Tag Archives: Money Laundering

Barbados Attorney Philip Vernon Nicholls arrested for Money Laundering, Theft of $675,000 from client real estate deal

Philip vernon nicholls attorney

Prominent Barbados attorney-at-law Philip Vernon Nicholls is free on $200,000 bail and will return to court on February 25, 2014 to face charges of money laundering and theft of $674,172.

The offenses are said to involve a foreign real estate client – a method of stealing money that seems all too prevalent amongst Bajan lawyers. (Check out some of BFP’s past stories on this topic: here, here, here, here, here, here and here – get the picture?)

In the past many Bajan lawyers bought their way out of similar theft charges. Until recently most of these complaints were dealt with internally by the Barbados Bar Association until the volume of thieving lawyers walking free so undermined the reputation of Bajan lawyers that the association and the police were forced to really do something. Still though, most lawyers end up buying their way out in a manner quite unavailable to ordinary thieves.

Nicholls has a long association with politicians, governments and government bodies including the Bees, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, insider David Shorey and the Barbados Cricket Association.

The money laundering charge is a first though and we look forward to learning the details about where the money ended up… Switzerland? Jersey? New York? Miami? I wonder if the public will be allowed to know the full details or if a deal will be made to allow another crooked Bajan lawyer to walk free.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: $200,000 bail for lawyer

Stabroek News: Bajan attorney charged with money laundering

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Tax Havens under fire in massive new leak of hidden offshore accounts

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

Washing money, Hiding money

contributed by “M”

Unlike the mainstream media in Barbados which seems disinclined to report on the financial shenanigans of its politicians/public figures (except the $75,000.00 cheque), the media in Canada has no such hesitation, as seen at the attached link to CBC website.  Other major media in Canada are running with the story. While 38 media outlets around the world are probing the data leaks reported in the material reported in Canada by CBC, I do not expect to read about it in the Barbados papers.

Canadian CBC: Senator’s husband put $1.7M in offshore tax havens

Canadian CBC: 450 Canadians in offshore leak

Yahoo! Finance: Report exposes secrets of offshore tax havens

While Barbados does not figure prominently in this and related CBC articles, I think Barbados authorities should be concerned.

Barbados is the third largest recipient of Canadian outward Foreign Direct Investment, after the USA and the UK; with the principal industry being “financial services”, which I expect is mainly in “offshore” accounts. Canadians are believed to to be the largest depositors in Barbados offshore bank accounts.

It may well be the case that all of those a legal.

Notwithstanding, with the spotlight being shone on the issue of  “offshore accounts” and “tax havens”, and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s pledge in last week’s budget the government will bolster its efforts to fight offshore tax evasion, including launching a new whistleblower line that pays rewards for tips, improving compliance programs and demanding more information on certain financial transactions; it seems likely that some Canadians “investors” will choose to repatriate their foreign direct investments to Canada rather than face the scrutiny for Canada Revenue Agency

Not Taken

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Attention Finance Minister Sinckler: About those Donville Inniss US Corporations, Real Estate and Assets

How did Donville Inniss get cash to Florida to purchase this condo?

Finance Minister Sinckler assures: Barbados plays by the rules! (But does Minister Inniss?)

by Marcus & Shona

Barbados has this little problem right now. French, American and Canadian politicians are calling our country a “tax haven” and other names – which is actually their way of accusing Barbados of offering secret offshore banking to foreigners who don’t want to obey the tax laws of their own countries.

France and some others say we don’t obey the rules of international finance. (Joke on the side: How many French soldiers does it take to defend Paris? Answer: Nobody knows. The French have never tried to defend Paris.)

Our government is responding to the charges with an aggressive public relations campaign and a host of reciprocal information sharing agreements with other countries. We’ve also pledged to update financial legislation and to more effectively monitor international financial transactions.

Fair enough. The sea is changing so Barbados is setting out some different sails and adjusting the windage and the helm. Good. We’ll check the passenger manifest too, to ensure that everybody on board is someone we don’t mind sailing with. That’s only common sense when our survival depends upon the friendship of other countries. (“Friend of all, satellite of none.”)

This is serious business for Barbados, because as Minister Sinckler said the other day at a meeting at Cin Cin Restaurant (Look at the food! THE FOOD! YUM!!!)

“…the international business and financial services sector contributes upwards of 60 per cent of all corporate revenues in the country and, therefore, that is an important station for us and one that we seek to protect and, of course, guard very zealously.”

… Minister Sinckler quoted in the Barbados Today news story Leading by example

What about the international finances of Health Minister Donville Inniss?

Barbados Free Press is publishing a series of stories showing that Minister of Health Donville Inniss profited from the online porn industry. Our stories tell the truth even if the Barbados news media covers up and looks the other way. Minister Inniss knows that our stories are true so he hasn’t taken any steps to have the stories removed from WordPress where Barbados Free Press makes its home.

But now we get to the issue of money. How was Minister Inniss paid for his involvement with online porn companies? Was he a stakeholder in any company or was he providing a paid service to front the porn industry? Were any of his family members or friends acting as proxies?

We think we see some interesting discoveries on the internet…. Continue reading

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

Colman Commission ignoring the smell of dirty money?

Afra Raymond asks where the money came from in the first place

Auntie Moses says that all money has a smell. Honestly-earned money smells clean and dishonest money stinks to high heaven. If you put too much of that dirty money in your purse, you start to stink too. So says Auntie Moses and she’s generally correct about those kinds of ethical issues.

Our friend Afra Raymond has noticed a little problem over at the Colman Commission into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle. I’ll let Afra explain it…

“There also seems to be a strange situation on CL Financial, since I am told that none of the affected people are willing to come forward to testify.  I am not very surprised at that and it is yet another indication of the extent of that toxic ‘Code of Silence‘.

What a shame!  25,000 policyholders said to be affected by the failure of CL Financial, yet only one is willing to testify.  Only One!   I wrote before in this space about the probability that a high proportion of those EFPA monies had never been screened by rigorous Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures.  I suggested to the Minister of Finance that provisions be made in the payout agreements for the applicants for bailout monies to have the source of their funds vetted for compliance with VAT, PAYE, Income and Corporation taxes.  The Minister did not adopt those proposals.

So, what we now have is the spectacle of the Colman Commission set up by the government to examine the causes of the collapse and finding that few want to speak, very few.  I don’t know if it’s dirty money, or ‘keeping it in the family‘ or what…but I do hope that Colman takes a robust approach by using his powers to sub-poena people to appear and testify.”

Read the whole dirty story at Afra Raymond Colman Commission considerations

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

UK helps Barbados with damage control over tax transparency failure

International Community wants action, not promises

A new Barbados Government press release says that the United Kingdom will upgrade our country’s status with respect to the UK’s legislation on offshore non-compliance by U.K taxpayers, and petition the OECD to reconsider its recent report about Barbados that resulted in “highly prejudicial consequences”.

Last January the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) slapped Barbados upside the head for failing to comply with international standards for sharing tax information. The OECD review was part of a crackdown on money laundering and tax havens and found that Barbados “did not have legislation in place to fully share information on tax matters with international partners.”

See BFP’s January 28, 2011 article OECD: Barbados fails tax transparency standards

Barbados was once again sent to our room by the international community until we could behave ourselves and pass some laws and regulations like we agreed to do years ago but never got around to. So now that we’ve taken a few weeks and passed the new laws we’d like to come out and play with the others, and the UK is going to vouch for us.

This same scenario plays out once or twice a year in one form or another when the international community gets tired of all promises and no action. Last year Barbados was downgraded to a spot below Cambodia over our failure to fight human trafficking. This year it’s our failure to comply with international tax information standards. Next year it will be something else.

Laws? Standards? What you talking about?

You see, we Barbadians don’t like to pass laws or comply with outside standards. We like to make promises and statements of intent, but actually passing laws is another thing. Laws make it inconvenient for the ruling class to do whatever they want. That’s why the DLP won’t pass their promised Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws.

Unfortunately, while we Bajans understand our leaders making promises and then doing the opposite, the international community is less forgiving than the voters.

Moral of the story: After the OECD slapped us around, it took our government about two weeks to pass the required laws because the downgrade threatened our economy.

Too bad our government won’t act so quickly to pass Integrity Legislation,  Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest laws. Or Environmental Legislation.

Prime Minister Stuart could make those laws happen if he wanted to.

But he doesn’t want to.

Barbados Government Press Release Damage Control

British Government believes OECD Global Forum should review Barbados tax information-exchange finding as soon as possible Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law

CARICOM Crime and Security Chief under investigation: Corruption, Fraud

Lynne Anne Williams accused of “Corruption, Misappropriation, hiring of unqualified staff, fraudulent accounting practices”

The Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs) is headed by Lynne Anne Williams, who took over in September of 2009. She makes US$14,000 a month plus expenses, but that wasn’t enough so she created phony travel expense invoices and pocketed the money.

Anyone ever heard of “Darreyl’s Bungalow Short Term Accommodation” in Barbados? Nope. Me neither.

But Lynne Anne Williams stayed there and billed for it.

And that is nothing, just a flea bite compared with all the allegations we’re seeing in the Trini press. Yup, Williams; visited Barbados for a 20 day security meeting that never happened and she billed for the whole thing – right at Crop Over too. Must be a coincidence!

“This signifies a clear recognition by the Caribbean Community….of the danger that unchecked financial crime poses to our economic and political systems” said Lynne Anne Williams, the Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS.

Lynne Anne Williams speaking about money-laundering back in January 2011. What a joke!

Yup, it’s really hit the fan at IMPACS, and it’s not just Williams either. The allegations are flying and it’s not he-said, she-said stuff because copies of the phony invoices are in the hands of the newspapers.

So what will happen? Come on folks… you know what’s going to happen in the end. Lynne Anne Williams will quietly retire, no charges will be laid and it will all fade away. Because…

Our Assessment: Williams is guilty as hell, but will never be charged because before coming to IMPACTS she headed the Special Intelligence Agency for 14 years and nobody is going to mess with what she knows.

Who will watch the watchers? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Police

No charges or jail for Barbados diplomats who stole US$69,000 – transferred to Miami personal bank account!

UPDATED: March 14, 2013

The Nation is reporting Auditor General Leigh Trotman just advised Parliament that ““There was no supporting documentation for accounts receivable of $600 million. There were also inadequate supporting schedules in respect of capital assets of $1.8 billion,”

BFP reminds everyone that it doesn’t matter what our Auditor General says because nobody gets charged or fired anyway – no matter how clear the evidence is against them. Here’s a little news story from 2011 where some Bajan diplomats stole money and transferred it to personal bank accounts in Miami. What happened to these crooked diplomats?

Nothing. That’s what!

Original story…

“But just let the little man take $20 in groceries and see what happens…”

It’s called theft and international money laundering…

Our congratulations to Auditor General Leigh Trotman and his staff for uncovering a nasty little scheme by Bajan diplomats stationed in Venezuela.

Two crooks at the embassy falsely said that monies were being used for embassy business when the only thing going on was monkey business. The funds ended up in Miami through a magical process that is not altogether unknown to Bajan diplomatic elites.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Politics, Venezuela