On September 6, 2006, the Nation News proclaimed…
BARBADOS’ FIRST manufacturing plant, designed to mass produce houses for lower-income earners, should be up and running at Six Roads, St Philip, by year-end.
That was the word yesterday from Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Clyde Mascoll, during an interview after taking part in a panel discussion on poverty eradication the conference room of the National Insurance Scheme, Frank Walcott Building, Culloden Road, St Michael.
Mascoll said the $1 million project would see the importation of hardwood from Guyana and the subsequent pre-designing of the houses at the plant before eventually reaching the consumer…
… “We are now in the process of developing, along with the BIDC, a formal arrangement where the necessary financing would be accessed. There is already agreement in terms of financing the project,” he noted. (See the Nation News article Homes To Go)
But The Hardwood Company Hadn’t Even Been Registered Yet!
It is interesting that on September 6, 2006, Minister Mascoll says that “There is already agreement in terms of financing the project,”
Interesting because Hardwood Housing Factory Inc., the controversial company that is now at the center of corruption and non-performance allegations, wasn’t registered until November 2, 2006 – some two months after the financing agreement had been arranged. I wonder who or what entity that financing agreement was with? It certainly wasn’t with a company that didn’t exist until two months later!
Minister Clyde Mascoll
The BIG Question: Which Barbados Politicians Are Involved With The Guyanese Hardwood Exporters & Suppliers?
Thanks to the facts coming out of the VECO corruption scandal in Alaska, we know more about how corrupt politicians pocket money during government business deals. The FBI investigation and hours of secretly taped phone calls revealed the corrupt techniques commonly used by VECO with US and foreign politicians. Golly, I wonder if VECO was able to teach any of its tricks to Barbados politicians during the building of the oil terminal and the jail? (Shona says that it would be the Bajan politicians who were teaching VECO) 🙂
Applying the same corrupt techniques to the hardwood homes situation made me realize that a perfect source of kickbacks for Barbados politicians involved in approving this project and the 1 million dollar loan would be in Guyana with the hardwood suppliers.
Instead of the Barbados factory paying “X” for hardwood from Guyana, Minister Mascoll, his agents or other Barbados government members could ensure that the factory paid “X” plus 10% – with that extra 10% going to the offshore bank accounts of the Barbados government officials. To further obscure the kickbacks, the Guyanese hardwood supplier could “hire” corrupt politicians or their family members to “consult” on business matters totally unrelated to the hardwood contract. This is how VECO pays kickbacks to corrupt politicians, and it may be that the Guyanese hardwood supplier has done the same.
So we have a few simple questions for Minister Clyde Mascoll. He should be able to answer them off the top of his head, but we aren’t holding our breath…
Dear Minister Mascoll,
1/ Have you, any member of your family or anyone in Barbados received any payment, commission, consulting fee, gift or any benefit at all from any person or company in the supply chain of hardwood to Hardwood Housing Factory Inc.?
2/ Do you or any of your family members have bank accounts or assets outside of Barbados? Did any of the funds in those outside accounts or assets originate from persons or companies who have done business with the Government of Barbados at any time?
3/ Name all the persons and companies in the hardwood supply chain to Hardwood Housing Factory Inc.
All of the above information would normally be available to citizens of countries that have integrity legislation, conflict of interest regulations, disclosure laws and freedom of information requirements of government.
You know… DEMOCRATIC countries where dedicated and responsible government officials at least have standards and laws that they must adhere to.
Over to you, Minister Mascoll…