Monthly Archives: July 2008

Canadian CIBC-Owned FirstCaribbean International Bank Indicted In 100 Money-Laundering Act Charges! Barbados News Media Hides The Story

Cowardly Nation News Pees Self Thinking About Reporting This Story

Cowardly Nation News Pees Self Thinking About Reporting This Story

Lapdog Barbados News Media Covers-Up For First Caribbean

FirstCaribbean International Bank, headquartered in Barbados, has been indicted in Belize in over 100 money laundering charges that happened between 2001 and 2005.

The bank is over 90% owned by the Canadian bank, the CIBC.

This story has been on the international news for almost two weeks, but the Barbados news media doesn’t think that the story of a Barbados-based bank indicted for over 100 counts of money-laundering is news!

Cowards! Bought-and-paid-for cowards!

Keltruth Blog broke the story in the blogs, and they have all the links and background at… Keltruth Blog: FirstCanadian Bank indicted under money-laundering laws

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Filed under Barbados, Belize, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments, Police

Barbados Government Minister Chris Sinckler Working Hard For Us All In Switzerland – BUT…

Sinckler At The World Trade Organisation In Geneva

Minister Of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler

Minister Of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler

Minister of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler is over in Switzerland fighting for Barbados as the WTO considers changes in tariffs. (CBC article here)

While Minister Sinckler’s work with tariffs doesn’t have the exciting cache of announcing a new hotel project or some other flashy government initiative, it is this important work in the trenches that very much impacts our economy on a long term basis.

The idea of working in Switzerland sounds exciting to the uninitiated, but the glitz of travel soon fades into the reality of life on the road. Chris might be doing a little sightseeing in Switzerland, but for the mostpart we bet that he will have started to miss home by now.

The World Trade Organisation & World Agencies Know We Lack Integrity Legislation

Minister Sinckler is trying to convince WTO major members that Barbados and other small and vulnerable economies should be given a break when compared to larger nations. That is all good and necessary for small countries like Barbados, but increasingly, larger countries and world agencies are becoming far less tolerant of government corruption than they were even five years ago.

Barbados does not have Integrity Legislation or effective oversight of government spending, and while the WTO and the larger nations are willing to help us out, they want to know that their support and concessions will go to the citizens of Barbados and not end up lining the pockets of the government’s members and friends.

How much easier and more effective could Minister Sinckler’s efforts be if he could say that Barbados had taken a firm stand against corruption in government.

Instead, Minister Sinckler can only tell his fellow Trade Ministers that the Thompson government was elected on a platform of integrity initiatives – but then failed to adopt even a single measure once it achieved power and held the keys to the treasury.

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

Barbados Opposition Leader Mia Mottley Asks For Justice – But Did The BLP Give Justice To DLP Supporters?

Comments are open for discussion folks!

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE HON. MIA AMOR MOTTLEY
Leader of the Opposition
Political Leader, Barbados Labour Party

Earlier this week, Prime Minister, the Honourable David Thompson indicated that all new contracts to CEOs of statutory corporations in his Government would be bound by a clause to resign within 3 months of a change of Government.

We oppose this policy as self-defeating. This is a backward step particularly given the Prime Minister’s comments on January 20th, 2008 at Kensington Oval. On that occasion, he declared that there would be no night of long knives and that the country should rise above partisan politics and should unite.

Firstly, this move reduces the pool of competent Barbadians who will come forward and be willing to serve as there is no security for them given the flexibility our system affords for the calling of a General Election.

Secondly, there is the risk of labeling persons who are appointed for their competence and qualifications as automatically supporting the Political Party in Government who appointed them.

Thirdly, this is a dangerous precedent that achieves nothing more than the polarization of politics in Barbados in a way that has not been part of our culture and in a way that will have consequences that will reinforce political tribalism. In this instance, Barbados and Barbadians will be the loser. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Coroner’s Inquests Can Take 25 Years In Barbados – Legalities Not A Priority With Successive Governments

Rule Of Law, Legalities Are Seldom A Priority On This Island

It is about priorities, and successive Barbados governments have traditionally spent money on show rather than necessities. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on cricket parties while our hospital falls down and old women still haul water from the standpipes. We put a bright and shiny coat of paint on a public building while the raw sewerage from the toilets runs onto the beach.

Our governments buy new garbage trucks instead of ensuring that all government vehicles are properly maintained. We would rather change an engine than change the oil regularly and that analogy applies throughout our government and civil service.

This same neglect is evident in our law-enforcement and justice systems.

Successive Barbados governments have only paid lip-service to maintaining our police and justice systems – both in terms of funding, and in upholding the rule of law and other legal necessities that are the foundations of our society.

Look at the single issue of Coroner’s Inquests and you will see a prime example of the outrageous neglect that Barbados has suffered under for decades.

As Richard Goddard pointed out in his excellent article Police Jurisdiction and Authority, up until very recently, Barbados neglected to hold coroner’s inquests for hundreds of unusual or suspicious deaths. Some inquests were waiting for almost 30 years!

Think about how it looks to the outside world, and what it really means to a country when successive governments don’t bother to properly investigate and document hundreds of deaths.

The article shown above “Men’s Buddy Was Dead Drunk” was published in 2004 in the Nation News about the results of a Coroner’s Inquest held in 2004 into an unusual death that occurred in 1982 – some 22 years earlier.

Prior to about 2002, Barbados had no “coroner in charge” and after one was appointed with island-wide jurisdiction, the backlog of hundreds of cases was cleared up in three or four years. Let us be truthful with ourselves and admit that many of these old suspicious deaths were “rubber stamped” by the coroner. What else could be done with cases 20 years old?

But instead of a “fresh start”, we went back to our same old ways with chronic under-funding of police, the coroner’s office and other agencies that are supposed to play a role in ensuring that when someone dies on this island no unanswered questions remain.

Thompson Government Is Careless With The Deaths Of Citizens At The Hands Of Police

We also have no independent body to investigate the police when a death occurs in police custody or under circumstances involving police. Strange revelations surrounding the recent death of I’Akobi Maloney while with police highlights the carelessness of our government in protecting citizens from wrong-doing by those in authority. The police are investigating themselves with no independent oversight and our government has adopted a “hands off” policy.

We read in the Nation News that Assistant Commissioner of Police Seymour Cumberbatch told a press conference…

“Maloney, on request of the police, put back on his clothing and placed his haversack on his back and started to accompany officers away from the cliff. It was during this period the young man darted away and jumped over the cliff.”

Only one problem… the police gave the haversack back to Maloney’s mother, who showed it to reporters. The haversack hadn’t been in the water. No salt stains, no stuck-together papers, no ink running on notes.

The police say that I’Akobi Maloney ran from police, jumped over a cliff and then drowned while wearing the haversack – but Maloney’s mother showed reporters that the haversack had never been in the water.

How much longer are we going to allow the police to investigate themselves? How much longer until the David Thompson Government starts taking some leadership to bring accountability and proper process to the serious business of the deaths of citizens who are in the custody of police?

Further Reading

Nation News: More in the bag than meets the eye

Nation News: A Mother’s Advice

Barbados Free Press: Nation News Finally Discovers That Barbados Police Don’t Give A Damn About Rule Of Law

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Barbados Integrity Laws – Some Folks Still Fooled Into Thinking Words Are Actions

“One of the major complaints against the new David Thompson administration in Barbados has been that, although it won power mainly by promising to do something about the entrenched corruption in the previous Owen Arthur administration, it had appeared to have forgotten the issue”

Janine Mendes-Franco quotes Don Mitchell MBE, on Harvard Law School’s Global Voices (link here)

Don Mitchell has been a voice for integrity in government for years – even before it was fashionable to say the words “integrity” or “conflicts of interest” – and he is nobody’s fool.

That said, his latest Corruption Free Anguilla article ‘Barbados’ about the continued promises but zero action by the Barbados DLP Government is too kind and optimistic. Mr. Mitchell has forgotten that this Barbados government promised to adopt a Ministerial Code on the first day it assumed office, but then did not.

Mr. Mitchell has forgotten that Prime Minister David Thompson could have declared on that first day that no government contracts would be issued to companies that are owned by the immediate family of a government official or where a government official has an interest in a company.

Prime Minister Thompson could have issued that order on the first day, and he could issue the order tomorrow if he was really serious about integrity in government. There is no need for him to wait for legislation, he could implement this single change as a matter of government policy and he could do so immediately.

This “Government Advisory Board” that Thompson appointed to “look into” integrity legislation has no address, no phone number, no email address and no public face or method by which citizens can communicate with it.

It is smoke on a windy day.

Barbados Free Press will continue to remind people that words are only words. Words are not action.

As to transparency and conflicts of interest, one of David Thompson’s first official acts as a newly-elected Prime Minister was to borrow the corporate jet of a company that does business with the Barbados government – and to refuse to release any details of the costs and arrangements.

When it comes to integrity in government, David Thompson’s only real action has been to create a conflict of interest by borrowing corporate bizjets from friends who do business with the Government of Barbados.

Respectfully, we suggest that Don Mitchell should re-write his article.

Further Reading

Corruption Free Anguilla blog: Barbados

Barbados Free Press Articles…

July 5, 2008: Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson Fools Lindsey Grant – St. Kitts and Nevis People’s Action Movement Leader

June 6, 2008: Will Rayside Construction Be Awarded Barbados Government Contracts To Thank Leroy Parris For The Use Of The Bizjet?

June 3, 2008: Barbados Government’s 140 Days Of Broken Promises – In Four Easy Steps

April 17, 2008: Barbados Prime Minister Thompson’s Weasel Words On Integrity Legislation – No Guts. No Leadership. No Personal Transparency From Our Jet-Setter PM

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

Where Did Cliverton Sleep Last Night?

Somebody is looking for Cliverton

Where are you, Clive?

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Filed under Barbados

UPDATED: International Investors Fear Dirty Justice In Paradise

Would You Invest Where The Courts Do As They Please To Ensure An Outcome The Government Desires?

There is a situation going on in the small island state of Seychelles where the Supreme Court is so obviously manipulating a court case towards a favourable outcome for the government.

The government might win this specific court case, but Seychelles will lose in the long run. What international investors in their right minds would invest in that small island state after reading about the plight of the shareholders who are being raped by the government?

Barbados Can’t Hide The “Chicken Plucking” Anymore!

The internet has changed everything, and many smaller jurisdictions are finding that they can no longer hide their “chicken plucking”. The chickens are fighting back on the internet and spreading their stories worldwide in a matter of seconds.

You know “chicken plucking”… it happens all the time Barbados. A newly-arrived international investor is feted and shown Bim until they fall in love with the place. By the time they discover that the rule of law is whatever the ruling elites want it to be, they are so significantly invested that they lose millions.

Take the case of Matthew Kerins, developer of the aborted Caribbean Splash Water Park. Mr. Kerins came to Barbados and was treated like a king when the government insiders learned that he had millions to pour into the island’s tourism industry.

Kerins said in public that he paid 2 million dollars in “consulting fees” to various “consultants”, met with Prime Minister Owen Arthur and was generally told “we have a deal”. Except there was no deal, and no agreement. Kerins is out US$2 million and Owen Arthur and the gang laughed all the way to the bank.

(For the background on this story, read here, here, and here.)

Invest in Seychelles? Are you crazy?

Here are some excerpts from couple of stories about the Supreme Court of Seychelles doing exactly what their government wanted.

Dirty Justice In Paradise – E-TurboNews

VICTORIA, Seychelles (eTN) – In the Supreme Court of Seychelles, on 23rd July 2008, Acting Chief Justice A. Ranjun Perera refused to “stay” the winding up process in the case of Ailee Development Corporation Limited, owner and operator of the Plantation Club Resort, to prevent the liquidators, Ernst & Young LLP of Mauritius, from being able to sell the assets of the hotel company before the Court of Appeal hearings have taken place. This is despite the fact that the date set for hearing the appeal of the company is set for August 7, only two weeks away…

Shareholders representing 91 percent of the company and all of the secured creditors do not want to see the liquidation go through as it is being conducted, as the shareholders fear the total loss of their hotel and the creditors fear that the tender process will be manipulated to defraud them of their proper dues.

Mark Davison, managing director of Ailee Development Corporation Limited, said: “We continue to be convinced that this process will be teamrollered through by those elements of government who have orchestrated it, to ensure that the Hotel is acquired by the government’s chosen party, without us having recourse to any defense or protection whatsoever.”

Seychelles supreme court ruling questioned – Afrol News

afrol News, 16 July – Seychelles Supreme Court has delivered a shock ruling granting for liquidation of Ailee Development Corporation Limited (ADC), the company owning Seychelles largest tourist resort, in favour of government which own minority shares of only 8 percent in the company.

Acting Chief Justice Ranjun Perera ruling which has set precedence in Seychelles justice system for minority shareholder call for liquidation, has shocked majority shareholders of the company, who have said that the court proceedings were bias…

UPDATED: Seychelles Blog Fire Broadside!

“We are all up in arms (metaphorically speaking) here in the Seychelles. Actually, the whole thing was orchestrated by one of the shareholders (not Mark, who is local) in conjunction with the government. The plan is to sell all the shares to this one shareholder, who is the foreign investor. This investor wanted to buy out the local, but he didn’t want to sell, hence the wheeler-dealing with the government.

It’s the foreign investors who are actually getting away with all kinds of shenanigans, so it is unlikely to stop them from investing. Many are even getting citizenship if they buy here, which is encouraging all sorts of unsavoury types to settle here and wash their dirty money with “investments”. The locals are the ones suffering, as prices are being pushed up and nobody can afford land or investments any more.

Interesting blog, btw. I didn’t know Barbados was also a banana republic like ours.”

… from Louise at Living In Seychelles Blog

Hi Louise!

Sweetheart, you might be on the other side of the world, but you are one fine looking woman!

Clive

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Seychelles