the DLP never acting responsibly at the time to protect the interests of Bajans: Prime Minister Thompson and Leroy Parris were godfather to each other’s children. Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer for over a decade when the company failed to file financial statements and broke the law, and CLICO Parris et al were major financial contributors to the DLP.

CLICO was a very messy conflict of interest indeed for Thompson and the DLP.

Fortunately for the DLP though, David Thompson is now conveniently dead and revered instead of being subject to what would have been a tsunami of Opposition attacks over the CLICO cover-up and conflicts of interest.

Now the DLP government is going to take Sam Lord’s and sell it to make some good profits. Or… perhaps sell it to friends at a low price so the friends can make the profits and kickback some contributions to the DLP. That’s how things work around here, you know.

Here is the one truth in my article that you should remember above all else if you are a CLICO policy holder or other victim…

The Barbados Government will never pay CLICO for Sam Lord’s Castle. No matter whether the asset is fairly valued or under-valued, not one dollar of government money will be transferred to the assets of CLICO where the money could benefit the victims.

Instead there will be some finagling with the books and some credit or swap against CLICO’s real or contrived debt to the government coffers.

The pillaging of the good CLICO assets continues to the ultimate detriment of the poor suckers who believed that the Barbados Superintendent of Insurance and the Barbados Government were looking after policyholders’ interests.

Parris and his gang were able to do what they did only because they had the cooperation and friendship of Caribbean governments. Indeed, it could truly be said that in the case of Barbados, CLICO, Parris and Thompson owned the DLP government.

Policyholders: kiss your assets goodbye.

Further Reading

BFP, October 21, 2010: Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP, April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Afra Raymond on CL Financial Inquiry: “We have a fight on our hands to get at the facts.”

Big Shot lawyers try to limit Afra Raymond’s testimony before Colman Commission

Look at them squirm, my friends. The one thing they don’t want is ordinary folks to have the chronology of the CL Financial fraud simply laid out as Afra did in his PowerPoint Presentation. The lawyers for the Central Bank, Lawrence Duprey, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Andre Monteil want thousands of papers, annotated with footnotes, references, circles and arrows, indexed, crossed-referenced and filled with phrases like “NOTWITHSTANDING LACK OF NOTICE TO THE PARTIES OF THE PROPOSED BUT UNFULFILLED ACTIONABLE EVENT…”

They sure didn’t want Afra’s simple PowerPoint presentation.

Yup, big shot lawyers love boxes and boxes of materials that make a simple series of individual frauds look too complex to get a handle on. Anything to obscure facts that show their clients’ intent, involvement, negligence or crimes.

Big shot lawyers hate a simple chronology that shows what their clients did, how they did it, and provides a few choice quotes that show their clients are Guilty as Hell. Lawyers hate the simple, the understandable.

PowerPoint: “What did they know and when did they know it?”

Afra Raymond has his full PowerPoint presentation up at his website AfraRaymond.com, along with some new videos and posts about what’s happening at the Colman Commission into the failure of CL Financial.

No wonder the lawyers aren’t happy about having Afra hanging about the Colman Commission – he makes it all so clear and easy to understand. Swing by Afra’s website for an eyefull, but if you are a CLICO or CL Financial victim make sure you’ve taken your blood pressure meds today. You’re gonna need them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments

Big problems with CL Financial bailout, Colman Commission obstruction

CL Financial bailout – The Truth about the Truth

by Afra Raymond

Continuing from last week’s critique of the revised bailout and its implications, I have further concerns as to the process by which the legislation was passed.

I am aware that the Members of Parliament were given a briefing on this matter, so that they would be better informed on this complex matter.  That briefing was conducted personally by the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank, together with their advisers and certain CLICO officials.

The briefing provided background information on these areas –

  • The status of the various outstanding audited accounts;
  • A ‘profile’ of the monies owed in terms of amounts owed to certain classes of policyholders.  I am told that quite a small number of these claimants held a large proportion of the monies being claimed;
  • The various lawsuits/judgments against the Central Bank;
  • The rationale given for extinguishing the right to sue the Central Bank in this matter was that public rights and stability were being given preference over the exercise of private rights.

I am also told that the Members of Parliament were not given copies of the presentations, which seems to have effectively limited them to gaining certain impressions or the limited notes they would have been able to take during the briefing.

That account of events, given to me by more than one Parliamentarian, seems to suggest that the very rationale of the exercise, said to be the elevation of public rights over private ones, could have been subverted.

The reality is that, despite the extensive debate on the matter, this is the position –

  • Accounts – There has still been no proper, clear statement on the status of these CL Financial and CLICO accounts, which is unsatisfactory.  An emerging view is that this is a calculated silence, since the companies are insolvent, which would make the Directors liable for the criminal offence of ‘trading while insolvent’.  That is a considerable issue, which could only be overcome by the State issuing a guarantee to the group’s creditors, which would have exposed the Treasury to the full extent of the huge claims.  The silence is a shabby ‘third way’, which gives a further insight into why the bailout remains untenable to so many of us.
  • There is no publicly-available profile of the monies owed in terms of amounts owed to certain classes of policyholders.  That is a major omission and one can only wonder why the information is being effectively suppressed.  In addition, there were statements that the claims of Credit Unions and Trade Unions will be fully-paid, which seems to be a favourable treatment in comparison to the individual claimants.
  • In respect of the lawsuits and judgments, I do not see how the block on lawsuits against the Central Bank can stop claims in foreign Courts.
  • The rationale of public rights being preferred over private rights is a solid one in a matter of this type, but upon reflection one is left with a different impression.  How can public rights be said to prevail in a situation where the public is denied the essential parts of the picture?

The Parliament benefits from briefings on complex and important matters, but it is unacceptable that those briefings should be somehow shrouded in secrecy.  The Minister of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank need to publish their full Parliamentary briefing, without delay, to remove any lingering doubts.  Good governance, transparency and accountability demand no less.

Florida: Just one of the Duprey family mansions

Non-payment of taxes by top CL Financial executives Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Trinidad and Tobago

British American Insurance fat cats doing fine as policy holders take beating

Cocky BA, CL Financial and CLICO executives have no worries

The numbers have been crunched and the result is what everyone already knew: ordinary BA policy holders will lose. Barbados Today neatly lays it out in a single sentence…

“Thousands of Barbadians who own policies with British American Insurance Company (Barbados) Limited will have to walk away from the insurer without all of what they are owed.” (Barbados Today article here)

A second Barbados Today story about the sale of the new BA office building tells us that although the building was carried on BA’s books with a value of $34 million dollars, it was in fact worth only about half of that.

This outrageous over-valuation of assets is so typical of the entire CL Financial / Clico / British American scandal. Policy holders should remember that company executives made the decisions to over-value assets, and that these decisions were taken for a purpose: to deceive the public and policy holders who believed that the auditors and government regulators were protecting them.

What the public and policy holders didn’t know though, was that the regulators and auditors were more like partners in crime with the CL Financial crooks than unwitting dupes.

Over valuations were only one part of the fraud, for there were other crimes committed too. We published an exclusive story in June, 2009 that showed how CL Financial Group – British American insiders took bribes and kickbacks to have the company purchase land for more than market value…

Court documents sent to Barbados Free Press reveal that a CL Financial Group company involved in a US$300 million dollar Florida land deal – paid more than market value for the land. This happened because the seller of the land provided “incentives” (read “secret commissions”, “bribes” or “gifts”) to company insiders in return for having CL Financial Group purchase the land for more than it was worth.

from BFP’s story CL Financial Group Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

Partners in Crime then. Partners in the cover-up now.

Government regulators, company auditors & British American Insurance executives – can you really tell them apart?

For years Bajans faithfully made those investments, premium payments and pension contributions. We trusted our Government’s oversight of the Insurance industry. We didn’t ask if our pension funds were segregated and protected: we knew they were because that was the law and we had auditors and government to keep an eye on the insurance companies.

We were lied to: by British American, by our government and by the auditors.

We trusted our government leaders – who took political contributions from CL Financial companies and then looked the other way when those same companies violated the rules, gambled with our money and stole what they didn’t lose.

Then when that house of cards, that Ponzi scheme, collapsed – our DLP Government protected CLICO CEO Leroy Parris and all his friends. And lest the BLP Opposition gloat, we remind Owen Arthur that he was in thick as thieves too.

Once again the ordinary folks who trusted these fine leaders get the backhand, while the crooks continue to live the good life with no worries.

No one will go to jail for what happened, no matter the evidence. You can take that to the bank… which is exactly what Leroy Parris and his friends are doing.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

CL Financial Fraud: 31 months of government control and no accounts yet!

UPDATED: November 9, 2011 – 6pm

Afra Raymond testified today at 2pm before the Colman Commission into the CL Financial collapse. No word if the video or audio of his testimony will be made available.

CL Financial bailout – The Final Solution?

by Afra Raymond

The new bailout formula was approved, as two new Acts, by Trinidad and Tobago Parliament on 14th September, 2011…

The Central Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The Purchase of Certain Rights and Validation Bill, 2011

The first one prevents any lawsuits against the Central Bank by claimants, while the second gives the Minister of Finance the right to borrow up to $10.7Bn and places the Republic Bank Ltd. (RBL) shares formerly held by CLICO into a new investment vehicle, NEL 2.

A perversion of our Treasury

These seem to represent what I am calling the Final Solution, in that the clamour and protest which had marked the last year seems to have been fading away.  There have been queries from the various ‘Policyholders’ groups’, but those have been limited.

Whatever one thinks of the actual bailout, which I maintain is a perversion of our Treasury, there are valuable lessons to be learned from all this.  The main lesson for me is the Power of the Few. 

In that although only about 16,000 investors were affected, they were able to mount a successful campaign to improve their position.  We need to note that lobbying and campaigning can be effective in gaining benefits for limited groups.  To all the weak-hearts who say nothing ever changes, please take note. Continue reading

3 Comments

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

New car for CLICO crook Leroy Parris?

By now I think that everybody on the island has heard the rumour that CLICO’s Leroy Parris purchased a brand new Jaguar XJ. Nice car!

One thing I don’t understand though: where did Leroy get the time to shop for a new auto? I thought he’d be spending all his free moments looking for those hundreds of millions of dollars of missing CLICO assets.

Oh Dear! Barbadians know that Parris will never be held accountable for the missing assets because it probably involved former Prime Minister David Thompson who was CLICO’s lawyer for the decade when they broke the law and failed to file annual accounts.

Freundel Stuart’s DLP Government doesn’t want to touch that situation at all.

You know, as a CLICO policy holder I think I at least deserved dinner, a show and a couple of drinks from Leroy before he did what he did to me. At least with dinner and a show I’d be able to say I got something out of the relationship.

submitted by RLL

34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law

Victor Stewart on Sam Lord’s Castle and how CLICO pillaged our island

As part of the family that owned Sam Lord’s Castle before the Marriotts, and as a current landowner at Castle Close, I find the whole CLICO subject to be somewhat ridiculous.

Isn’t it obvious what is going on??? CLICO came into Barbados with the support of powerful people in government, and proceeded to pillage our fair Island.

One of the obvious and terrible casualties was my family home (and what our family had raised to equal status with then-nacent Sandy Lane in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a premier resort hotel) that was part of our national heritage. Apparently nobody cares about tradition any more, but Barbados has a long and honoured tradition of respecting the rule of law and more particularly English common law and equity principles of how to conduct business with the people in your community. All of this has been apparently lost in the fight for political power, but I will make a prediction that sooner or later the people of Barbados will rise up and demand an explanation for what has been done in their name.

I can only pray that the burned-out shell that used to be my family’s and this Island’s delight might one day be reconstituted, unlike the sad arson memorial that is Farley Hill. Only time will tell.

Victor E. Stewart
Castle Close, St. Philip

Further Reading

BFP: October 22, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle as an over-valued asset in the CLICO – CL Financial pyramid fraud

BFP: October 21, 2010 Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP: April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

8 Comments

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

CLICO Indian Fraud: Should Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey go to jail for this alone?

Leroy Parris and good friend Government Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

My friends, you should go to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday to read this article, AND PLEASE DO!

But just in case it disappears from the net as happens in the Caribbean, we’re going to reprint the entire article here. But please… go to Newsday first to read the whole thing, okay?

WARNING: If you’re a CLICO victim, you’re going to be mad as hell after the first paragraph!

‘Clico fronted $38M in Indian business’
By ANDRE BAGOO Monday, October 3 2011

CLICO fronted $38 million in Indian business carried out by a Miami-based broker without the approval of the Central Bank, according to documents disclosed to the Commission of Inquiry into Clico which paint a picture of an insurance company with a long history of breaking the law and hiding key aspects of its operations from its books.

The documents disclose that $29.4 million in interest payments on a secret $302.4 million Home Mortgage Bank loan to Clico for the Lascelles de Mercado transaction was dressed up as “an amount receivable” from parent company CL Financial. Additionally, the company had “significant off balance sheet exposures” to connected companies totalling $2 billion, according to Central Bank estimates. Continue reading

24 Comments

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

Colman Commission secret meeting about Afra Raymond

“Natural Justice is not negotiable.”

From: Afra Raymond
To: judith gonzalez, Colman Commission
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:02 AM
Subject: To the Colman Commission

To – Judith Gonzalez, Secretary to the Colman Commission

Dear Ms. Gonzalez,

I was perturbed to learn, only recently, that the Commission had convened a meeting on Friday 8th July at which one of the items discussed was whether my various submissions should be admitted as evidence and if so, what should be the ‘status’ accorded it.

Here we had the situation of a Public Enquiry into a matter of Public concern, convening a private meeting which discussed as one item of business my inclusion as a witness.  As a participant in the Enquiry, not a party, I was excluded from the discussion as to whether my evidence should be omitted…I was not invited to that meeting and only found about this afterwards, almost in passing. 

I also understand that the various parties are to be given the opportunity to make submissions on those issues on my testimony, on which the Commissioner can make a ruling.

My work on this matter of grave public concern has been a solo exercise, except for the occasional assistance of friends. I am without legal representation at this important forum.

Given the substantial parties involved – all of whom are represented by attorneys – and the limits placed on my input by the Commission’s decision to deny me the status of a party, one can scarcely imagine a more lop-sided scenario than this one. Natural Justice is not negotiable.

All that said, the meeting in question has already taken place, so I am requesting that you give proper consideration to inviting my participation when this matter is next to be discussed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Afra Raymond (www.afraraymond.com)

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

US Embassy Sources: Prime Minister David Thompson was offered CL Financial Board Seat

- Confidential Embassy Cable discusses David Thompson / Leroy Parris conflicts of interest

- “Economic ties between CLF and the PM also reportedly included an offer of a board seat, according to Embassy sources.”

- Who are the confidential “Embassy sources” ???

US Ambassador Brent Hardt: “Collapse of Trinidad’s CL Financial Group Ripples Across The Pond To Barbados”

CLICO's lawyer, David Thompson, helped build the house of cards.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, Barbadians now know another reason why Prime Minister David Thompson and the DLP Government protected Leroy Parris, refused to place a Judicial Manager for CLICO and did not implement Integrity Legislation.

Bajans always knew the whole CLICO-CL Financial / Leroy Parris / David Thompson / DLP connection stank to high heaven, but it is still tremendously saddening to see more evidence that the Thompson/Stuart DLP’s commitment to Integrity and Conflict of Interest laws during 2007 Election Campaign was all a pack of lies.

I am saddened. I wanted to believe David Thompson, Freundel Stuart and the DLP.

Who the hell do I vote for next time?

DLP Integrity Promise was all a pack of lies…

“Thompson’s close personal ties to the head of CLICO and his professional role as chief legal counsel for CLF prior to taking office in January, 2008, have made him vulnerable to opposition charges of conflict of interest in the management of this crisis. Economic ties between CLF and the PM also reportedly included an offer of a board seat, according to Embassy sources. With ties this close it is little wonder that Mottley has held three press conferences in the last three weeks seeking to pin the blame for any fallout from the CLF collapse on the PM. The fact that Mottley,s tactics forced the PM to so quickly mount a televised response shows the danger that the collapse of CLICO poses to him personally.”

… from the March 4, 2009 US Embassy Cable: WikiLeaks 09BRIDGETOWN144

Read the full WikiLeaks US Embassy cable at the above link or here>>>>> Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Economy, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Without fear of punishment CL Financial – CLICO Executives had no limits

“If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.”

This is an edited version of Afra Raymond’s address to the 4th Biennial Business Banking and Finance Conference (BBF4) held at the Trinidad Hilton from 22nd to 24th June, 2011.

The session he participated in was devoted to ‘Lessons from the Financial Crisis: The Resolution of Failed Entities’.

by Afra Raymond

Thanks for the invitation to speak at this forum, it was last-minute, but welcome, since our local Institutions of Higher Learning have not spent the necessary time to explain and analyse this financial fiasco.  I have been very critical of the Institute of Business, the Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Faculties of Economics and Management and the Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance, so it is great to see you making a start on this overdue work.  It is my pleasure to participate in these proceedings.

I want to start by shifting focus to the arena of the mind and the existence of elements such as moral and ethical values, as well as social standards.  In 1971 there was a famous series of psychological experiments in which selected students entered a two-week role-play as prison-guards in control of other people who were playing the role of prisoners.

That experiment was conducted at Stanford University in California and the results were that most of the prison guards adopted cruel behaviour with most of them being upset when the experiment was stopped after only six days.  The entire experiment was filmed and the prisoners suffered from regular acts of wickedness, abuse and sheer perversity – one-third of the guards acted sadistically.

The Stanford Prison Experiment as it is now known, was heavily criticised as being unethical and unprofessional.  Of course the other aspect is that it re-opened the perennial discussion into the nature of things.  The nature of our nature, as it were – ‘Are we humans naturally evil and cruel?’  The learning seems to be that well-adjusted and reasonable people can very quickly lose their moral compass in a situation with a lack of the conventional controls such as disapproval and laws.

The New Norms of the Governing Class…

No surprise to those familiar with history and politics, but the lesson for us in T&T is that…

If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.

We have never had a strong tradition of detecting and punishing White-Collar Criminals, so if we are to make a start in terms of the resolution of failed entities, that has to be the starting-point.  We cannot reconstruct or resolve the failed entities if we do not change that aspect of our culture – the absence of consequence has to be abolished. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Ethics, Offshore Investments