Johnston International collapses amid corruption allegations – employees owed millions

How much did Johnston International provide to Barbados politicians in “campaign donations”?

Engineering and construction firm Johnston International went into receivership ten days ago, leaving a trail of unpaid wages and heartache throughout the Caribbean.

Johnston International leaves a legacy of corruption, massive environmental damage, destruction of reefs and public contracts that produced little in relation to monies spent. Of course, this was just the kind of construction company that Barbados politicians love, so it was only natural that Johnston International would be chosen for several major projects in Barbados.

In Barbados, Johnston International worked on many large projects including the American Embassy, the United Nations Office Complex, Insurance Corporation of Barbados and the very contentious Hilton Hotel. The Hilton project turned into a $166 million dollar lawsuit where the Barbados government ended up settling for 8.6 million.

“Johnston International stands at the heart of allegations of corruption involving the construction of disgraced former Turks & Caicos Premier Michael Misick’s mansion as well as the highly controversial $124 million dollar hospitals contract that resulted in two hospitals with only 30 beds.  ($4 million dollars, US dollars, per bed.).

It too stands at the heart of concerns about massive environmental damage to the reefs in the TCI due to illegal dredging.  Dredging that was stopped when an environmental group finally took the project to the Supreme Court.

…from a TCI Journal article: Breaking News – Johnston International placed in Receivership by Andrew Ashcroft

As our friends at Keltruth Blog once asked Why Did Barbados Retain a Construction Company from the Tiny Turks & Caicos?

Good question! Why would the Government of Barbados retain a corrupt company from the Turks & Caicos to build major projects in our country?

It’s not like we don’t have construction companies that have the experience and capabilities to build major projects here! The same thing happened with the new prison at Dodds where the BLP Barbados Government chose corrupt VECO Corporation over Bajan companies.

Well… corrupt Johnston International was hired for the same reason that the Barbados Labour Party retained a corrupt New Jersey company (3S) for a hundred million dollar highway contract… so Barbados government officials and their friends could receive backdoor payments in their bank accounts located outside of Barbados!

It’s much tougher to get money offshore if the government hires local companies and that’s why all those foreign companies and “consultants” have been hired over the years.

Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson clearly stated that the previous administration “bizarrely spent millions and millions of dollars” that is now stashed away in foreign bank accounts. Unfortunately the Thompson Government has no intent to perform in-depth investigations to recover the monies because that would start a real war between the BLP and the DLP and, as we all know, the two parties are really just members of the same family who spar a little bit but don’t want to land any real punches. If the Thompson government was to charge some BLP official with corruption, someone might get hurt and we can’t have that in the family!

Further Reading

Turks & Caicos Weekly News: Johnston staff owed “$2.5m” told “pack up and go home”

Turks & Caicos Weekly News: Johnston International in Receivership

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

2 responses to “Johnston International collapses amid corruption allegations – employees owed millions

  1. richard paynter

    this is lovely reading–barbados is nice–

  2. 209

    Bajan companies trying to build a project like the Hilton Hotel? Don’t make me laugh: Lazy attitude, incompetent, no pride in the job, dishonourable, no sense of working in a team. It would be an absolute disaster!!!