UPDATED – Scroll Down
A Barbados Free Press reader sent this to us just a few minutes ago (noon Friday 9th)…
I have noticed that you are steering clear of the situation where the Comptroller of Customs is holding on to the vehicles of poor black people in the port and not releasing them.
This is as a result of the established car dealers falsely claiming that there is "underinvoicing" which no one at present is able to substantiate.
We haven't been "steering clear" of this issue – we just haven't had the time to really look at it – although the idea has been tossed around at a few of our
drinking parties editorial meetings. It would be appreciated if you could send us a page or two on how you see the situation, and some of the specific indicators you might be aware of that would support your position.
We will then do a little more research and try to do the story justice.
Many thanks for your interest in our work.
Marcus & the gang.
UPDATE: Saturday June 10, 2006 12:43am
CBC Reports "Customs Loses Appeal"
Here are some excerpts. See the link above for the full report…
The Barbados Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision ordering the Customs Department to release a number of imported vehicles held in the Bridgetown port since last year.
Lawyers for the Crown Senior Counsel Anika Jackson and Hanoman Singh filed the application for a stay of execution to allow the Customs Department to keep the vehicles in the port.
They have been arguing that they need more time to carry out their investigations and were asking for a six week stay while they continued to investigate an alleged under invoicing scam involving some importers of used vehicles.
The session lasted for over two hours before Sir David confirmed Madame Justice Kentish's order for the vehicles to be released upon the payment of a guarantee.
The matter first arose after the importation of eighteen Toyota Trucks by the Belleville based subsidiary of Mohammed Motors said to be worth one point six million dollars.
The Customs Department has refused to release a number of these vehicles since December last year.
In all used car importers are contending that they have at least three hundred vehicles held up in the port valued at over 12 million dollars.
Partner with Shazar Distributors Dr. Abdul Mohammed says the action has resulted in significant losses for his company. He says he has had to lay off thirty-seven people because of the impasse.