How Owen Arthur and his Government Ministers Set Up The ABC-Flyover Project To Fill Their Secret Offshore Bank Accounts

Cost Overruns Were Not Incompetence: They Were Theft

My friends, for the past 14 years we have seen one major government project after another double, triple or quadruple in cost with no accounting ever given. Whatever the BLP government touched seemed to go bad – think GEMS Hotels, the office at Warrens, giving out millions of dollars of weed-trimmers (purportedly to “help” young men start “businesses” trimming rich folks’ lawns like their grandfathers before them), Greenland dump (50 million spent so far and not a piece of garbage can be put there until another 20 million is spent), Kensington Oval (150 million and still no lights so Barbados was embarrassed before the world) and so many other failed government projects.

Recently we’ve seen the debacle over the new jail built by the corrupt VECO Corporation and the ABC Highway and Flyover project being built by the 3S Structural Steel Solutions bunch of crooks who are facing fraud charges over kickbacks on a previous bridge project in Jamaica.

Why Do Our Government Projects Cost So Much?

Gather round, children – and Uncle Marcus will tell you the story of how your Prime Minister, his Cabinet and other BLP supporters arrange government projects so as to siphon your tax dollars from the projects into their secret offshore bank accounts in Europe, the USA and Africa.

The Prime Minister and his gang have created a method of stealing money that is so slick you’ll have to think about it for a while even if we describe it fully.

The ABC Highway project is only one example of many – but it is a good one.

How Prime Minister Arthur Used The ABC-Flyover Project To Put Your Money In His Offshore Bank Accounts

barbados-corruption-3s.jpg

Step 1 – Choose A Foreign Contractor Who Will Cooperate In Providing Kickbacks To Politicians

Firstly, Owen Arthur and the gang chose a foreign company to be the prime contractor. That company, 3S Structural Steel Solutions, had never built anything when chosen by the Prime Minister in a behind-closed-doors meeting.

There are two reasons for choosing a foreign contractor:

1/ The contractor is based in a foreign country so payments from the government are made to bank accounts outside of Barbados. This is important because the Prime Minister’s gang doesn’t want the kickback payments to the politicians to be made within Barbados – for obvious reasons.

2/ The foreign contractor must be willing to take a portion of the monies received from the Barbados Government and divert the monies into a channel that eventually ends up in the offshore bank accounts of Barbados politicians.

Obviously, 3S Steel Solutions met both criteria. Its President, Jonathan Danos, is corrupt and recently even admitted it! In a sworn affidavit before a UK court, Mr. Danos explains how he paid huge bribes to politicians’ middlemen so that the governments of Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Panama would award the contracts to his employer at the time: Mabey and Johnson Limited.

(See BFP’s Barbados Flyover Contractor Jonathan Danos Admits Paying Huge Bribes To Caribbean Government Officials & Their Middlemen)

So Jonathan Danos would say yes to providing kickbacks to Prime Minister Owen Arthur and others in exchange for the ABC Flyover project.

The second part of the plan was realized when 3S Structural Steel Solutions was created in 2005 as a new company working out of a single room in the USA.

Think about that folks – the company chosen by Prime Minister Arthur to build a project costing hundreds of millions of dollars had never built anything before, and had its office in a single rented room in the USA. Hundreds of millions of your tax dollars going through a company that is essentially a table, a chair and a phone in a rented room.

Step 2 – Have A Relative Or Friend Set-up A Consulting Company In The USA, UK, Caribbean, Asia or Africa

Here’s where the fun starts. You see, the politicians don’t want 3S and Jonathan Danos to write them a cheque directly – even if it is coming from the 3S in the USA to the politician’s account in, say, the Channel Islands off the UK.

What the politicians do is to have a front person incorporate a company for them in some offshore banking haven. The front man’s name appears on the company records, but the Prime Minister’s name doesn’t appear anywhere.

Do You See How It All Works?

1. Government awards a large project to a crooked offshore contractor.

2. Crooked offshore contractor hires Bajan firms to do the real work because the offshore contractor isn’t a real company with the resources to handle the project themselves.

3. Government pays the offshore contractor. Let’s say 100 million dollars as an example. The offshore contractor pays the Bajan firms that did the real work perhaps 50 million dollars. That leaves 50 million left.

4. Offshore contractor pays an offshore “consulting company” owned by the Prime Minister say, 25 million dollars for “engineering consulting and reports”. The Prime Minister’s name isn’t attached to the “consulting company”, but perhaps his wife owns most of the shares.

5. After losing the election, Owen Arthur lives abroad where the “consulting company” pays him big money for, well, consulting!

6. Even if the new DLP government is suspicious, the trail from tax money to the Prime Minister’s pocket is long and daunting. Danos and 3S probably have many legitimate “consultants” working on the flyover project, so sorting it all out would be extremely difficult.

There you go folks, the perfect theft of millions of tax dollars by the Prime Minister.

If you think that scenario is unlikely, you are living in some fairy tale land.

Read the following…

The Nation News: ABC Shame

BFP: Barbados Flyover Contractor Jonathan Danos Admits Paying Huge Bribes To Caribbean Government Officials & Their Middlemen)

34 Comments

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

34 responses to “How Owen Arthur and his Government Ministers Set Up The ABC-Flyover Project To Fill Their Secret Offshore Bank Accounts

  1. CLionesse

    I dunno – was anyone else underwhelmed by the big bombshell last night? I was there and most of the things said have been said already – that is:
    1) the project was hurried through without proper consultation or a competitive tendering process – that has been reported.
    2) that the cost of the project has increased by more than 100% – again, already reported by both the msm and blogs.
    Really, it is Lt. Col. Trevor Browne and John Whittingham of BAPE who have been leading the charge on this issue for the past two years and have raised all of these issues (which belies to some extent the oft-repeated accusation that civil society has been silent). The Barbados Economists Society has also criticised the project. Thompson just gave us exact dollar and cents amounts but nothing NEW. I thought the bombshell was going to be why this project has been so dodgy and who was benefiting from the dodginess of it all.

    Bah. To quote Archie bunker, I should have stood in bed. 😐

  2. Balancedview

    The bombshell for me was the forensic report and the money paid to Owen bank account, which he said in Parliament he passed on to the BLP. If he passed it on then it should have been declared, which it wasn’t. We can only then assume it was pocket money. Either way it looks pretty bad

  3. Velzo

    Well, thats you. I found the whole night overwhelming. The issue is not just ABC but the cheques and everything else!

  4. Andrew

    Clionesse

    you must be the only one last night that didn’t get the point (even the pro-BLP Nation newspaper got the point – hence today’s headline)

    Owen says that none of his ministers are crooks – but it turns out that he is the biggest crook of all ( along with his friends Hallam and David)

    How cum Owen who was crying 14 short years ago that he couldn’t pay his bills, is now rated among the 9 richest men in Barbados ??

    If I was a member of the BLP, I’ll be shame this morning and saying sorry, instead of trying to justify the shenanigans of the crooks in the party.

    Thompson Delivered – with proof – no more rumours, the facts were there to be seen.

  5. Sargeant

    Normally, I would hesitate to criticise a fellow blogger but the above post from CLionesse strikes a chord in how apathetic we have become. She states that the all of the information she heard at the meeting has already been exposed on the blogs and msm. She assumes that because she has access to the blogs and is fully conversant on how to access information from the blogs that everyone has the same capability. Exposed where? The local press? Give me a break, while the aforementioned gentlemen have expressed their opinions on the viability of this project I’ve yet to see any full and frank discussion in the local media about same. Usually the reps from BAPE pen a letter to the newspaper or blogs criticising the necessity, scope and viability of the project; the gov’t rep or road builder rep provides a response and end of story. Everyone does not have access to blogs to follow the back stories that are not reported in the press, that’s why there are political meetings to provide some information to help some people make up their minds on which party they should support. For gods sake there are no debates.

    As to dollars and cents after all you are a taxpayer and at least that should be of some interest to the public at large.
    Perhaps Thompson doesn’t have all the details on why the project has been so dodgy, I suppose Arthur and his cronies know, but they ain’t talking.

    However, I do agree that civil society has been silent on the issue but someday someone will have to pay the piper.

    Sleep on.

  6. Anonymous

    CLionesse,
    How do you feel about the way Owen has spent your money? Does it matter to you whether you have tp pay more taxes as a direct result of cost over runs? Does it matter to you whether a Prime Minister is the type who takes kick backs? Deos it matter to you they share the money between each other without tendering projects?

  7. reality check

    some good comments from David Thompson in the Nation but what is he going to do when and if he finds local contractors holding money offshore for Owen and his “den of tiefs”?

    Also, to what degree has the BNB been complicit in this scam?

    I can hear the shredders running and the defenses that “we are just innocent bankers” coming to their lips.

    I wonder if there are any auditors that should be running for cover at the moment or if the government or BNB had any on all these BOLT projects?

  8. Guava Jelly

    Sargeant,
    You have hit the nail on the head. We are so accustomed to shrugging off everything we hear or see that it has to be the way to describe the Barbadian mentality. Occurences which would rock other countries and make their perpetrators face the consequences whether through resignation or a more extreme punishment we always manage to shrug off.
    Depending on who you are, you can get away with murder and the people will applaud. In one of the episodes of Star Wars the Princess asked if this is how democracy dies? To the sound of applause. People love to say how we are a christian society, but this is only when they are dealing with certain issues. Ask these same christians to show some true christianity in standing against anything in the society other than prostitution and homosexuality and they can’t get past a stammer. While I am not a witness, I can see clearly why Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to be numbered among the so called christians who stand for nothing but themselves.
    Someday, we and/or our children are going to reap the just desserts of our decisions made today. Go figure. There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

  9. CLionesse

    Point taken that there were other bombshells but anyone who was at the meeting would recall that the highway project was the one that Thompson saved for his finale – he called it the ‘scandal of the century’. Furthermore, in the build-up they spoke about hundreds of millions of dollars. I’m just saying from a theatrical impact point of view that I was expecting more from the finale, especially since the build up bombshells were pretty impressive, what with the photocopies of the cheques and what have you.

    And I disagree that this issue has not been exposed in the media – if you check the Nation’s site archives, there are lots of stories going back to 05. Furthermore I do presume that the majority of Barbadians have access to the blogs – in 2006, 60% of Barbadians had internet access according to the ITU. And BFP is constantly trumpeting their statistics – the truth has been out there for a while. I wanted the deeper, darker truth.

  10. Citizen First

    I agree that much of the information on the ABC highway project that was presented last night (and yes, I was present at Haggat Hall) was already known by those who have been following the project …. but Mr Thompson has again placed this significant issue firmly in the electorate’s mind and quite rightly so. The cavalier manner (at best) or corrupt action (possibly) of the Government of the day in this regard warrants in the first instance their removal from office. My only concern now is that the new DLP government should do at least 3 things:

    (a) Fully investigate the project with every intention of prosecuting in the law courts anyone found to have broken criminal laws or administrative rules .

    (b) Determine the “contract”, immediately remove 3S from the job and seek to limit the financial exposure of the Government and People of Barbados.

    (c) Establish or strengthen the legal and administrative framework ( the Contractor General idea of Dr Haynes ?) so as to make it more difficult for future administrations to embark on such projects in a similar manner.

    It would be galling if all that happens (beyond the change in administration) is that the project is completed by 3S, at the price they have demanded and the business of Government continues on as before with those responsible quietly laughing all the way to bank.

  11. Anonymous

    Any stats on recent sales of shredders to GoB??

  12. When corruption and stealing public funds is not a dishonest act my friend then we fully understand your stance.

    When we have persons such MR LERON GIBBS financing the campaign of ASSCOTT to the tune of in excess of $ 500,000.00 to buy the votes and the seat as was stated by Mr ____ a campaign worker working for ASSCOTT.

    There are a few issues for me on this revelation, one it suggest that as Noeless Blarney Lynch suggest that at least 10 % of the population are buyable votes.

    As it stands it also appears that ASSCOL is under this same thought process and is willing to buy his 10 % of his votes my question is based on this revelation by Mr _______ that he has $ 500,000.00 to spend on this campaign from MR LERON GIBBS does this statement not require closer attention, does this not break the laws in terms of the ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUNDING LAWS ?
    Also my suggestion to those that are attempted to be bought that instead of accepting a pittance from these scams my advice to you is to suggest that you ask these ASSCOLL workers for $ 400.00 or $ 500.00 with each request for a vote and then take it and go and support a sincere honest person in Chris. VOTE DLP.

    After hear last evening of the extent of the campaign funding coming from the HALOUTES, HALLAM NICHOLLS, DAVID SHOREY, GLYNE BANNISTER no wonder mottley has been seen giving away envelopes with $ 200.00 per envelope.

  13. Jerome Hinds

    CLionesse
    January 10, 2008 at 12:56 pm
    I dunno – was anyone else underwhelmed by the big bombshell last night? I was there and most of the things said have been said already

    ***************************************
    CLionesse,

    You are……WRONG !

    David Thompson ( on 9th JANUARY , 2008 ) quoted from a ” CONFIDENTIAL ” document which was only prepared after 20th DECEMBER , 2007 !

    Owen Arthur hurriedly announced the elections on 20th DECEMBER , 2007 !

    CLionesse……where on MSN & the BLOGS….did Owen Arthur gave you access to this
    ” CONFIDENTIAL ” document before the 9 th of January , 2008 ??????

    WE wid….DAVID & DEM !

  14. Hants

    clionesse I think you are missing the point. It is taxpayers money being wasted.

    If you personally do not care how your portion of taxes is wasted at least consider the children and future generations of Barbadians who have to repay these debts.

    Re “How cum Owen who was crying 14 short years ago that he couldn’t pay his bills, is now rated among the 9 richest men in Barbados ?? ”

    Prehaps Owing used his salary to buy shares in Microsoft and Oil stocks.

  15. Hants

    I hope we haven’t forgotten VECO and the court case in Alaska.

    There seems to be a pattern of hiring Companies with patterns of Bribery and Fraud.

  16. Goodaftrenoon clioness you must be the only one lastnite to be found with your brain fast a sleep.when David talk bout them checks, an the signatures on the back is enough to raise the hair on your head.200,000.00 to blp,40,000 to reggie,75,000.00 to owen and more,the proof is there,we tax payers.what about the fly overs 8 at one price, reduce to 6 but cost more than the 8 they were goin to build. tell me from a cost of 119,000,000.00 to build the highway could end up at nearly 263,000,000.00 highway robbery.Chris talk bout the check,to pay for his inlaw out of the st.peter dev’ment fund 7 gran what a shame,disgraceful.what bout tapping in people phones,house/cell come on clionesse wakeup!we gine tek back our country wid or widout you.DAVID & TEAM keep up the good work.

  17. Goodafternoon,nutcracker says the crowd was awesome lastnite,the mood was great anybody felt the coolbreese blowing,people walk with their umbrella but thankGOD we didn’t had to use them, i felt as if the father in heaven was walking through among the thick croud,Victory not far now.

  18. Jerome Hinds

    Ayub // January 9, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    This is madness!! I just finished watching CMC caribvision news and this political yardfowl Dr.George Belle on my tv saying that the BLP is out front in the poll that is to be release this weekend……….If that the case, lawd help bim.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ***************************************

    Typical George Belle…..PUKE !

    He should be forced to turn around and eat his own…….PUKE !

    Consider this LOGIC :

    ** The BEES entered the 2008 election…..with a 5.6 % SWING against them !

    ** None of the opposition & electors issues were addressed ( e. g Cost Over runs , corruption….Owen ’s $ 75,000.00 CHEQUE ) !

    ** George Belle first POLL talked about LEADERSHIP……but the other aspects of the same POLL were NEVER published !

    George Belle….proved that he CANNOT be TRUSTED !

    Therefore , how could the BEES have the SWING tilted their way ????

    George Belle needs to FEED Owen with LIES….so that Belle gets more money to settle his CREDIT CARD DEBTS !

    You see…..PETER WICKHAM is not a HAND – TO – MOUTH BOY…..so Owen Arthur cannot buy him out !

  19. Correction i wrote chris talk bout the check,to pay for his inlaw.that should be owen brother inlaw,out of the st peter dev’ment fund 7gran.

  20. My issue with mottley is her abuse of her power and her position.
    She was the main player in the move to side track Mr BERTIE CORBIN from getting the position that Mr DARWIN DOTTIN picked up this is after she stepped in to alter the service records of MR DOTTIN so as to make his service appear longer than MR CORBIN’S a dishonest immoral act.

    We also want to hear more about exactly why the STATE DEPARTMENT of THE USA has declined to allow the PM appoint her as the AG does it have anything to do with her hands on involvement in a drug case that she was involved in?

    While on the subject of LAW and ORDER can anyone explain the dissapearance of ALL THE DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO OWING and BEVERLY ARTHUR’S DIVORCE, and is there any truth to the rumour that SIR DAVID SIMMONS and ARTHUR ARE NOT ON SPEAKING TERMS?

    It seems amazing to me the number of people that he has fallen out with here recently, why has he created so many dislikes?
    POWER OR ARROGANCE WHICH IS THE CAUSE ???

  21. Honesse

    I was overwhelmed last night too and I want to ask if the BLP slept for the last 13/4 years since they are still blaming the DLP for the unfinished St. John Polyclinic. Couldn’t they have completed it during the last 13/4 years or there were no residual funds for personal accounts?
    I want to know if the Integrity Legislation will now be passed to avoid further corruption?
    Dem gave us fact and figures. This is the transparency we need.

  22. Bob

    The Swing to the DLP is quite evident judging from the whispers of our ordinary citizens in town. Something i’ve noticed looking back to the 1994 elections where Mr. Sandiford seemed very angry with his DLP party and the pressures around him that he seemed to fight an election with a ” Lose-Wish” attitude. This attitude seems to be now carried by Mr. Arthur in many of his statements .. eg.. Mascol as co-leader, then denying his intended meaning blaming the media for misinterpetation. “the wish to never see the DLP rule in this country” also retracted and the Taiwan statement that was subsequently refuted.. the Question now stands is ” Does Mr. Arthur want to punish his BLP Party by showing up that he is not a trustworthy leader in his speaches and that if the 2008 election is heavily based on his leadership and his leadership is flawed then the di-hard BLP supporters will turn against the party” ? or … does Mr. Arthur feel that he is too tired to carry on for another 5 years trying to solve the financial mess that hi administration has placed at the feet of this country?

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  24. cherry2enpowered

    Wait till minute, de nation got thompson in de front and owen in de back. Wha up with da?
    lol.

  25. Bussa Goddard

    I have always taken pride in the perception that Barbados was not remotely as corrupt, and our people not nearly as corruptible, as our Caribbean neighbours. A few months ago however I expressed the concern to a Caribbean friend that we were rapidly surpassing other islands in this sphere. Last night’s meeting served to cement this perspective. But it should have done more than that – it should have (for all but those in an advanced state of moral or mental decay) brought home the sober reality that it is the pervasiveness of this corruption that has created the most acute threat to our democracy.

    It is not so much a tyrannical Owen Arthur that threatens this democracy, rather it is the fear of consequences of his corrupt deeds that render him unable to tolerate the thought of losing. It is the fear of not landing that TV licence that has turned the Nation into a sham of a paper (never thought I would see the day when the Advocate, whose owner is a longstanding BLP supporter, being fairer than the “people’s paper” to the Dems). It is the fear of irrelevance (not being included) that has rendered our academics and churchmen silent. It is the fear of losing their likkle pick that has turned our previously outspoken activists into Owen choirboys (Nothing saddens me more than our “ambasador” Gabby, creator of classic protests songs such as “Boots”, “Jack”, ” T”, and “Stinging Bees” reduced to the sycophantic jingles that he now spouts.)

  26. kbee

    david show all the wicked that was going on for 14 years 14 years of suffering under the BLP

  27. convinced

    Arthur accused Thompson of trying to sell Barbados for a bowl of Won Ton soup. Now we must seriously ask:
    What was the BNB sold for?
    Rotis?…Doubles?….or perhaps campaign financing and personal kickbacks…
    Arthur $75,000
    Reggie $40,000
    BLP $270,000 and we will never know who or what else…

    But thank goodness we movin’ with Owen…We movin’ with Owen
    Going…going…going (and on the 16th of January GONE!!!!)
    and that will be a better Barbados for all o we….

  28. Warrior

    If some one got a friend in the airlines, they should really check the amount of Guyanese flying in and out of Barbados January 15-16, 2008.

    Can’t get a flight and the fare is $800.00

  29. Johnnie Too Bad

    Well folks, it is three days to zero hour, yes 3 days to the demise of OSA. Congratulations to the DLP on a smashing victory. A victory that solely belongs to the people, to the bajans that subscribe to the maxim, you can fool some of the people all the time, but never all the people all of the time.
    You can thief from most of the people most of the time, but never all the people all the time.
    We created the booze loving monster, yes all of us had a hand in subscribing to the halo effect that certain opinion leaders place on his head.The Church for the very reasons never became too critical of OSA. Theirs is a sad case with a lot of guilt on their hands. The media played their part in ramming OSA down the throats of ordinary bajans. The majority of academics have been out to lunch for more than 10 years, except for a few who saw pure gold with Owen. Remember the wish to see a graduate in every house/home. Our police and judiciary have been only too eager to do their master’s bidding. Several senior civil servants suddenly lost their voice and became mostly eunuchs. And all this while the private sector made hay and money.
    We are all at fault, we are all guilty of buying into the crap about OSA leadership. Can anybody remember when we once borrowed money for a rainy day and when that day came, we had to borrow more money.Barbados, for all its boasts about our democracy, was sold completely on the hype of the Owen machinery. The trade unions and the journalists also have a lot to answer for. Let this be a lesson to each and everyone of us, just how easy it is to lose our country.
    Something very interesting now needs to take place and soon, the whole body politic needs to be purged of the OSA legacy.If we do not take some drastic actions and should the DLP rest on their laurels, the remnants of OSA cronies will not make another mistake and lo and behold they are going to take the entire country. We need to be vigilant, all vestige of OSA must be removed from this country and wherever, David must show real strength and vision and remove each and everyone of these infected parasites. By the end of January, Cave Hill, Central Bank, CBC, QEH, civil service and many more should be cleaned out from top to bottom. If David is not prepared to bite the bullet, then only one term maybe all he gets.
    Johnnietoobad.

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  31. TO bfp is Mariano Browne here or in Trinidad?.four of those cheques were written in one day 7th may2003 to the BLP for a whopping 355,000.oo an one for bowie cross adverts 19may2003 400,000.00. I wonder what was mr browne share.i well remember that same year a lot of people try to get a 5 or 10,000.00$ loan was turn down,i was one of them, now i see why.

  32. Adrian Loveridge

    Just asking…

    Who was the Chairman at the time when all these cheques were being issued (May 2003) and would they have needed board approval?

  33. Dr. Justin Robinson

    I anxiously awaited Ralph Bizzy Williams’ comments on the ABC Highway project. I was anxious to be further informed on this contentious issue by someone with that much experience in a variety projects. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed with the article.

    Mr . Williams seems to attribute much of the “cost overruns” to the increase in the price of steel. He would have been rather more persuasive with this argument if he had indicated what percentage of the cost of the project is related to steel. Simply saying that the increase in the cost of the project is in line with the increases in the price of steel is inadequate.

    Mr. Williams refers to delays caused by technocrats, but provides precious little evidence to support his contention. The relevant question appears to be whether the issues raised by technocrats were in line with normal procedures.

    Mr. Williams makes no comment on the absence of a contract or construction specifications. He could have used his vast knowledge and experience to inform us on the rationale or justification for what appears to be glaring management errors.

  34. GoodMorning TO BFP see if u can help me, what nationality is:1 Mariano Browne 2 Bowie Cross & the dpp Charles Leacock.thank you.