Former Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman Arranges Security Breach For Strangers At Cricket World Cup – Financial Express Reports Everything – Says Barbados Ill-Prepared For Cricket World Cup

hudson-husbands-barbados-cricket-world-cup.jpg

UPDATED – Scroll to Bottom

Hudson Husbands Arranges To Smuggle Unknown Indian Journalists Past Security!

Indian Journalists Had No Accreditations – Could Have Been Jihadist Terrorists!

Barbados Tourism Authority Employee Gregory Armstrong Also Involved

HAVE NO DOUBT: the police and security officials at CWC will be livid when they hear of this breach. The Muslim terrorists only have to get lucky once – whereas the good guys have to be perfect all the time.

But what good is even the most well-executed layered security system if some big shot politician or official foolishly uses his knowledge and authority to violate security procedures for strangers?

This is the best thing that could have happened.

Folks, despair not. This is the best thing that could have happened to us in the public run-up to the Cricket World Cup. Heads may roll, and there will be public worldwide embarrassment – but you can bet that senior police and security leaders will now assert their authority and kick the behinds of any politician or official who tries anything like this again.

Muslim terrorists will also be aware that an embarrassed and alerted security force will now be unlikely to sidestep procedures for anyone.

This is the best thing that could have happened.

From the Financial Express…

Three Weeks To Go, Barbados Seems Ill-Prepared For The Big Day

by Boria Majumdar

Our reasons for coming to Barbados last week (there were three of us in all) was to watch and be part of the opening ceremony of the Kensington Oval, the venue for the World Cup final. In fact, central to travelling half the world to be in the Caribbean was yet another opportunity to see the great Sir Vivian Richards in action. And when he was to be preceded by the legendary Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes and followed by Carl Hooper and Richie Richardson, the occasion had to be special. Add to the privilege of watching these greats the opportunity to interview

Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Reverend Wes Hall and the trip seemed more than justified.

However, it is not always that things go according to plan. In fact, on most occasions they don’t. At the press briefing on the eve of the match it suddenly transpired that our accreditations had been goofed up and there was a possibility that we might not make it to the game despite reaching Barbados a couple of days early. We had had enough to press the panic button. Efforts in making our way seemed to come to nothing when on the morning of the match we were left stranded at my hotel, The Accra, without accreditations or even match tickets…

It was time to put our aggressive Indian caps on.

On reaching the accreditation room at the venue, we were greeted by a long queue of more than a hundred journalists waiting to collect their passes. When we finally made our way to the counter and met the media coordinator of the local World Cup organising committee, it was less than an hour for the match to start. Members of my team had almost given up by then and the tripods and lenses were being folded back to shoot some other local sights.

Repeated explanations that we were journalists who had come specifically for the game did finally register and we were told that something would indeed be arranged before the match started. Finally, about a quarter of an hour before the start, our local Barbados tourism authority guide, Gregory Armstrong, landed up with four complimentary tickets. That was the best under the circumstances he said and we were to watch the game from the stands and not from the media centre.

While this was indeed a step forward, it was hardly enough. We couldn’t film the game, nor could we attend the post-match press conference, things Gregory fully understood. And when Hudson Husbands, yet another influential member of the local media, took up our cause we were once again in with a chance.

The final fifteen minutes leading up to the match were individual capsules of hectic activity. Failing to make headway, Hudson finally came up to me and suggested that the best he could do was to escort me once to the media box. It was then on me to get something out of it. In an event billed as the final dry run leading up to the World Cup, this wasn’t a route we wanted to take. On the other hand, prospects of watching the match from the stands and finishing up with no work done seemed even worse.

And so we were forced to go down the unscrupulous path. It was a classic Bollywood case of the system forcing you to turn corrupt! Hudson took me into the media box, I met some of my colleagues from the British press, explained to them our plight and asked for their media passes to smuggle my team in. This wasn’t something I hadn’t done before. Rather, as a child we had repeatedly done this to watch Mohun Bagan’s matches in the local Calcutta football league, when most of us did not have the required membership.

And once we had all made our way into the media box and had settled into writing the opening lines in our laptop, we were all stunned by the nature of the act. So much for the tight security before the World Cup! Even more bizarre was the claim from the media coordinator that he had taken personal initiative in getting us in. “I could not sleep a wink last night”, he said on seeing us in the press box. “It was acutely embarrassing that members of the media, after having travelled half the world were being treated like this. But please understand that we were determined to get you in.” Indeed we did.

The moral of this incident is that Barbados is still not fully prepared to host the tournament, the biggest cricketing extravaganza in Caribbean history. If people can break the security cordon this easily, the World Cup might easily turn into a field day for the Mukesh Kochars, men who will surely relish the idea of making a fast buck. With three weeks still to go before the start of the tournament, here’s wishing the World Cup organising committee and the thousands of volunteers all the luck in the world. They will need every bit of it just like we did while in Barbados.

… read the entire article at The Financial Express (link here)

Updated

We originally incorrectly identified Hudson Husbands as still being Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority. He stepped down in July of 2006 to pursue his business with Tourism Global Inc.

Tourism Global Inc. is a professional services and consulting firm specializing in the hospitality and tourism industry throughout the Caribbean. Tourism Global Inc. currently provides consulting services to various Barbados Government agencies including Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.

It is unclear from the news report whether Hudson Husbands was acting at the time as an official media representative for Cricket World Cup or a government agency or whether Cricket World Cup security is so bad that it was bamboozled by an ordinary person with absolutely no official position.

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45 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Crime & Law, Traveling and Tourism

45 responses to “Former Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman Arranges Security Breach For Strangers At Cricket World Cup – Financial Express Reports Everything – Says Barbados Ill-Prepared For Cricket World Cup

  1. akabozik

    Unbelievable!

    Unless you know how the bigshots in government act, then its not unbelievable. I think you are right that this will be a wakeup call to security and politicians alike.

    Heads will roll? Don’t bet on it. This is Barbados!

  2. Rumplestilskin

    While the intention may have been good, it was clearly not appropriate.

    The stadium could be dust right now.

  3. Inkwell

    A perfect example of the fine art of back stabbing, Indian style. I hope Mr Majumdar does not expect accreditation to return to Barbados as a journalist.

  4. BFP

    In my opinion, the British journalists and Mr. Majumdar should be sent packing tomorrow.

    Robert

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    I have sent an email to Sue Springer of the BHTA, Chay Davis, the corporate Cummunications specialist at the BTA and Peter Odle, the current chairman of the BTA suggesting they read Mr Majumdar’s article and also another ‘Is the Caribbean ready for the World Cup?’ that appeared in Times Now, Thursday 22nd February 2007.

    What confuses me is we are told certain nationalities require a Caricom visa including Indians.
    Did Mr Majumdar have such a visa or are Journalists (whether accredited or not) exempt?

    Damage control AGAIN?

  6. Inkwell

    With a kick in his ungrateful ass.

  7. West Side Davie

    It will be interesting to see if the Barbados newspapers or CBC report this. Nothing yet on their websites.

    They would get the same news feeds as BFP wouldn’t they? Probably more?

  8. West Side Davie

    BFP: how did you find this story in an Indian newspaper?

  9. Get In The Action

    World Class facility and the same backward third world approach. Husbands should be fired and removed immediately from any position of influence he holds – what an embarassment to Barbados. Set an immediate example and send the right message to all of the other hangers on who feel they can wield influence and short-cut the system to get who they want into the venue.

  10. Jerome Hinds

    BORIA MAJUMDAR, an in Indian journalist claims among other things……………………………………

    ” and so we were forced to go down the unscrupulous path. It was a classic Bollywood case of the system forcing you to turn corrupt! Hudson took me into the media box, I met some of my colleagues from the British press, explained to them our plight and asked for their media passes to smuggle my team in. This wasn’t something I hadn’t done before. Rather, as a child we had repeatedly done this to watch Mohun Bagan’s matches in the local Calcutta football league, when most of us did not have the required membership ”

    If the allegations above which are attributed to Mr. BORIA MAJUMDAR are proven to be true……then it is necessary to ask the following…….

    1. With all the financial expenses and hype surrounding security for the CWC 2007 cup how was it possible for media personnel to exchange media passes without any detection from the security officials..???

    2. Was there no use of picture Identification…???

    With the use of technology it should have possible to make in mandatory that a recent certified photograph of media personnel be part and parcel of the accreditation process at least 6 – 8 weeks before CWC start.

    After all it was known long in advance when CWC 2007 would be staged…!!!

    3. Why did Mr. Husbands appear so confident to assure these journalists…….” that the best he could do was to escort me once to the media box. It was then on me to get something out of it “……???

    4. Finally, did these journalist have such a ” cake walk” through GAIA…..did they have the necessary Caricom visas…..???

  11. ashe

    It is a scary situation as one wonders whether Mr.Majumdar’s claims to being a journalist are valid. He could be a person whose sole objective was to reveal loopholes in security. Regardless of who or what he is, the powers that be must exercise the greatest judgement in each situation.

  12. nas

    Look Hudson Husbands is muscle mary advisor and henchman no surprise he can break security rules with impunity.
    Gregory Armstrong broke anti apartheid boycott to carry cricket mercenaries to apartheid South Africa. Not to mention many other infelicities. We dealing with two known scoundrels.
    This matter should be handed over to Darwin Dottin and John Collymore(?). They spending $50 million on security. What a sick joke.

  13. This may seem strange, but I feel for the poor journalists, they didn’t have to reveal they had an unusual method of access, now, everyone wants to punish them and the Brit media who assisted – none of it was directly at their doorstep… Bob Marley sang of caps and how they sit on certain heads y’know?

    Also – in a strange way I am reminded of the recent B’dos Music Awards entries I had, in essence – what organisers wanted from me was a lovely little pastiche and turn a blind eye to any peccadilloes; when I dared to open my mouth and state some true observations then offer solutions and compared it to known precedents? I was the wind called Pariah!

  14. Bajanboy

    I am not sure what the real security risk was here. Sure, protocol was broken but it is more than likely the journalists’ bags were searched and they would have been unable to take in a firearm or explosives. If someone wanted to achieve a catatrophic attack, they could highjack a fuel tanker, attach explosives and crash through the security gates and into one of the stands before exploding the truck. I think this could be done very easily and there would be nothing anyone could do to prevent it.

  15. Hants

    Husbands and Armstrong exhibited poor judgement. Lets hope they learned from this.

    Barbados is a tourist centric island so this kind of “enabling” comes naturally.

    Let us hope that we get through CWC2007 so that the Caribbean will benefit from this event.

  16. Headz

    I agree that NO heads will roll.

    This is Barbados, and we don’t step down.
    THAT would be more loss of face that stickin in dey!
    No heads will roll.

    The ‘worst’ one could hope for is a toothless Commission of Enquiry.

    Jeez how I quiver and shake in my boots
    at the very thought of THAT!
    _____ riiiight!

  17. I am very worried about the security breach and what it represents. Just a couple of comments:
    i) I hope that we are not assuming that ‘the terrorists’ are from a particular faith.
    ii) I also hope that those involved realise that ‘security’ is not just to make us feel safe but to actually increase the chances of detecting and sorting potential threats.
    iii) That said the actual risk of any incidents or security breaches is likely to be rediculously low

    ***********************

    Comment by Marcus

    Hi CWC

    We are not assuming that the terrorists are from a particular faith. They could be, say, Baptists who strap explosives to their children and send them off to explode in crowds – then name streets after them and celebrate that their son has gone to be with 77 virgins.

    Or Catholic Nuns who hijack airliners, slit the throats of the pretty young cabin crew and then fly the airliners full of families into tall buildings while shouting “Praise Jesus and Hail Mary”

    Or… they could be Buddhist monks who make nail bombs and plant them in crowds so that the world will eventually become Buddhist.

    Or they could be crazy people like you – who are so politically correct that they refuse to say the name of the one terrorist group that we all know we are defending against – the one warped group from one religion who are the only reason for all the security. We can just pretend that every religion poses an equal threat, and that the Seventh Day Adventists on the island are an equal threat to Jihadist Muslims.

    Stupes

  18. Adrian Loveridge

    Jerome Hinds raises some very interesting questions.

    In what capacity was Dr. Husbands, former chairman of the BTA acting and on whose authority?

    I understand that Dr. Husbands is a a co-director of Tourism Global Inc., in partnership with Richard Williams, the newly appointed BTA Vice President of Marketing in the Americas.
    As far as I am aware his only tourism interest is as a condominium developer.

    Has he been hired as a consultant to CWC?

  19. Tex

    whenever there is underhand, unethical, suspicious behaviour in tourist industry certain names always called, husbands, richard williams, noel barney lynch are three of usual suspects.

  20. On The Sideline

    This incident is of particular interest. It shows the calous nature by which some people go about comprimising what others try so hard to set up. I strungly believe that Mr. Hutson Husbands should be fired. There is not reasonable or logical excuse for what he has done.

    After this incident there should definately be the introduction of photo identification for all persons wearing or carrying passes of any kind at the world cup.

    It also shows the lack of security in the Media box itself. There should have been someone in the box ensuring that everyone there is wearing their pass at all times or be removed from the box.

    As for Mr Majumdar , he has done what any one else would have but in the spirit of the event he acted wrongfully and should be made to pay for it. He should have brought this to someones attention before he took this unscrupulous action.

    Live and learn.

  21. Straight talk

    What’s the point of spending $ 50 million on security when it can be circumvented by some non accountable suit and his connections ?
    D’ya think bin Laden was some boy from the block?
    No..his family are the owners of a multi-billion construction company.
    And his daddy was having omelettes for breakfast with George Bush’s daddy when the towers fell 9/11/2001.
    You never can tell if they’re one of us…. or one of them.

    Perhaps Mr Husbands would have wangled him and his friends tickets too!

  22. Wishing in Vain

    I said that the US $ 50 mill was a waste looks more so now than ever before, as for Richard Williams he is collecting money from the tapayers while running a tourism venture he too should be fired as to Muscle mary et al

  23. Bajanboy

    I too fear that Richard Williams is not the most astute choice for a VP of the BTA. I have not heard about this in the press, so I assume it is a pending appointment. Richard has done nothing since he was let go as the manager of the Sandy Lane Hotel almost 10 years ago. If he was any good, they would have kept him on as interim manager during the re-construction. I know him personally and have never been impressed by him.

    Maybe he will lead a dramatic turn around in business from the USA. It is unacceptable to spend huge amounts of money in markets only to deliver a few percentage point increase in business, whereas other countries are spending far less while getting double digit increases.

  24. Wishing in Vain

    Richard Williams has been a dismal failure at Sandy Lane hence having him replaced, but more inportantly he is being employed by Gov’t using taxpayers dollars in a the US market while still operating as Managing Director of a tourism related venture this can been thought of as a conflict of interest can it not?
    Why do we continue to persue the USA market? this market is the least productive area of revenue to the island why not a focus on the European and Canadian markets or is this to find a job for Williams and he wants to reside in the USA?

  25. Tex

    Serious questions you posing there..wishing in vain.
    Your questions give rise to more queries.
    I understand Williams job never advertised. How come? Are not all jobs bankrolled by tax payers advertised?
    Loveridge states Williams and Hutson Husbands operating their own company. Is that conflict? Isnt gob paying Williams too? What gives?
    Why Barney Lynch give a mediocrity like Williams a six figure plum pick in weak USA market? Is this payback for something? My my my more questions than answers.
    I wonder if Lynette Eastmond can enlighten us humble taxpayers.

  26. Wishing in Vain

    Don’t wait on Lynette or any other BLP poltician for any replies you will die waiting, there is more nonsense taking place in this administration than ever before it is almost like a rush to make the last of the contracts and the orders and the giveaways and the outright stealing as if they are feeling a surge and they may be put out to pasture for a while and the last big grab is going on.

  27. Jerome Hinds

    Tex , asks,

    ” I wonder if Lynette Eastmond can enlighten us humble taxpayers ”

    —————————————————————–

    Tex, I doubt Ms. Leave – It Eastmond……ooooops…Ms. Lynette Eastmond going to touch that one….!!!

    Remember, she says unless it is……UNDER….her Ministry…!!!

  28. Rumplestilskin

    CWC ’07: says Or… they could be Buddhist monks who make nail bombs and plant them in crowds so that the world will eventually become Buddhist.”

    Buddhists are of the few who are non violent.

    Take your point though.

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  30. yatinkiteasy

    Makes one wonder if the Esso Facility and gas station mere yards away from the stands are properly guarded,24 /7..I believe the tanks have gas in them, which is like having some huge bombs at the doorstep.(They banned food people from having gas barbeque grills)
    It wouldnt take much to set this up if they put their “agressive Indian caps on” to quote Mr Majumdar.Lets face it, we rely on luck more than anything else when it comes to security.

  31. mike

    I agree with a lot of what Adrian Loveridge says … we need to find out in what capacity Mr Husbands acted. And by the way guys, in the interest of accuracy you should consider amending the headline as he is not BTA Chairman.

  32. Kelly

    I wonder if the Barbados Free Press is concerned about accuracy and therefore would proceed to correct the headline which makes reference to Mr Husbands as Chairman of the BTA. As far as I am aware he no longer holds that position.
    The BFP slips are showing more and more each day…….

    ***********************

    Comment by George

    Hi Kelly

    We made an error which is now corrected and explained with an update. It actually makes the whole security situation look ever worse, don’t you think?

    That is the great thing about blogs like BFP. When we make an error our readers point it out and it is corrected. Quite unlike the Nation News that can’t reprint yesterday’s paper and doesn’t correct anything.

    Thanks for helping to keep the Barbados Free Press one of the most accurate and timely sources for Barbados news!

    *************************

    NEW COMMENT BY CLIVERTON

    Ha ha ha ha

    This person same IP address

    Sharon = Rufus = Kelly

    Amazing how those accusing us of hiding an agenda stoop to posting false support for their own posts!

    ha ha ha ha

  33. justice

    Come on, BFP, you are in error. Change the headline to appeaseMike and Kelly and the nitpickers, but we will not be distracted by such petty stuff and ignore the essence of this sneaky behaviour by all concerned, including Husbands whatever his title.

  34. BFP

    ***********************

    Comment by George

    Hi Kelly

    We made an error which is now corrected and explained with an update. It actually makes the whole security situation look ever worse, don’t you think?

    That is the great thing about blogs like BFP. When we make an error our readers point it out and it is corrected. Quite unlike the Nation News that can’t reprint yesterday’s paper and doesn’t correct anything.

    Thanks for helping to keep the Barbados Free Press one of the most accurate and timely sources for Barbados news!

  35. del

    husbands not ch’man still the pupeteer lives

  36. John

    …. pupeteer or poppeteer

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  38. Adrian Loveridge

    It appears from a BBC news item posted on their website a few hours ago that Mr Majumday is a ‘sports historian’ and this time he has chosen to increase readership by submitting an article to the BBC, once again lambasting Barbados.
    We must be so grateful to Dr. Husbands (the FORMER) BTA chairman was using his influence to ensure this gentleman had every access to the Media facilities.

    I would have thought the BTA public relations people would have issued a response and even one of the principal sponsors of the event, Cable and Wireless, regarding internet and broadband availability

  39. Adrian Loveridge

    Sorry should read

    to Dr. Husbands (the former BTA Chairman) for using his influence..

    Sorry

  40. Adrian L- re Mr Majumday lambasting Barbados:

    That’s probably why DR Husbands is a “former.” Despite his PhD in something, he evidently doesn’t do as much reading as he should on the suitability of favoured proteges. “But I meant well,” he will whine.

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  44. fil

    I have seen here, much made of the activity after getting into Kensington.

    Have we all missed that the greater issue: the lack of organisation?

    The group was in Barbados a couple of days early. Of course, platitudes like, it was only a trial run, and it was the first time, and so on, will be issued, since it appears the greater evil is that the people actually GOT into kensington, which they came to the island to do.

    Woe is we.

  45. homewrecker

    Dr Hutson Husband was and will always be a fraud , he cant help it can he ? does anyone know whether or not he does have a doctorate , if so , in what?