Daily Archives: February 26, 2009

Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert

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Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”

… from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

IMF Says Barbados Insurance Sector Needs “Tighter Regulation” – No Kidding!

The chaos surrounding the Barbados financial and insurance company called CLICO is in full swing so the International Monetary Fund – IMF – feels obliged to tell us that our insurance industry needs “tighter regulation”. (Hey, thanks for the tip IMF! We’d have never known without you.) Next the IMF will be telling us to take a closer look at Sir Allen Stanford.

Perhaps if the IMF staff could have torn themselves away from their duck pate and champagne back in 2007 they would have seen that Carlos Belgrave, Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, was named “Worst Regulator” by OffshoreAlert.

Apparently OffshoreAlert was most impressed by Belgrave’s staunch support of three Barbados insurance companies that faked their books and had owners previously convicted of fraud. Not to mention that Belgrave approved and licensed the companies when other countries had turned them down.

IMF Report Talks Of Potential For Bank Failure In Barbados?

Our friends over at Barbados Money Laundering Advisory have published an excellent article about the IMF and Offshore Alert reports AND they seem to think that the IMF report also talks about another potential failure of a Barbados bank. Scary times we are living in.

barbados-offshorealert

Hello KYC & OffshoreAlert!

KYC – Know Your Client – is an investigative organisation dedicated to exposing financial crime wherever it is found. OffshoreAlert! is one of its newsletters. The organisation is run by journalist David Marchant out of Miami, Florida. Marchant has an impressive track record and was even kicked out of Bermuda by the government of the day in retaliation for his work. Somehow, I don’t think that Mr. Marchant would be made too welcome by the Barbados government either!

We’ve made a decision to publish a part of Mr. Marchant’s work to illustrate to our readers just how capable and fearless he is. We also think that this little sample will convince many people of the value of subscribing to OffshoreAlert! and of attending their next conference in Miami Beach, Florida this April. (As a side-note to Mr. Marchant, if you have any problem with us publishing this excerpt, please email us. Thanks!)

Here’s what OffshoreAlert discovered in 2006 about Chris Belgrave – Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions…

OffshoreAlert Awards – Best & Worst of 2006

KYC News, Inc., January 7, 2007

Worst Regulator
Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, in Barbados

OffshoreAlert had occasion to investigate three Barbados insurers in 2006, namely Strategy Insurance Limited, Reliant Insurance SCC and River Reinsurance Limited. The first two are part of a Canada-based group whose insiders have included three people convicted of fraud-related offenses, while the third, which has a business relationship with the Canada group, is partly-owned by two Bermuda-based businessmen who are currently under investigation for securities fraud in the United States and only sought an insurance license in Barbados after being turned down in Bermuda. If all that was not warning enough for Belgrave, Strategy Insurance Limited’s parent, which trades as a penny stock in the United States, disclosed that the insurer had been carrying 104 million of non-existent capital on its books for 11 months. The capital had once existed, according to the firm, but it was allegedly illegally transferred out of the company by unnamed shareholders, rendering the entire group insolvent.

Instead of pulling Reliant’s license and despite there being no change of control or management, Belgrave allowed Reliant to continue in business by approving replacement capital with a face value of $518 million that consisted of nothing more substantial than a loan note issued by a newly-formed Panama firm that was secured by “bearer peat certificates representing the right to obtain peat, a pre-coal state organic material used as energy or for horticultural use, from the Changuinola Peat Deposit of Northwestern Panama”.

When OffshoreAlert contacted Belgrave, he farcically claimed that he was legally prohibited from even having a general discussion about the Barbados Insurance Act, let commenting on individual companies. Belgrave declined to impart any information about his professional background and qualifications so we did our own research and found that, prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”, according to its promotional material. When we found out that Belgrave is currently the ‘Third Vice-President’ of the U.S.-based International Association of Insurance Fraud Agencies Inc., we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Further Reading

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory: Bajan Banks and Insurance Companies Inadequately Supervised

KYC News – Offshore Alert: Website Link

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments