Who Will Get The Duty-Free BMW Autos? Barbados Government Contract Conditions Exposed As Sham


Cricket World Cup Auto Deal Has Unprecedented Conditions – But Is Still Set Up To Allow Sweetheart Deals For The Elites

The Government of Barbados agreed to waive duties for the top-of-the-line BMW cars imported for Cricket World Cup, but the condition that the government imposed upon the deal with Warrens Motors is absolutely unprecedented in the history of independent Barbados…

“In exchange for a 35 per cent waiver of duties, Warrens Motors had to agree not to sell the cars to any members of its staff or their families, any members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for CWC or their connections, no Government ministers or their relatives or no other members of Government after the tournament.”

While this unusual condition might be associated with preemptive damage control for the whole Cricket World Cup fiasco (ie: Somebody in government said “We don’t need any further allegations of corruption associated with CWC so impose these re-sale restrictions this time”), the fact that they were imposed for the first time highlights that previous duty-free auto deals had no such conditions.

The contract also shows that the government is now having to pay attention to the increasing demands by citizens that government officials and their families and associates stop profiting from their positions of control and insider knowledge.


Duty-Free – Duty Reduced Autos Are Highly Prized In Barbados

Importing new autos into Barbados is an expensive proposition, and is made even more so through the imposition of duties and taxes that can almost triple the price of an auto when compared with other jurisdictions. Total duties on new autos start at about 150% and can reach as high as 200% depending on the purchase price.

Although information about duty exemptions and reductions is not published by the Barbados government (golly, I wonder why? 😉 ), it is well known that many “special situations” have been approved by the Owen Arthur administration. Sometimes the availability of duty-free autos is used as a perk for certain government officials and insiders. As an example, judges are provided with duty-free government cars and are then able to purchase them after a few years. Oh yes… they get a $35,000 interest-free loan to help them along too!

“Ordinary” citizens pay up to triple the price for autos compared with “connected” government insiders and their families and friends, so it can be seen that the arrival of almost 100 sparkling new duty-free BMWs on Barbados is a big deal.


Why Did Government Impose & Publicise This Contract Change?

The ability and willingness of the Owen Arthur administration to hand out rewards of duty free autos like candy – or to withhold them as a punishment – is indicative of a culture of corruption that permeates the Barbados government from top to bottom.

And, as we saw with the recent rammed-through changes to our constitution, the government IS the law – so what is illegal on Monday can be made legal on Tuesday and then changed back whenever the need arises. The Owen Arthur government is despotic in it’s ability and willingness to do as it pleases – so why the sudden change of rules involving these specific BMW autos?

The answer is…

Nothing Has Changed: The Resale Restrictions Are A Sham – Only To Fool The Public

With the growing citizen awareness and disgust of how government insiders arrange things to personally profit from their public positions, the Owen Arthur administration tried to preempt criticism by using The Nation News to make a public announcement of the unusual contract conditions. The government was saying “See folks. We’re honest here. No perks THIS TIME for us government bigwigs.”

The resale restrictions are all about “looking good” – not some new ethical standard by government.

True to it’s lapdog traditions, The Nation News regurgitated the government’s propaganda without asking any questions or digging any deeper. (“Yessa massa!”)

Had anyone in the lapdog media thought about it, or had any courage, they would have seen through the government’s sham, because…

It Is Still Not Against The Law For Government Insiders To Obtain These Autos… And They Will!

First of all, the government has not said how many of these fine luxury automobiles it will be acquiring from Warrens Motors. Earlier media reports indicated that the government would have first opportunity to purchase these vehicles, and indeed we have heard that government insiders started jockeying for position even before the autos touched Barbados soil.

Many of these autos will find their way into government service – purchased or leased by the government for favoured insiders. This is a neat trick that doesn’t violate the contract restrictions, but still allows the government to hand out treats to friends. After the standard 3 years, government officials will be allowed to purchase “their” duty-free BMWs. Because the sales restriction is against Warrens, no laws will be broken.

Nice touch there, Owen!


The Sneakiest Part Of The Sham Is This…

Warrens’ sales restriction puts the onus on the seller, not on the buyer.

Government insiders break no laws if they “somehow” end up driving one of these autos. If a “friend” purchases an auto and then sells, gives, leases or loans it to a government insider or family members – no laws have been broken by the government insider or anyone else and there is nothing that could be done.

Even if Warrens were to break the contract agreement and knowingly sell to a government insider’s nephew or friend, no law would be broken. It would simply be a civil contract dispute because the government of Barbados has not implemented any conflict of interest or integrity legislation.

So you see, folks… nothing has changed.

The government will not impose any restrictions prohibiting insiders or their families and friends from acquiring these duty-free BMWs because that would open up a whole can of worms about integrity and conflict of interest legislation.

And if there is one thing that the Owen Arthur administration doesn’t want, it is integrity and conflict of interest legislation.

We caught you again, Mr. Prime Minister.

Story Links

The Nation News…

Luxury Ride

BMWs Rolling Out For Cup

BMW Deal Up To Government

Reading Letter Was Wrong

Barbados Free Press…

Who Will End Up With These Barbados Cricket World Cup BMW Autos? Pick Me! Pick Me!

Luxury Auto Dealership Opens At Barbados Courts!


Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

28 responses to “Who Will Get The Duty-Free BMW Autos? Barbados Government Contract Conditions Exposed As Sham

  1. Boycott

    Boycott Warrens Motors?

  2. Bush Tea

    Leave them. Having to deal with Warrens Motors for parts and service will be punishment enough…

  3. suggestion

    Perhaps they could just let Executive Car Rentals take them over. No problem. I am sure Mr. Wilkinson and the beneficial owners of Executive would be most grateful.
    All is well.

  4. Boycott


  5. No-name

    This is as you said a sham. There is no way any member of the general public will ever know whether or not cars were sold to persons involved in the LOC etc. We will never be able to trace the sale of any of the BMWs. How would anyone know if Owen’s wife buy a BMW it will not be given to her at the duty free price. Invoices can be adjusted to accomodate the purchaser.

  6. hard ears

    ya cud hide and buy lan but ya can hide and work it

    when we see dem cars driving bout we wud know who driving dem unless de got dark winders

    all de same da got so much beemers bout dese days dat we ent gine know anyhow ef dem is tief or not

  7. No-name

    hard ears,
    My point is if a member of the general public see someone related to Owen or a member of LOC driving a BMW they will not have any recourse. This is a complete waste if time. Will anyone be able to call Warrens Motors and set up an appointment to examine the relavant documents? All that will happen is that we will see Julie Arthur’s brother driving a BMW, we will talk about it and nothing will happen. All Warens Motors have to do is to issue the appropriate documents.

  8. Lady Anon

    Quite a number of MP vehicles are already BMWs. All that needs to be done is a phase out and a phase in using the same numbers. We would be no wiser.

  9. thieves

    How about when we see one of these beemers being driven around and we know it is one of the ones obtained through the CWC sham we throw a few big rocks through the windscreen and scratch up the nice paint.

  10. thieves

    I mean we never have any recourse in Barbados. Politicians and people in authority do as the like in a culture of impunity. Maybe we need to become serious and let them know we are tired tired tired.

  11. John


    According to BFP,

    Warrens’ sales restriction puts the onus on the seller, not on the buyer.

    Government insiders break no laws if they “somehow” end up driving one of these autos. If a “friend” purchases an auto and then sells, gives, leases or loans it to a government insider or family members – no laws have been broken by the government insider or anyone else and there is nothing that could be done.

    How could BS&T implement such a responsibility and fulfill their commitment once the car has been sold?

    How about BS&T Motors publishing the sequential licence plate numbers for all BMWs thus sold.

    Maybe they could even put a mark on them, not necessarily 666 or anything extreme like that, but something that would set the car apart..

    That way they would be recognising the propensity of Government insiders to beat the system and do their thing as a good corporate citizen.

    I am sure they would get kudos for being seen as doing their bit to keep the Government on the straight and narrow path.

  12. SimpleSolutions

    You know there is a simple solution.

    All existing BMW owners identify their vehicle with a small sign, purchased before 15th May 2007.

    And then every other potential BMW owner, make a conscious decision to buy another make of vehicle.

    As and when the ’81’ specially imported vehicles appear on the market, at whatever cost, it will be easy to identify the new owners.

    If they are Government lackies or special friends or performing favours, they will stick out like sore thumbs.

    Come on, you can resist buying a BMW until the next election!

  13. Straight talk

    Anything wrong with a Grand Public Auction for these beemers?
    Seems to me the way to go.

  14. No-name

    you want riot in this country? In Guyana the thiefing gov’t awarded the contract or license to a party faithful to import BMWs for CWC. Apparently this persons does not have a track record or experience in importing vehicles. Nuff corruption in de place.

    How about hiring Sydney Burnette Alleyne? Is he still available for hire?

    We need him to talk to Owen ASAP

  15. Warrior

    Where have we gone wrong as a country , when we can breed the likes of (Owen Arthur) Ali Baba and the forty thieves.

    If Owen Arthur was my child I would hold my head in shame and now he trying to fool the ppl that he is “religious”.

    He is the devil in hell himself, or his spawn.

  16. Get In The Action

    What about all of the consultants hired by the LOC eg. Leacock etc. These provisos don’t cover them, they can get as many beemers as they want, especially after overseeing the $2M Blackout …. sorry Closing Ceremony.

  17. La De Da

    Straight talk has the only sensible suggestion–AUCTION THEM–This duty free auto system is and has always been abused. Taxis that never do anything but carry around the owners and their families. Returning Nationals that “never returned”, but their cars are here and being driven everyday. Diplomats who sell vehicles for much more than they paid and boast about it. The rest of us pay through our a**es–sorry teeth.

  18. ballawade

    Nice Information, Nice pictures, very attractive! Keep it up!

  19. yatinkinkiteasy

    Afew days after the Nation ran the story abut the BMWs I visited Warrens Motors to see what kind of a deal could get on one of these babies.I was told that about 6 were still available, and to act fast, as they were going fast! Price..530 models..normal duty paid$381000..special CWC deal..$265000
    Series 320.$225000.normal duty paid price….CWC special$$165000
    What a deal!
    A 530 in th US is around $43000US
    and the 320 around $30000US. See what a bargin we are getting?Then again I expect them all to be sold to folks with duty free “rights”…shucks, rules me out, I am honest!

  20. FamilyB

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the savings the ‘entitled’ folks make from the duty free purchases, the poor quality diesel will keep them pulling their pockets for parts, service, and tow-trucks for years to come!

  21. Anonymous

    And that justifies the sale of the cars to insiders?

    Mek muh laugh.

  22. Justasking

    Yatakiniteasy, who did you talk to at Warrens Motors? Johnny Tudor?

    Anyone ever wonder why Government/Public Service has purchased and continues to purchase so many BMW? Including BMW SUV?

  23. sis

    Tell us, Justasking. This bound to be good.

  24. De Orginal

    Interesting position by the government have they finally listened to the postings about accountability, integrity and transparency or we have just discovered the sham of the century. I too believe this is all about damage control. I am almost embrassed as a Bajan when I read in the international press about the disastrous end of the World Cup Final.

    Being place under international scrutiny have cause or worthless government to go on the back foot. Opps should have stayed away from cricket. Or i should get a consultant executive producer to speak on my behalf………… I wonder how much one of them jobs pay ? If anyone knows please share with us.

  25. sis

    FamilyB, are the Beemers Diesel?

  26. FamilyB

    yes sis, they are

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