Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

Attorney Donna Symmonds receives public apology from Barbados Free Press – sort of, but not really.

Updated April 18, 2011

Well folks, it looks like we can’t get a straight answer from Attorney Donna Symmonds or her client. Yup, Symmonds was in the mood to sue the heck out of poor old BFP until we started asking some very basic questions about whether her client had properly reported to the tax people.

Alright, we’ll put this article back into the list and that will be that.

Don’t know why it’s so difficult for some folks to just tell the truth straight up. It would be good if Bajans knew for certain whether the charges against the lawyer client were her carelessness or improper actions by government workers.

Updated April 15, 2011:

Bajans await a straight answer from Attorney Donna Symmonds or her client.

Weasel words from Attorney insider?

Attorney-at-law avoiding the truth?

Government tax authorities unfairly maligned by Attorney?

This story is gaining legs and certainly has the interest of our readers who want to know if the Attorney-at-Law “client” who is the subject of our story was unfairly charged by Barbados tax authorities or, as is looking ever more possible – was responsible for her own troubles.

At the center of the story is the question as to when “the client” who was charged with tax offenses (and who is an attorney at law herself) notified the Barbados tax authorities that she was no longer resident in Barbados.

If she properly notified the tax authorities years ago in writing and the government fouled up, then Bajans deserve to know about this unreasonable harassment by government officials.

But if the attorney at law “client” only notified the tax authorities after she was charged, and after ignoring years of tax demand letters, that means that the tax charges were fairly laid and that the attorney-at-law is hardly an innocent victim.

We’ve been trying to discover the truth, but so far all we get is silence and anonymous weasel words left as comments by an obvious insider.

The longer that Attorney at Law Donna Symmonds remains silent on this issue while screaming loudly about charges being dropped, the more it looks like the Attorney At Law “client” was charged due to her own negligence.

As we originally wrote to Attorney Donna Symmonds:

“Folks would like to know whether the fault is the government’s or your client’s and it would only be ethical to let the public know. That’s only fair to the government workers.

I mean, if it’s not the government’s fault, you wouldn’t want the public thinking it was, would you?”

Bajans await a straight answer from Attorney Donna Symmonds or her client.

Our original article published April 14, 2011…

“Our apology appears a little later in this article.”

Attorney says Client’s Charges Dropped! The Nation failed to report that all charges were dropped.

Why did Barbados lawyer Donna Symmonds publish a public letter on the internet instead of sending a private email?

Donna Symmonds (courtesy BBC)

Dear Attorney Donna Symmonds,

We just noticed today that you posted a letter to BFP as a public comment on April 11, 2011 on our story New Barbados Tourism Authority Director charged with tax evasion? (Your public comment is repeated at the end of this article.) Continue reading

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48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Reconnecting: Looking for Jack Smith (Wilson)

Privacy vs Helping Family: Where do we draw the line?

Every so often we receive requests to help locate long lost family members. Mostly they concern past generations and folks long gone to be with the Lord and that’s an easy decision. But sometimes the people could still be around and then what should we do?

Here’s the case of grandson seeking a grandfather he’s never met. Maybe the grandfather wants his privacy, maybe not. Maybe he’d love to hear from his grandson or maybe not. Maybe the grandfather is already passed.

Last Friday we had an all things Japan day just to think about those poor folks in the middle of the earthquake and nuclear disaster. Families, children, parents gone in an instant with no chance to see each other again however briefly this side of life. Part of the day was a Japanese-made movie called “Departures” that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film a couple of years ago.

After seeing Departures and thinking about family, I’ll take a chance and post this in the hopes that one of our two million visitors a year might be able to help. If anyone disagrees, let us know please. Otherwise let’s see if we can help out a man looking for his Bajan grandfather…

Dear Friends at Barbados Free Press,

My name is Ozzie Smith, from the U.S., Boston, Massachusetts, and I am emailing you in hopes that you can assist me and family.

The attached photo is a pic of my grandfather, whom I have never met, neither seen a pic of him until this past weekend (April 9th & 10th). Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Immigration, USA

No charges or jail for Barbados diplomats who stole US$69,000 – transferred to Miami personal bank account!

UPDATED: March 14, 2013

The Nation is reporting Auditor General Leigh Trotman just advised Parliament that ““There was no supporting documentation for accounts receivable of $600 million. There were also inadequate supporting schedules in respect of capital assets of $1.8 billion,”

BFP reminds everyone that it doesn’t matter what our Auditor General says because nobody gets charged or fired anyway – no matter how clear the evidence is against them. Here’s a little news story from 2011 where some Bajan diplomats stole money and transferred it to personal bank accounts in Miami. What happened to these crooked diplomats?

Nothing. That’s what!

Original story…

“But just let the little man take $20 in groceries and see what happens…”

It’s called theft and international money laundering…

Our congratulations to Auditor General Leigh Trotman and his staff for uncovering a nasty little scheme by Bajan diplomats stationed in Venezuela.

Two crooks at the embassy falsely said that monies were being used for embassy business when the only thing going on was monkey business. The funds ended up in Miami through a magical process that is not altogether unknown to Bajan diplomatic elites.  Continue reading

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Politics, Venezuela

New Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman needs all the help he can get!

Can the BTA Chairman Adrian Elcock be effective with little industry experience?

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

I have waited a few days, hoping, even wishing that someone within the tourism industry would make a public comment over the appointment of a new Barbados Tourism Authority Board.

Sadly, it hasn’t happened and almost with a sense of obligation, while knowing that it will invite criticism find it almost compelling to ask some seemingly relevant questions.

First let us establish the objective here. It’s not about individual personalities, but surely what is in the overall national best interest of Barbados and its tourism sector.

To ensure that I fully understood the required criteria of a Board Chairman, I have read through pages and pages of reference documents on the internet.

Listed as a basic function is ‘The Chairman of the Board is responsible for the management, the development and the effective performance of the Board of Directors, and provides leadership to the Board for all aspects of the Board’s work’.

Instinct tells me that it is fundamentally essential to have an in-depth
knowledge of the industry, its players and product, to perform this duty. Otherwise how could you assess the strengths and weaknesses to ensure that any medium to long term all embracing plan and policy direction is put into place? Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism