Tag Archives: Offshore Investments

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

8 Comments

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

Beginning of the end for Harlequin Properties and Dave Ames? Court petitioned to freeze business and personal assets.

UPDATED March 14, 2013: Comments closed and redirected to latest article

Hi folks. After almost 1,500 comments on this story readers are getting a little tired of having to scroll through them all to continue a current discussion. So we’ve closed the comments on this post and redirect you to the most current Harlequin post as of March 14, 2013…

Harlequin Properties stunner! SIPP-Pension investors advised to act immediately

Prior Updates…

URGENT: Barbados Free Press under attack!

Some folks want to discourage discussion about Harlequin

Wednesday, March 13, 2013   1am Bridgetown

Friends, the number of comments on this story is over 1,300 – a new record for Barbados Free Press. Combine those comments with our other news articles about Harlequin and Dave Ames and there are almost 3,000 comments here at BFP.

The Harlequin discussion is carried on primarily by two kinds of people… desperate investors hoping to understand and get their money out somehow, and people who see no wrong by Dave Ames and Harlequin. Some of the second group use different names to post, like Dave Ames’ head of security who got caught trying to infiltrate the discussion without telling his true identity.

Now some people are using techniques to try and block the discussion here at Barbados Free Press. They are inundating us with spam comments trying to sell everything from ice makers to japanese dating sites. Then we have people calling themselves “Yorkiepoo” going for volume to dominate the discussion with garbage comments. This “Yorkiepoo” has to be more than one person because they are here for so many hours. This is way beyond trolling – this must be an organized group trying to stop investors from talking here at BFP.

So who would want to interfere with the Harlequin discussion? (He asked knowingly.)

We’ll do our best to remove asinine and irrelevant comments – but don’t be discouraged. Just talk ya talk and nevermind them others. In response to the attacks, we’ll post this at the top of the blog for a few days so you don’t have to hunt for this very active article. The more they interfere, the more articles we will run and the longer we’ll leave this at the top.

Chickens do come home and we be working on it!

BREAKING UPDATED: Harlequin pays off investors who launched court action!

Saturday March 9, 2013  7:20am Bridgetown

Echo News reports this morning that the Birmingham High Court bid to freeze Harlequin’s and David Ames’ assets was dropped yesterday when a settlement was reached.

Apparently Harlequin paid off six investors represented by Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal, who dropped the court case. Said Fatchett: “Our primary aim was for the return of these investors’ deposits. We now have 20 more investors seeking refunds due to missed completion dates.”

Meanwhile, the H-Hotel construction site in Barbados remains shut down after Harlequin laid off dozens of workers. We haven’t heard anything recently about The Merricks, but we’ll take a drive out of the city on Monday and let folks know.

Echo News: Harlequin Property freezing order bid ends after investors paid out

Here is BFP’s original story first published on March 3, 2013…

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Financial Services Authority also investigating Harlequin and Ames

A high court action will start in Birmingham on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 against Harlequin Property and David Ames. This, according to investigative journalists Russell Myers and Sharon Churcher of the Mail on Sunday.

“Legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors.”

The court could deliver a double blow to Harlequin and Ames: freezing all business and personal assets. Plus Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs pensions regulator will act – just as Barbados Free Press first reported several months ago.

As we say in Bim, de chickens coming home…   Continue reading

1,467 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Investors’ Class Action lawsuit against Harlequin shaping up in the United Kingdom

Does Harlequin really have any significant net assets?

TSL Global Consultancy is preparing a class action lawsuit by investors against Harlequin, David Ames and associated companies of which there are many.

“Dozens and dozens” of dissatisfied people who invested in Harlequin projects in the Caribbean and Thailand are contacting TSL, a source close to the company tells Barbados Free Press. It is expected that several hundred investors will sign onto the lawsuit.

Some observers, however, are questioning just how much money and assets still exist under the the Harlequin umbrella in light of the extremely high commissions paid to agents (over 30% according to some sources) and profits already taken by the Ames family and close associates.

Some sources indicate that Harlequin has taken in over £200 million in deposits from trusting investors but only a fraction of this exists now.

According to the now-defunct Harlecon.net website, large areas of indicated development at various Harlequin projects are actually ‘planned’ on land not yet purchased by Harlequin which holds only purchase options on land surrounding smaller plots where some building is taking place.

In March of 2012 BFP ran a story that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office had opened an investigation of Harlequin Resorts. This followed a February report that Harlequin’s auditors had refused to sign off on the accounts, and a recent report that Harlequin had sued its accountants as being responsible for the Harlecon.net website.

Oh dear!

For access to all Barbados Free Press stories on Harlequin, click here

Interested investors can contact the class action lawsuit directly at:

TSL Consultancy

Email: info@tslconsultancy.com

Phone: 0844 504 9793 in the United Kingdom.

29 Comments

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

Barbados S&P downgrade all about CLICO and government raiding NIS pension to ‘invest’ in Four Seasons

“Countries with low ratings, including Barbados, are shunned and as a result attract high borrowing rates from financial markets. This phenomenon worsens a country’s fiscal position as higher interest rates eat up more of national revenues that would otherwise be available for expenditure on social services, infrastructure, health and education etc.

The important observation by S&P is that Barbados’s problems are not solely related to the very weak global economy.”

… Peter S. Boos talks about how the rest of the world sees Barbados

In BFP’s recent article Debt Tsunami drowning Barbados: Standard and Poor’s downgrades to junk status we zeroed in on the fact that Standard & Poors’ downgrade of Barbados specifically mentioned the government’s ill-advised raiding of the NIS National Insurance Scheme to carry portions of the national debt burden. We also talked about the impact of the CLICO collapse on the national economy and debt. These decisions by the current government of Barbados seem rather unwise to us… but what do we know? We’re only the poor citizens who have to carry the burden created by our leaders.

It seems though that others recognize the folly of the decisions by the DLP government. Listen to what Peter Boos has to say, and what Standard & Poors’ thinks of the decisions of the Barbados government…

In his writings for the last year or thereabouts, Peter Boos is appalled that the Barbados government should use monies from the NIS to prop up a failed Four Seasons project.

Lest we forget, the reason that the Four Seasons project collapsed in mid-building is that private money does not see it as a winner. Private money ran from the Four Seasons – and that is a clue about the project’s viability. Of course, the politicians do not have the same accountability as the private markets: they can always BS their way to re-election while the real world lives or dies on actual performance.

Standard and Poors’ were also appalled by the rape of NIS funds and by the CLICO fiasco that added immeasurably to our national debt. We don’t even know how much the final bill will be! As we’ve said before it’s a good thing for David Thompson’s legacy that he died and therefore can’t be prosecuted for his personal role in the CLICO mess.

Not that Barbados has ever prosecuted any politician for conflicts of interest or profiteering from a government position.

The whole thing stinks, and Peter Boos explains some of the reasons for the smell in his latest at Barbados Today. You should read the article online at Barbados Today, but we have to print the whole thing because of the Bajan news media’s habit of revising history to suit political agendas.

Here we go…

A blow to our reputation

The recent S&P downgrade of Barbados is extremely damaging to Barbados and its hard earned reputation as a well managed economy.

Countries in the top tier of economic management with high investment grade Sovereign Credit Ratings (provided by S&P, Moody’s, Fitch etc) attract the greatest interest from investors, the ultimate source of wealth creation.

Countries with low ratings, including Barbados, are shunned and as a result attract high borrowing rates from financial markets. This phenomenon worsens a country’s fiscal position as higher interest rates eat up more of national revenues that would otherwise be available for expenditure on social services, infrastructure, health and education etc.

The important observation by S&P is that Barbados’s problems are not solely related to the very weak global economy. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy

Patrick R. Hoyos: Poor Barbados justice system frightens away foreign investors

“Where is the justice?”

Editor’s comment: This article by Patrick Hoyos brilliantly explains what is probably one of the most destructive forces in our society and economy – the inability of our justice system (for a variety of reasons) to deliver justice. Bajans have long known that our highly politicized and under-funded justice system cannot be relied upon, and that “Rule of Law” in Barbados means that those in positions of power can change or ignore the rules and the law without accountability.

The big problem for the elites is that with the advent of the internet, Barbados lost the power to control information. Thus, foreign investors and people who might be thinking about doing business in Barbados now know that business disputes typically take decades to resolve before the Barbados courts. Smart money runs from doing business in such a jurisdiction.

Increasingly international investors and companies are happy to have their money flow through Barbados to other jurisdictions – but invest or do business here? Leave the money here? Now that’s something else.

We’ve reprinted Patrick’s article here in full, lest someone pressure him to remove it from his own website, but we ask you to read the full article at The Broad Street Journal. If you live, do business or invest in Barbados, you’ll soon find yourself visiting The Broad Street Journal on a daily basis and eagerly anticipating the next article.

A bridge too far

By Patrick R. Hoyos    Published May 24, 2011

It is now three months since I wrote in this space about The Tribunal That Won’t Deliver its Judgment.

Three months since I noted that, despite having to wait three years after winning their case in court to have hearings before the Severance Payments Tribunal to determine the “quantum of severance,” and nearly a year since those hearings had ended, no judgement had yet been delivered.

Three months since I pointed out the frustration felt by all of the plaintiffs that justice for them seemed only to exist on paper but could not find its way into coin of the realm.

Three months since I pointed out that one of the plaintiffs had died without receiving his settlement.

I asked then, “Where is the justice?” Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Barbados Bar Association blames public for choosing crooked lawyers “at random”

President Leslie Haynes cautions public to avoid lawyers with “cash flow problems”, and to ignore recommendations of friends.

Barbados Bar Association website recommends lawyers who have been caught stealing from clients!

The President of the Barbados Bar Association vented at the public on Saturday while appearing at a seminar on conveyancing. When asked about the high number of lawyers lately charged with misappropriating clients’ money, Leslie “blame the victims” Haynes said that Barbadians “have to stop picking a lawyer at random or choosing one simply because a friend suggested a name.”

So it is the fault of the chickens for not knowing which mongoose will eat them. Or, more properly, the fault of honest Barbadians for not knowing which lawyers are dishonest.

The Barbados Bar Association does not provide a list of lawyers who have been disciplined or took money then paid it back when caught. Why not?

Shocker!

Astoundingly, BBA President Haynes also predicted that more Barbados lawyers will misappropriate their clients’ money because times are tough… Continue reading

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Real Estate

Relocation of Endangered Parrots Delayed by Barbados Ministry of Environment

Only one zoo in North America outside of St. Vincent and Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has managed to breed rare St. Vincent Amazon parrot.

Endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrots in limbo as Barbados Government stonewalls transfer to offshore refuge

Officials at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary are still waiting for a response from the Barbados Ministry of Environment regarding a proposed transfer of the Sanctuary’s endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrot collection to an offshore location.

Recent break-ins, wildlife poaching and pollution are forcing the Sanctuary to seek temporary safe-haven for the collection.  The parrots at Graeme Hall are the national bird of St. Vincent, and the only such population in Barbados.

Earlier this year one of the St. Vincent parrots was found dead after being assaulted by intruders.  Unpredictable water quality, security and other factors are major concerns for the internationally-recognized St. Vincent breeding programme in Barbados. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments, Wildlife

Florida Today picks up two Barbados Free Press offshore investment articles

Florida news service interested in BFP’s Clico, Barbados investor residency articles

That’s kind of special! With our permission (as if we would refuse. ;-) ) the Melbourne, Florida-based publication re-printed and linked online to two of our articles about offshore investments in Barbados…

May 6, 2010 New Cayman standards provide predictability for business investors. Will Barbados ever do the same?

April 27, 2010 Silly? Ironic? BLP’s Mottley vows to protect CLICO investors after appointing “Worst Regulator” Carlos Belgrave as Insurance Supervisor

Leave a comment

Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments

CLICO stupid question #1 “Where were the politicians and business leaders when this was happening?”

Peter N. Boos asks “Where were the politicians and business leaders when this (Clico mess) was happening?”

That’s easy to answer in the case of now Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson…

Barbados Prime Minister Thompson was lawyer for CLICO when they failed to file financials for 13 years! Then as Prime Minister he bailed them out with your tax dollars.

While CLICO and its associated companies cooked the books and failed to file legally-required financial statements for 13 years, David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer. Mr. Thompson and his law firm represented Clico and Leroy Parris in many of the transactions that are rightly questioned by the poor victims.

There. That was pretty simple, wasn’t it?

This excerpt is from The Nation newspaper article The Rise and Fall of Clico by Peter N. Boos

“To simplify it, the post Cyril Duprey leadership of CLICO took the company on a journey that no well-regulated and properly managed insurance company ever can or would take.

Investments of insurance companies funds are regulated by law and are there to protect the people to whom the funds are owed.

In CLICO’s case, insurance funds, held in a fiduciary relationship for pensioners, policyholders and depositors, were used to invest in high risk asset purchases, many of which made little or no returns.

Sugar plantations and other distressed real estate in Barbados being glaring examples.

Interest rates promised to depositors were well above normal commercial rates offered by banks or other insurance companies.

This financial model is not a viable equation for any business far less for an insurance company. Policyholders, depositors and pensioners of insurance companies expect prudence, low risk, high security and integrity from their insurers and their managers.

They also should be able to place confidence in regulators to ensure compliance.

Yet this was allowed to happen right under the noses of the financial regulators across the Caribbean. Why did this happen? We must find out.

Where were the politicians and business leaders when this was happening?”

Also see…

The Nation – Mia Mottley: Leroy Parris should repay CLICO


13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Memories of CLICO: John Mauldin, Michael E. Lewitt and The Death of Capital

Profligate – definitions 1 & 2:

1 : completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness

2 : wildly extravagant

Most of us ordinary folks never seem to have the time, education and family guidance to become interested early enough in global economics or in global anything. It is our nature or nurture to think only locally. We hold an item in our hands in the village retail store but we do not wonder or even know that the same item from the same factory is sold all over the world at widely differing prices. And we never consider that the price can be thought of in money, in time or any number of other methods of quantifying and comparing value.

The cost of a shovel: not as simple as you might think

In New Jersey I can buy a good quality shovel with my pay from one hour of work as a welder. North of Mumbai that same shovel from the same factory is only half the price in US dollars – but it now becomes a week’s worth of work for a welder.

Why is that? How does money work? If I can’t really understand the pricing of a common item like a shovel, how can I understand what just happened in Europe where it looks like the world is arranging another bail-out for irresponsible spendthrifts and crooks – this time the profligate Greeks?

How do all these give-aways and bailouts impact a person of ordinary means living near Grape Hall, Barbados?

What should I do with my modest income, and even more modest savings and investments? How should I plan the next five years to put my family in a stronger position when nobody knows what financial storms are just over the horizon?

These are not calm waters for anyone and many, indeed most, of those talking heads in government and on TV who offer financial advice appear to be the same ones who caused this mess.

An Old Friend…

An old friend recently sent me a piece from John Mauldin’s Outside the Box financial column at Investors Insight.com.

The article is called The Death of Capital and is a mix writings by Mauldin and Author Michael E. Lewitt. I’m not sure that I understand it all or most of it. I don’t know what a “Structured Investment Vehicle” is or why Lewitt is calling for them to be banned but I get about 90% of the article and it boils down to this quote…

“What Adam Smith pointed out more than two hundred years ago is equally true today – our society, fed by the media, worships wealth at the expense of other values that are far more important to a cohesive and healthy society. The entire mission of The Wealth of Nations was to try to recognize man for what he is – a social animal who is reliant on the good opinions of his neighbors – and to develop the optimal economic system to harness that human essence for the good of all mankind. Smith believed that system was a free market, and history has by and large proven him correct. But the United States has strayed from a free market model to a system that privatizes gains and socializes losses.

All I could think of was CLICO & CL Financial

The profits that were taken from the company by Leroy Parris, Dupris and friend Prime Minister David Thompson are theirs.

The losses? Well… those losses are on the backs of you, me and our children and maybe the next couple of generations.

Privatized profits. Socialized losses.

That is what Thompson, Parris and the rest of the CLICO clan are doing to you and to me.

Further reading

BFP April 16, 2010 – CL Financial Shocker: “10 to 15 cents in the dollar available to pay claims”

Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter: CLICO Unplugged: An Insider’s Perspective

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Sir Allen Stanford says “Just call me Al”

Caribbean Knighthoods: Easy come, easy go!

Until we came across the story at Trivester.com, somehow we missed reports in the oldstream news media that the Antigua & Barbuda government finally yanked Sir Allen Stanford’s bought-and-paid-for Knighthood. You know how it works: Stanford gave money to the politicians and they gave him the “Sir” title until their association with Stanford became a little too hot to handle.

Sir Allen, er, “Al” is in a spot of trouble over running his banks and businesses like a big Ponzi scheme – which was all fine and good for a little while but like any Ponzi scheme had to collapse eventually. But what parties he had while it was in the growth cycle!

Much like the executives involved in the CL Financial – CLICO ponzi schemes where 76 billion dollars or thereabouts disappeared overnight. What parties they had, what jets, cars, women and mansions! Oh well – not so bad for Leroy Parris who was awarded a golden Caribbean Broadcasting parachute by his old buddy and lawyer, Prime Minister David Thompson.

Anyway, back to SIR Allen, um, “Al”…

“Al” will be going on a little vacation for a few years. Hopefully before his banks collapsed “Al” remembered to pay off all the drug dealers he was money-laundering for because the cocaine cartels lack a sense of humour in certain matters. Nope, I wouldn’t want to be “Sir Al” in any jail in the world if I lost drug money.

So ends the party for SIR Allen – a guy who purchased his title just a surely as he bought suits and ties. Of course, for Al to make the purchase, there had to be a seller – and there are no shortages of Knighthood sellers ’bout hey.

Oh yes, how we little Caribbean islands love to hand out Knighthoods like candy to friends and political supporters – half the time while ignoring or disparaging the British Monarchy upon whose credibility the whole thing rests.

Visit our friends over at Trivester.com for all the details about “Al” and his little problem: Sir Allen Stanford’s Knighthood Revoked

We’ve also added Trivester.com to our sidebar links and we’d appreciate some feedback on this from our readers. Thanks!

3 Comments

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

Barbados Corporation implicated in US$200 million Ponzi scheme. How will our government deal with David Krywenky?

Kingz Capital Management Corp. Barbados – Hundreds of Millions vanish

According to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis USA, Kingz Capital Management Corp. is a registered commodities trading adviser and commodities pool operator in Barbados. A simple Google search reveals numerous articles talking about Kingz involvement in several “gone wrong” investment schemes that took in hundreds of millions of dollars – that apparently vanished.

At Barbados Free Press our questions are: 1/ What is Barbados going to do about it? 2/ What laws does Barbados have at its disposal to prevent or to deal after the fact with occurrences like this?

Here are a few stories of the many online…

Trevor Cook’s ally won’t be trading for 3 years

By Dan Browning, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Jan. 28–A Canadian-based commodities trader affiliated with embattled Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook has agreed to give up his trading rights for three years in response to a complaint that accused him of letting Cook — who is not a registered trader — take control of an offshore currency investment pool.

The trader, David Krywenky of Toronto, has run Kingz Capital Management Corp., a registered commodities trading adviser and commodities pool operator in Barbados, for two years. The National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulatory body that oversees the futures markets, filed a complaint against Krywenky and Kingz Capital in September accusing them of failing to uphold ethical standards, cheating customers, and failure to supervise business activities properly…

… continue reading the full story at American Chronicle’s article Trevor Cook’s ally won’t be trading for 3 years

Click image for Patrick Pretty's take on this story

$300 million Oxford trail leads into Canada

By DAN BROWNING, Star Tribune
November 4, 2009

Investors looking to recover their money from a suspect currency investment program have a new, $300 million trail to follow into Canada.

Regulators are quietly pursuing a complaint against a Toronto commodities firm and one of its executives, alleging they helped Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook facilitate the currency trading program.

The $300 million that passed through the Toronto firm — KINGZ Capital Management Corp. — is the largest chunk of money found so far in the still-unfolding case, which drew investors from across the United States and several other countries. They have been unable to withdraw their money from what many were told was a Swiss-based currency trader since at least early July.

continue reading this story at the Star Tribune.com article $300 million Oxford trail leads into Canada

Further Reading

PatrickPretty.com – KA-BOOM! Offshore Firm To Which AdViewGlobal Claimed Wire Tie Booted From National Futures Association After Investigators Discover Ponzi Figure Trevor Cook Was Managing Its Investor Pool

Thanks to BFP readers A & R for tipping us to the story!

4 Comments

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

C.L. Financial Bailout – Turmoil, Instability and Unanswered Questions

CL Financial bailout – The Governor speaks

by Afra Raymond

My last column on this important matter was published on 31st December, almost a month ago, with several major developments since then.  The main development in my view is that we had some truly remarkable statements from the Governor of the Central Bank.

The messages on the CL Financial group are now so confused that the most charitable phrase possible, is that the public is getting ‘mixed messages’.

The Top-level resignations – The group CEO, Steve Bideshi – a former senior manager at Citigroup – was reported on 12th January to have tendered his resignation, effective 31st January.  (See – Bideshi quits CL after 6 months or Trinidad Express article here)

We are told that his reason for resigning is the breakdown of negotiations for his compensation package.  Our governments have a serious track-record of agreeing and then secreting the terms of compensation for its high-fliers.  Just think of Caribbean Airlines, PetroTrin and UdeCOTT.  It is unbelievable that government was unable to agree terms with this one CEO.  Arguably, Mr. Bideshi was heading the largest and most complex group within the State’s control.

On 19th January, we were told that Michael Carballo, the group Finance Director, was resigning, also effective 31st January.  (See – Guardian’s Another executive leaves CL Financial or Trinidad Express article here)

Carballo had the unique position of being the only senior executive to survive the crisis at the group and keep his position.  We were not given any reason for his departure, but we were told that Carballo is to continue acting as a Director on CL Financial’s Board.

Bideshi and Carballo were the two top executives at CL Financial.  What is going on?

To date there has been no proper explanation as to the causes of these major resignations or clear statement on the way forward.  To have both the group CEO and Finance Director resign within a week of each other, effective within less than a month, speaks of turmoil and jostling.  That kind of thing would not happen if the situation was stable.  The purpose of this bailout was said to be the avoidance of systemic risk and the maintenance of confidence in our financial system.  The official silence on this startling development only adds to the impression of ‘more in the mortar than just the pestle’.

… continue reading the full article at Afra Raymond’s blog article CL Financial Bailout – The Governor Speaks

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

The Barbados Advocate blows the Manulife Lawsuit story big time

barbados-insurance-belgrave-500

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (current Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds” … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Manulife Case Going To Trial in 2011

The civil court case involving Bajan policy holders who claim they were fleeced by Manulife will finally take place in 2011. Maybe. If the Manulife lawyers don’t do their “delay, delay, delay” thing until witnesses and victims die or move on after a decade of being under the oppression of being denied justice for so long.

If you want some background on the case and to read the court documents, they are posted online at the Sutts, Strosberg lawyers who are handling the class action. Here is their website: Manulife class action website

About That Inadequate Barbados Advocate Story…

“The suit claims that Manulife obtained approval for the sale of its Barbados interests by providing adequate information to the Supervisor of Insurance in Barbados.”

… from The Barbados Advocate article Manulife trial set for 2011

I guess that the reporters at the Advocate didn’t read the court documents about the case because if they did they would know that the plaintiffs are alleging that Manulife provided inadequate information to Barbados Supervisor of Insurance, Wismar Greaves, not “adequate” information as the news story says.

That is a small issue – a word that changes the whole meaning of the story – but it is important.

Lawsuits Cut Two Ways

The larger issue about this story is unreported and unremarked upon by the Barbados news media: lawsuits cut two ways. The defense will undoubtedly claim that the fault lies not with Manulife, but with inadequate and/or incompetent performance by the Barbados Supervisor of Insurance.

In many ways, it will be the Wismar Greaves and our system of oversight that is on trial. Considering that Carlos Belgrave, our current Supervisor of Insurance, received the 2006 Offshore Alert award for “Worst Regulator” – I expect that Manulife will come on strong and aggressively defend this case.

No Sir, this Manulife case will be no “slam dunk”.

Contributed by an anonymous BFP reader

Further Reading

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Announces $2,500 Voluntary Fine For Infractions… That Should Stop Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Frauds Like CLICO!

Belgrave named in 2006 as the “worst regulator” by Offshore Alert.


7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Who are the most influential Canadian Expats? Michael J Fox is #1, Wayne Gretzky #2… and OH MY!!!

Canadian ExpatThe Canadian Expat Association’s list of “The most influential Canadian Expats” has just been published. Thanks to all BFP readers who sent us the story and to Google alerts too.

Here are the Top 5 Most Influential Canadian Expats as chosen by the Canadian Expat Association (website) and the public…

#1: Michael J. Fox (Actor, Back to the Future series etc.)

#2: Wayne Gretzky (Ice Hockey super hero)

#3: Tony Burman (Who? Oh… managing director of Al Jazeera English News)

#4: Neil Young (Musician who sings like someone has a pair of pliers on his toe)

#5: Peter Allard

Here’s what the Canadian Expat Association says about Allard…

Peter Allard, formerly of Edmonton, practiced law in Vancouver before moving to Barbados about 15 years ago, to focus on preserving natural habitats especially threatened by tourism and other development in the Caribbean.

On the island of Barbados, to spearhead national environmental awareness and encourage government-led development of national water policy and environmental management practices, Mr. Allard provided in excess of US $34 million to restore and professionally manage the last mangrove forest and most significant migratory bird habitat in Barbados. The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary consists of 35 acres of wetlands and forest, and is located within the newly designated 81 acre Graeme Hall Ramsar wetland, recognized by the Convention on Wetlands. Within the Site, Mr. Allard has set aside approximately 5 acres of land which has been developed with visitor and educational facilities. Mr. Allard has promoted an environmental standard that encourages development of a Barbadian national water policy. He believes that while private sector efforts to preserve habitats is very important, effective environmental management practices must be derived from government-led national water policy. In light of this belief, Mr. Allard has donated (and continues to donate) hundreds of thousands of additional dollars associated with public/environmental health, safety and education in Barbados.

On the island of St. Vincent Mr. Allard continues to provide the government with direct support for the St. Vincent Amazon parrot conservation programme, in an effort to save this endangered flagship species from extinction. The importance of this programme is significant, as it is the first phase of a national effort to protect the species and its natural habitat. Mr. Allard is also responsible for maintaining the only other St. Vincent Amazon population in the Caribbean (located at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados) in order to maintain genetic diversity. To date, the cost of this Programme has been in excess of $500,000, and it is hoped that the core populations in St. Vincent and Barbados will be the basis for genetically-diverse wild St. Vincent parrot populations when government can declare a new National Park for the species.

On the island of Dominica Mr. Allard provided the government of Dominica with the largest and single most significant contribution that ensured creation of the Morne Diablotin National Park on January 21, 2000. His contributions were the essential element that guaranteed the formation of the world’s newest National Park of the millennium. The Park is expected to become the Caribbean’s second United Nations Natural World Heritage Site.

While residing in Barbados Mr. Allard has widely donated in excess of $2.0 million to 75 Canadian charities, focusing on research and development of treatments for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and for arts and health and human welfare support organizations.

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Environment, Offshore Investments

Six weeks later: Still no Spanish, Portuguese language welcome on Barbados Tourism or Investment & Development websites.

Stephen-Lashley

MP Stephen Lashley wants to make BTA overcome 'island time' performance.

Last week the government member for Christ Church West Central, Stephen Lashley, stood up in Parliament and talked about the need for Barbados to tap into new international markets for tourism and industry. As tactfully as possible (considering he is a member of the government), Mr. Lashley made the point that our Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Investment and Development Corporation aren’t doing nearly the job that they should be doing.

To be fair, Lashley talked about “encouraging” the BTA and BIDC and being positive about their efforts. He also chided the Opposition for being “negative” as he delivered the traditional Bajan milquetoast speech about “what we’re gonna do” etc etc etc. His central message for those listening at the BTA and BIDC came through though: “FOR GOD’S SAKE JUST BLOODY-WELL DO SOMETHING!”

Good luck with your encouragement, Mr. Lashley. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for results.

Let’s get real for a minute, shall we?

Over six weeks ago, Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson gave a press conference where he mused about the possibilities of targeting South American markets to fill the tourism void during the “off” season – and to try to raise some new business opportunities.

At that time Barbados Free Press said that IF the government and the Minister were serious about South America, they would already have ordered Spanish and Portuguese language options on the websites of the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation. We said it would take a week, maybe two, to translate both websites, put up a welcome in Spanish and Portuguese and at least look like we mean business.

We also predicted that it wouldn’t happen. We said…

“Oh well, not to get upset about it because the truth is that nothing will be done.

The Minister spoke a fine little speech, and the newspaper printed a fine little article and editorial.

That’s it, folks. That’s all you’ll see. This is Barbados and we do – or don’t do – things a certain way.”

We were correct. Here we are six weeks later and nothing was done. The BTA and BIDC websites are still in English only.

See? We told ya that nothing would be done!

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge: Hotel owners have been asking for Spanish/Portuguese BTA website for 10 years!

After all, the Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners.

Why should anything change now?

Please have a read of our original story and we’ll see you again in another six weeks and every six weeks thereafter until all those concerned become embarrassed enough to make it happen – if such a thing is possible in the cushy government service. I tell you the truth friends – very few in the BTA or BIDC would last a week in a similar position in London or New York.

Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

When there is a lack of will to punish wrongdoers, the world pays attention

UPDATED: June 10, 2010

Friends, we’d like to mention once again that we are well into the third year of DLP Government and not a single person has been charged with any corruption-based crime. Therefore, it’s not going to happen.

We told you that the two major parties had an agreement in place. We were correct.

Here’s an article from last year that might make you think about the song and dance you’ve been accepting from the DLP…

barbados-3a-piggies

For almost two years now, David Thompson and his DLP comrades have been declaring that they will hold people “accountable” for wrong-doing.

The list of wrongdoings is long, and for the mostpart the main culprits are known. When we think of Hardwood Holdings, the Barbados Tourism Authority, Hotels and Resorts, Dodds prison, the dozens of major contracts let without tender and – most infamously – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur depositing into his personal bank account a (cough, cough) “campaign cheque” that was “accidentally” made out to him personally… Well, just how many instances of wrongdoing and law breaking do you want?

But as Barbadians have come to realise, not a single person will be charged by the government of Prime Minister David Thompson.

Not a single lawsuit will be launched to recover public monies that ended up in the accounts of members of the former BLP government and their supporters. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information

Typical Barbados Justice System Follies: Another Police File “Missing” at Director of Public Prosecutions Office

Justice-Scales-MoneyIn a real Justice System all the alarm bells and sirens go off when a police file goes missing in a high-profile case.

In Barbados, its only another day of at the office.

Welcome to the Justice System of Barbados…

This is a country where a twelve year old girl is raped and it doesn’t come to court for ten years and then gets tossed because the “old boy network” looked after things.

This is a country where a popular pastor is charged with rape and it doesn’t come to court for seven years.

This is a country where a civil lawsuit against the Attorney General can’t come to trial in 17 bloody years!

This is a country where we have no laws to protect buyers of condominiums, a country where a court dispute over a condominium can take 19 years and still be unresolved!

This is a country where a seriously injured tourist has to wait eleven long years for justice.

This is a country where a foreign resident who purchased land in Barbados can’t get title or deed for 34 years! No, that is not a typo error. It is 34 bloody years and still counting!

This is a country where rape victims are pressured into taking money in exchange for not testifying when criminal charges have already been laid… and the courts go along with it!

And if the courts give a decision that the government of the day doesn’t like? The foreign investor is just as likely to see the army sent in with guns to overrule the court’s decision. They don’t usually print the story of Barbados Sea Island Cotton and Nitin Amersey in the local news!

“Rule of law?”

Ha! You mek sport my friends!

This is the reality of our Barbados courts and it has been recognized again and again but nothing changes.

Here is the latest story. Just today’s story — but citizens and foreign investors alike should be aware that if they have a dispute with one of the Barbados elites or the government, or find themselves relying upon the Barbados Justice System, this is what they are in for…

from The Nation (online story here)…

Delay in Radio Boss’ Case

THE POLICE FILE has been allegedly lost and so a year after the case against radio manager Veoma Alisha Ali first came to court, it is yet to start.

Ali’s counsel Wilfred Abrahams yesterday told the District “A” Magistrates’ Court that “apparently the file had gone to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office and had been misplaced”.

His comments came after police prosecutor Sergeant Trenton Small said he was not yet in possession of a file.

“Even if that were true,” said Magistrate Pamela Beckles in response to Abrahams’ comments, “this is a whole year that has passed and you should go back to the complainant and re-interview her.”

Ali, 29, of No. 397 A, Westwood Park, Husbands, St James, has been accused that with intent to maim, disfigure or disable Kareen Clarke, of Denton Road, Grazettes, St Michael, she did serious bodily harm to Clarke on August 27, 2008.

Ali remains on $20 000 bail.

The matter was then adjourned until Novembers 9.

9 Comments

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