Nitin Amersey – Sea Cotton Story: When The Barbados Government Sent In The Military To Overrule The Barbados Courts!

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Nothing Angered The Previous BLP Government More Than An Honest Judge! Could The Same Be Said Of The Preceding DLP Government?

When foreign investor Nitin Amersey won a judgment in the Barbados Courts entitling him to the physical assets of the Caribbean Sea Island Cotton Company Ltd., the government of the day didn’t like that…

So what happened? Did the government appeal in court? Did they file a motion?

Ha!

Why bother with that judicial system nonsense when the Barbados Defense Force will do the government’s will without considering those bothersome details about laws and court orders?

Keltruth Blog has the story about the day that the 300 armed soldiers of the Barbados Defense Force violated the constitution and the courts at the behest of a despotic government. The action sent shivers through the foreign investment community and to this day probably has a greater impact in restraining foreign business ventures on our island than we realise.

What we want to know is who ordered the BDF action, and will they ever be held to account for their crime?

Keltruth Blog: The Day the BDF Seized Nitin Amersey’s Company

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Editor’s Note: We had originally indicated that the army action was taken under a BLP government. This is incorrect, but we also understand that the BLP had some part in the ongoing dispute with Mr. Amersey. We are awaiting confirmation as to which parts of the Nitin Amersey story were played out under the respective DLP and BLP governments.

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28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Cotton, Crime & Law, History, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

28 responses to “Nitin Amersey – Sea Cotton Story: When The Barbados Government Sent In The Military To Overrule The Barbados Courts!

  1. just a question

    Wasn’t Carsicot suring the DLP era? with Fine upstanding gentlemen like Mr Knight etal

  2. frankology

    Why bother with that judicial system nonsense when the Barbados Defense Force will do the government’s will without considering those bothersome details about laws and court orders?
    …………………………………………………………………………………
    See why we always having a debate MR. BFP. Did you you do any research or just “cut and paste” and make your usual sensational piece. But alas!. The story is totally incorrect even from Kelthruth’s end. In 1986 the DLP won the Govenment 24 to 3, in 1991 the DLP again won the government 18 to 10. The Defense Force seized stock and eqipment after locking out Mr. Amersey in October 1990 which was under the DLP Government. Barbados Sea Island Cotton was formed in 1988, again under the DLP regime.

    Now you see why we have to be locking horns?
    ***************

    BFP Says… Hey… that’s the great thing about blogging… the pool of knowledge that is available to the ordinary person.

    HEY… frankology… you sound very knowledgable about this story. So who, what person, ordered the army to go in against a court order?

  3. frankology

    HEY… frankology… you sound very knowledgable about this story. So who, what person, ordered the army to go in against a court order?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    I am just responding to your article, as you know, I research before I debate. You will have to check who was the Attorney General of the day. It could not be a court directive, because court action is carried out by bailiffs in association with the police and not the military. So it must be a government directive.

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

    BFP Says,

    Shouldn’t this be part of the public record? The NAME of the PERSON who ordered a military response when a court ruling didn’t go the way the government wanted it to?

    Yup… we do have a big mess on our hands here in Barbados and there is still lots of work to be done before we have transparency, accountability and rule of law on this island.

  4. frankology

    Although you might have an Attorney General, you might still have to find out if the military was under his wing. Remember, Tom Adams was responsible for the Defense Force and he was the Prime Minister.

  5. Citizen First

    This incident occurred under the DLP administration of Mr Erskine Sandiford (of this I am absolutely certain). If my memory is correct, Mr Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd)ordered the Defense Force to remove the bales of ginned cotton from storage at CARSICOT. What I found puzzling was that other than a weak protest by Justice Williams nothing more was heard about the matter.

    Now as to my poor memory, didn’t I hear at the DLP meeting at Haggatt Hall words to the effect that ” … before a single person is appointed a Minister, they will have to declare their assets!”

  6. Bajanboy

    Forget which administration the events occured under. There are more important things in Barbados than discrediting one administration or another.

    The whole thing is shocking. I am quickly coming to realise that everything is fine in Barbados until you need to challenge the establishment. Then, very quickly, your life turns into a living hell that would rival the most corrupt country anywhere in the world.

  7. In 1986, the DLP had just won the elections. Maurice King was appointed Attorney-General and appears to be in that position in 1994.

    The Defence Force is under the portfolio of the Prime Minister, so I don’t know who gave the order.

  8. David Simmons served as Attorney-General of Barbados; first, from 1985 to 1986, and, more recently, from September 1994 to August 2001.

  9. Citizen First

    Could the BFP do the right thing and remove the reference to the BLP and this story (i.e. Sea Cotton story..)? It was an action of a DLP administration.

    I am more interested in hearing about the motorcar racetrack at Vauclause (hope I got the spelling right) and the Duke’s residents, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and integrity legislation. These have been some of the “signature” issues of the B’dos Free Press.

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

    BFP says…

    OOPS…. we thought we got all of the references to the BLP sending in the army, but I see one left so we’ll do it now thanks.

    Yes, we are very interested in how the DLP government will address some of our “signature” issues. You will note that our header now reflects the fact that the PM PROMISED asset declarations and has not done so!

    But we are being reasonable in letting the new government get settled in. We still believe that they intend to keep their word.

    (They betta!)

  10. Frankology,

    You said “The story is totally incorrect even from Kelthruth’s end.”

    What was incorrect with the Keltruth Corp. story?

    I did not mention any political parties, and I based the story on my printed sources. Tell us your version of what happened.

  11. cotton

    Frankology had better stay out of this one.

    Interesting is the date of the Globe and Mail story.
    Mr. Amersey says he was fighting a 10 year battle. 10 years!!!??? and they let this go so far?

    What did the Barbados press have to say on this?

    It is quite clear that Amersey experienced both the BLP and DLP governments wrath without any satisfaction. Guess there was not one person in either party with the moral stature to resolve this.

    Search Results

    News Articles: 2 results found Barbados government denies breach of bilateral investment treaty with Canada
    Jacquie McNish

    Print Edition 09/02/00 Page B8

    The government of Barbados is denying an unprecedented claim by a Toronto businessman that it breached a bilateral investment treaty with Canada by allegedly expropriating his cotton venture.In a three-page written statement issued yesterday, Barbados said that while it is ”doing all in its power to intervene at the highest levels . . . to resolve this unhappy matter,” it disagrees that it violated the bilateral treaty designed to protect investors.

    Cotton merchant takes on Barbados
    Jacquie McNish

    Print Edition 31/01/00 Page B1

    Canadian businessman Nitin Amersey still remembers the day 300 Barbadian soldiers descended on his cotton business and walked away with his livelihood.It was a clear blue October morning in 1990 when soldiers from Barbados’ Defence Force marched into Mr. Amersey’s office and warehouse on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the nation’s capital. They moved quickly. Over 160 bales of cotton were loaded onto trucks, and half a dozen tractors, vans and jeeps were driven away. No explanations. No information about where more than $2-million of equipment was being taken.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/templates/hub?searchText=cotton+merchant+barbados&searchVideo=false&searchDatePreset=all&searchDateType=searchDateRange&FromDay=01&FromMonth=01&FromYear=2000&ToDay=06&ToMonth=02&ToYear=2008&sort=Score%2Csortdate%2Csorttime&hub=Search&searchType=Advanced&from_date=&to_date=&start_row=1&current_row=1&start_row_offset1=0&x=9&y=7

  12. frankology

    February 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Frankology had better stay out of this one.

    Interesting is the date of the Globe and Mail story.
    Mr. Amersey says he was fighting a 10 year battle. 10 years!!!??? and they let this go so far?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Wow Columbus, we pass that hurdle long time ago. We are looking at the rationale for the seizure of cotton and equipment. This story regarding the seizure was in the newspapers and was on the political platforms during the 1991 and 1994 elections.

    The reasons for the seizure was never made public and I sure ain’t go a clue.

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

    BFP Comments

    And therein is the problem. Once again we the citizens have been kept totally in the dark about what our government does and how it spends our money. The Cotton case is only one incident of thousands where successive elected governments have kept citizens like mushrooms: in the dark and fed horse manure!

  13. Instances of flagrant contravention of the law by those in authority is certainly worth keeping alive in the minds and memories of Barbadians. That is the only way to avoid it happening again.

    Unlike the so-called Cotton Industry which is better laid to rest, permanently. RIP.

    Much as I champion the resurgence of appropriate agricultural initiatives in Barbados, COTTON IS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND TAXPAYER’S MONEY.

    Our leaders have been inveigled into this by the Japanese who have generously offered to buy all we can grow, every paltry bale, at a premium price. The only trouble is we can’t grow it economically or in sufficient volume to be worth the candle. (In exchange the Japanese expect us to back them slaughtering whales).

    Every year we see ads begging for cotton pickers at slave wages. Do you know how long it takes to pick a pound of cotton? Horrible job.

    And then there are the pests, boll weevils et al. which Ministry of Agriculture trots out with childish surprise each harvest. There are just too many negative factors.

    But the fat cats who are being paid for this so-called growth industry want to keep their cushy jobs in a futile cause, so come out with far-fetched excuses how Barbadians must come to the rescue of agriculture. Get real. Cotton is a dead loss for this little island. There are other areas of agriculture which much more promise. FEED CROPS FOR OUR LIVESTOCK for a start.

  14. MKK

    There must be a good reason for an old story to have resurfaced now. I don’t know what it is. While everybody has been focusing on the Govt., has anybody really looked into the true nature of Mr. Amersey’s dealings, relationships and shananigans?

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

    BFP says,

    What do you mean Shananigans? If you know something lets have it.

  15. Partial

    Greengage,

    I really have to disagree with you about the uselessness of growing cotton. Granted it has been tried before. The problem is that the Min. of Agriculture has some “experts”who have worked there since they left school and who are using the same antiquated techniques they used 30 years ago, and are not willing to change. They have succeeded is completely screwing up the superior quality of cotton by mixing it with inferior breeds. That Ministry needs some new blood, younger people with fresh ideas. When anyone introduces something new, they say “but this is how we’re accustomed doing it”. Send someone with a brain overseas somewhere and see how growing cotton is done properly.

    Egyptian cotton is inferior to what we have here. Yet wherever you go overseas, you can find Egyptian cotton sheets, towels, etc.

    What is the purpose of Exclusive Cottons of the Caribbean. I read an article about this company sometime ago that was not very complimentary. If it is true, and these people are earning that kind of money, then we should be much farther ahead. I understand that this same company got KITCHEN TOWELS made from Bdos’ fancy cotton and put it together with a bottle of rum to sell at Cricket World Cup. Is this the best they can do. Were any even sold? Instead of paying these executives the alleged $12,000, the accounting clerk $75 per hour,
    the secretary $5000.00, and the ginnery manager who has never seen a cotton plant growing before but is nevertheless in charge of the ginnery, take some of that money and pay the people who are doing the real work – picking the cotton. Where is the fairness?

  16. MKK

    Mr. Amersey’s companies are a shell structure from which he and some of his cohorts make any money. Other share holders may not get anything and his employees also may not get paid. It is all done ‘legally’. Look deeper below the surface.

  17. cotton

    MKK are you saying that Carsicot was a shell company? It was not.
    It was a real, working company making money for its shareholders.

    If you are going to cast aspersions then at least clarify what you are saying or check your facts beforehand.

  18. Partial

    If Carsicot was making money for its shareholders, why then was the BNB left holding the bag with a debt of $10 million and could not even seize the tractors, because they were apparently driven to Belize. You need to get YOUR facts straight and stop misleading the public.

  19. Partial- There is no denying that Sea Island Cotton, as it used to be called, is the finest quality one can find.

    However as an industry for Barbados it holds no potential because our production will always be so small in relation to management overheads that it will not be worth it.

    The unit cost of production will always be so high when you also factor in insect problems and labour for harvesting, that unless we can get a premium of 300% for it, we will always operate at a loss, subsidised by our tax payers.

    Granted the Japanese pay a fantastic premium for Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee, but it is highly unlikely the same will happen for Sea Island Cotton, especially now that crease-proof linen is available. (One of the attractions of Sea Island Cotton used to be that it was far more crease-resistant than linen).

  20. cotton

    Partial tell us what happened after the defence force seized the company assets.
    Why wasn’t the BNB paid off?

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