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

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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

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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

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments, Wildlife