Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fraud Cover-up alleged at Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union

To Members of the Press:

The Annual General Meeting of Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union will be held on June 18th 2011 and will be a watershed as a large number of fed up and concerned members will be there to let their voices be heard.

The major issues are:

  • Two cases of fraud which are being covered up by the Management, Board and Supervisory Committee. These fraud cases were not reported to the external auditors or to the regulator as required by section 215 of the Cooperatives Societies Act. Indeed the CEO and Management did not follow the procedures set out in their own anti-fraud policy — which should have seen the Internal Auditor immediately alerted and the necessary investigations conducted. Two staff members have lost their jobs so far and dozens of members whose cards were created by one particular individual are at risk. While these two staff members are no longer with the organisation, there is evidence that they did not act alone. The members are therefore concerned about any involvement by others including supervisory and management staff. Continue reading

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

Customers waiting six weeks for Multi-Choice TV installations: No antennas available

UPDATED: June 7, 2011

“The Government keeps on and on about purchasing locally.  Surely, Barbados has the technical know how to make antennas.”

Further to my letter last week, I have today ‘phoned MCTV to check on progress, after 5 weeks!

I was informed that the Miami shippers had notified the 16th June, for delivery in Barbados  ? or, leaving Miami ? I wasn’t informed.

Once again I had to do the chasing.

I believe MCTV are a Government controlled body. Why is it they cannot purchase locally ?  The Government keeps on and on about purchasing locally.  Surely, Barbados has the technical know how to make antennas.

Original story published May 31, 2011…

submitted by reader “S”

I am not sure if anyone knows but I have been informed by MCTV, when I paid for my proposed TV package, on the 3rd May, that I would have to wait 4 – 6 weeks, because the Company didn’t have any aerials.  Phoning today, chasing progress, nothing received on Island.

Why is it that I have to do the chasing, is it beyond MCTV’s responsibility that they couldn’t ‘phone me to advise on progress – they have my money?

Can no one on this Island produce the aerials?  Shouldn’t a Company look into the Island and not abroad?

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Barbados Bar Association President: Police beat confessions from suspects

Will Commissioner Dottin dare to say it isn’t so?

The allegation by Bar Association President Andrew Pilgrim that some Barbados police officers beat confessions from suspects is no surprise in that folks know how things are done ’bout hey when it comes to confessions. What is surprising is that Mr. Pilgrim has thrown down the gauntlet publicly and announced what everyone knows.

The judges must know what is going on – that suspects in detention always seem to “confess” when certain police officers are doing the “interviewing”. It is a wonder that the Barbados judges haven’t almost refused to convict upon confessions, or at least disregarded confessions when considering their verdict. Maybe the judges rationalize that the accused is a career criminal or that the police lack the resources and skills to do a proper investigation.

Mr. Pilgrim is an outspoken lawyer who knows what he is up against, but it is refreshing to see someone with a high profile position refuse to keep silent when is comes to our third-rate police force. The Royal Barbados Police Force doesn’t have to be third-rate, but it will remain so until the politicians decide that policing and citizen safety are priorities, and back it up with the funding to hire, train and retain the quality of police officers that Barbados deserves. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Human Rights

Public Procurement: Can we ever clean up the corruption?

This article forms part of the Private Sector/Civil Society publication ‘Public Procurement Special’ in the Trinidad & Tobago Review and is published here with the permission of one of the authors. The lessons for Barbados are there if we care to look.

Consider some of the quotes from the article…

“The largest State projects were being executed outside of any normal system of accountability.”

“Some of the features of these fiascos are –

  • Huge cost over-runs on virtually every project.
  • Unfinished projects which virtually no one can make sense of…
  • A gross burden on our Treasury going forward – The continuing delay in completing the accounts for these State Enterprises shows how difficult it is to work out exactly what the State owes and to whom.”

The authors are talking about Trinidad and Tobago but it sure sounds like Bridgetown to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados Advocate Editorial: Islam, Rastafarianism are “extremist religions”

Bob Marley: Extremist - just like Muslim suicide bombers!

Also: Intolerant, arguing Christians are just like mass-murdering Al Qaeda

Dear BFP and fellow readers,

Have you read the Barbados Advocate ‘editorial’ called “Tolerance the path to peace” ???

What pap. What rubbish. Aside from the pure idiocy of some of the stated “facts” and conclusions, I’d just like to know what the author was smoking and where they got it – because it must be excellent herb!

submitted by “Big Cutter”

Further Reading

BFP will reprint the entire Barbados Advocate editorial here because you know how that paper changes history – but you should still go to the paper’s website to read the full article because it’s only fair. (link above) Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Religion

Patrick R. Hoyos: Poor Barbados justice system frightens away foreign investors

“Where is the justice?”

Editor’s comment: This article by Patrick Hoyos brilliantly explains what is probably one of the most destructive forces in our society and economy – the inability of our justice system (for a variety of reasons) to deliver justice. Bajans have long known that our highly politicized and under-funded justice system cannot be relied upon, and that “Rule of Law” in Barbados means that those in positions of power can change or ignore the rules and the law without accountability.

The big problem for the elites is that with the advent of the internet, Barbados lost the power to control information. Thus, foreign investors and people who might be thinking about doing business in Barbados now know that business disputes typically take decades to resolve before the Barbados courts. Smart money runs from doing business in such a jurisdiction.

Increasingly international investors and companies are happy to have their money flow through Barbados to other jurisdictions – but invest or do business here? Leave the money here? Now that’s something else.

We’ve reprinted Patrick’s article here in full, lest someone pressure him to remove it from his own website, but we ask you to read the full article at The Broad Street Journal. If you live, do business or invest in Barbados, you’ll soon find yourself visiting The Broad Street Journal on a daily basis and eagerly anticipating the next article.

A bridge too far

By Patrick R. Hoyos    Published May 24, 2011

It is now three months since I wrote in this space about The Tribunal That Won’t Deliver its Judgment.

Three months since I noted that, despite having to wait three years after winning their case in court to have hearings before the Severance Payments Tribunal to determine the “quantum of severance,” and nearly a year since those hearings had ended, no judgement had yet been delivered.

Three months since I pointed out the frustration felt by all of the plaintiffs that justice for them seemed only to exist on paper but could not find its way into coin of the realm.

Three months since I pointed out that one of the plaintiffs had died without receiving his settlement.

I asked then, “Where is the justice?” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Barbados Light and Power delivering RUBBISH electricity

Do we have any power quality standards at all?

Has anyone noticed the electrical RUBBISH coming out of the AC outlet in the wall… or is it just me?

My APS battery backup on the floor is constantly going tick-tock as it compensates for fluctuations in local electricity supply.

Several times a day the supply is so bad/under-current/’noisy’ the computer shuts down!

I looked into the software that communicates with the APS unit on the floor to discover the recorded history:

OVER-Voltage-  NEVER!
Under-Voltage: 35 times.
Electrical ‘noise’ – 193 times.

What a marvelous supply history you have, Barbados Light & Power!

by “P”,

photo of harmful current courtesy of Enetics, used for illustrative purposes only. Not a BL&P chart.

 

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Energy

REDjet gives up on Trinidad & Tobago – Jamaica route

Barbados – Jamaica flights also postponed for two months

by BFP with contributions from a special friend

REDjet announced today that the airline will not pursue plans to fly between Jamaica and Trinidad, and that the Barbados – Jamaica route is postponed for two months.

The story behind the story…

Some observers wonder how long REDjet can continue, and whether the forces aligned against the new Caribbean airline will be successful in squeezing the financial life from the upstart before it really gets off the ground. There is a story behind the story but nobody is really telling it because REDjet officials have been keeping their silence in the hope that they will be able to work things out with the various Caribbean governments.

Says a special friend to Barbados Free Press: “If it doesn’t work out and REDjet ultimately fails, the fireworks will really start. Robbie Burns is a consummate diarist. It won’t be pretty.”

Further Reading

BFP May 13, 2011 – REDjet Update: Political problems with Trinidad and Jamaica

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Egyptian Nazi Party re-establishing. How is Arab Spring working out for freedom and human rights?

Muslim Brotherhood announces Sharia law for Egypt

Thousands call for beating of women drivers in Saudi Arabia

Christians, women & gays fear Egypt’s democracy will bring increased repression

The celebration by some in the West over the “Arab Spring” uprisings is quieting as the truth continues to reveal itself in disturbing news stories every day. Students of history are unsurprised to find the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamo-fascists taking positions of power in the Middle East and issuing policy statements and warnings.

Like the Bolsheviks rode the popular wave of rebellion against Czarist Russia to seize the government, the Muslim supremacists are doing the same in the Middle East to assume power and control. Unlike the Bolsheviks though, the Muslim supremacists do have the support of the majority throughout the Middle East.

Unfortunately, the Muslim fascists now also have moral, monetary and military support from the West. As US President Obama said about the Middle East on May 19, 2011, “It will be the policy of the US to promote reform, and to support transitions to democracy…”

The West is about to discover that it should be more careful about what it wishes for. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Human Rights, Religion

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Conference cancelled – lack of interest!

Is this a problem with the organisation behind the conference, or something that goes much deeper?

Is this a backlash against Barbados for REDjet, Shanique Myrie, CARICOM movement rights, health care for immigrants and a host of other grievances?

by WSD

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association just announced that their (ahem) “much anticipated” inaugural annual summit scheduled for June 1-3 in Barbados has been cancelled due to low registration numbers. Unmentioned in the brief press sheet are the reasons why the conference failed – or if the organizers have even started to understand what happened.

Your writer is not in the tourism business, but I have some questions and observations as an ordinary Bajan. Let’s see if my thoughts are shared or disputed by those in tourism and Barbadians in general.

Barbados and the BHTA were heavily committed to this conference, but the conference website shows only four commercial sponsors – only two of which are major companies recognizable to your non-tourism writer (LG and MasterCard). Was this an adequate level of sponsorship interest for a conference that represented itself to be a major summit by a major organisation?

Contrast the Barbados 4 commercial sponsors with the 22 sponsors of the May 10-12, 2011 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference held in Jamaica.

Was the dearth of sponsors in Barbados a fault of the conference organizers, or fallout from a damaged economy and lower advertising budgets? Was the Barbados conference scheduled too closely to another major event?

Was enough notice given to the tourism industry about the conference itself and the apparently excellent list of speakers? (See BFP’s TripAdvisor’s Brian Payea coming to Barbados)

Backlash against Barbados?

Barbados is under heavy criticism (some of it entirely justified in my opinion) from our Caribbean brothers and sisters over a variety of issues including the lack of health care for LEGAL immigrants and LEGAL visiting workers in Barbados, and the REDjet situation where the airline and the Barbados government failed to show sufficient respect to the laws and sovereignty of Jamaica and T&T.

Then we come to the Shanique Myrie situation where a Jamaican visitor claims she was “finger-raped” by Barbadian authorities upon arrival, held in squalid conditions and deported the next day. Whatever the truth of her story, it doesn’t matter because the damage was done. More important, Shanique Myrie is seen by other Caribbean nationals as just another incident in a long history of similar incidents in Barbados whether reported in the news or not.

Like it or not, the truth is that Barbados as a country and Barbadians as a people are increasingly seen by the rest of the Caribbean as acting arrogantly and disrespectfully in our relations with other nations and on a personal level with visitors.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if this is true or not. It only matters that many other Caribbean nationals believe it is true, or at least have that impression.

It would be a big mistake for Bajans and tourism organizers to assume that the failure of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Conference is only about the conference itself. There might be something much bigger happening that needs to be recognized and immediately addressed at all levels.

Submitted by BFP reader WSD. Edited and headlined by Marcus.

Further Reading

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Conference website

eTurboNews: Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association cancels conference

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Tourism

DLP connections protect crooked Barbados lawyer from arrest?

18 years after running off, cocky thief attorney returns to Barbados

Why was Michael Simmons so confident he wouldn’t be arrested?

Everybody knew that fugitive Michael Simmons (photo above) was coming to his sister’s funeral last weekend, and everybody was just as sure that he wouldn’t be arrested for the crimes that caused him to flee Barbados 18 years ago.

What’s changed in the 18 years since Simmons stole millions and ran off? That’s easy: some of Simmons’ family members are now close to the DLP Government.

Reader “Who me?” saw the article in The Nation Simmons back after 18 years and sent us the following contribution. BFP readers should remember that just because someone says something, doesn’t mean it’s all for true.

But there does seem to be a whole lotta smoke ’bout this place recently!

Justice? Rule of Law? For some but not for others.

by BFP reader “Who, me?”

The Nation article about Michael Simmons caught my eye in that I was made to understand that transparency and corruption and the relevant legislation were major concerns for Barbadians, having being promised this by the DLP government of the day.

Now, how can a situation exist where a lawyer, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Michael Simmons having robbed his clients of their funds and absconded to the United States can return to Barbados as if he has not care in the world? Which in my estimation Mr. Michael Simmons doesn’t have a care in the world. Continue reading

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

New FIFA Bribery Allegations against Jack Warner

Lots of smoke ’bout this place!

It was only days ago that the story broke of bribery allegations against Jack Warner and three other FIFA officials in relation to England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.

Today’s breaking story is about a NEW, completely unrelated bribery allegation surrounding the upcoming FIFA presidential election!

The following is from the FIFA press release sent out late last night:

“On May 24 2011, Fifa executive committee member and Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer reported to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke possible violations of the Fifa code of ethics allegedly committed by officials.

“In particular, the report referred to a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), apparently organised jointly by Fifa vice-president Jack A. Warner and Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam, which took place on May 10 and 11 2011.

“This meeting was linked to the upcoming Fifa presidential election.

“In view of the facts alleged in this report, which include bribery allegations, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke, in compliance with art. 16 of the Fifa code of ethics, yesterday requested the Fifa ethics committee to open ethics proceedings.”

See our previous story: Jack Warner: FIFA’s poster boy for corruption, racism and disgusting talk

BBC story: Fifa begins ethics inquiry into Bin Hammam & Jack Warner

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Filed under Corruption, Sports, Trinidad and Tobago

Does Bizzy Williams have a piece of Adams Castle Estate?

“Strange alliances, strange happenings here and there…”

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Have you noticed the strange alliances and strange happenings here and there in the last year? So many unusual partners, people who wouldn’t be seen in the same room together all of a sudden working and cooperating on business and land deals. Is it the difficult times? Is it the leadership vacuum since David Thompson’s death and the fracture of the BLP?

Whatever is happening, I’ll say in tribute to Bob Dylan turning 70 (gasp!), “The times they are a changin.”

I heard a rumour the other day and I don’t know if it’s true…

but the person who told it to me believed it was true. They said that Bizzy Williams had a piece of Adams Castle Estate as an investor, not a buyer. Considering the other known players, that would be something new, wouldn’t it? What does it mean if anything at all?

Tell me what you think. Are the times they are a changin’?

Photo of Bizzy Williams at the Adams Castle Estate opening from the Bajan Reporter story New Barbadian Gated Community – Adams Castle Estate: Very Upscale

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Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Spark of the Day! Will you marry me?

Ginny thinks she’s watching a movie with her brother. She doesn’t know that the trailer is something else!

(Hey darlin’ – I know I didn’t make any movie trailer for you…

… but Auntie said she’ll collect up the boys for dinner on Monday evening. See you later!) :-)

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Filed under Spark of the Day!

National Geographic quotes Barbados PM at Nobel Laureate Symposium – Perpetuates the Con Job

PM Stuart talks “Global Sustainability” while destroying the last mangrove forest on the island


National Geographic VP John Francis fooled into thinking words equal action

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just returned from the third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability where he rubbed shoulders with Nobel prize winners and famous and not so famous environmentalists and world leaders.

Not only did PM Stuart attend the conference in Stockholm, Sweden – he played an active role with the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability and conducted an open discussion with the crowd. Former US President Bill Clinton listened to our Prime Minister quote Martin Luther King: “There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will.”

National Geographic quoted Freundel Stuart like he really meant what he said and would back it up with action.

We at Barbados Free Press say…

“Our plea to National Geographic: Come to Barbados and see the destruction for yourself. Examine the reality, then write. Don’t empower those who say fine words but are really selling out our natural environment for money.”

While Freundel Stuart mouthed his fine words, back home his Democratic Labour Party government is conducting a strategic campaign to destroy the last remaining mangrove forest on the island so it can be commercially developed. Money has always trumped the natural environment in Barbados and Stuart’s DLP is continuing the practice. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

Miguel King dies in JFK Airport bus crash. Barbados family grieves.

Our sincere condolences to the family of Miguel King, who was killed on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 in a crash between a city bus and an SUV at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. The 25 year old Barbados native worked as a baggage handler for Delta Airlines.

Further information can be found at The Lahore Times: Bus crash claimed one life at JFK Airport parking, 10 badly hurt

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Acting Prime Minister urges journalists to follow code of ethics. DLP Government refuses to pass code of ethics for politicians.

UPDATED: July 2, 2011

In consideration of the ongoing breaking news story that the Barbados Minister of Health Donville Inniss still has connections to the online pornography industry, we’re running this previous story in hopes that ethical members of the DLP government will chide the Barbados news media into covering the Donville Inniss news – and especially start asking questions about where the money went. Is it money laundering when a Barbados corporation receives money in Europe? Did the Barbados corporation declare and pay taxes on the entire Donville Inniss porn websites revenue stream?

Original story as first published May 22, 2011…

Do as the DLP says, but not as they do…

The Democratic Labour Party promised Barbadians that they would declare a code of ethics for elected and appointed government officials “immediately upon election”.

That was three and a half years ago.

The DLP also promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information within 100 days of election. What a joke at our expense.

Now Acting PM Ronald Jones has the audacity to lecture the Barbados news media on ethics and the purpose of journalism. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Politics

Consumer Survey Barbados

Dear BFP and Family,

Back in 2009, you graciously took the time to complete my survey (Resident Perceptions of Tourism Impacts in Barbados).  Now, I am asking for your help once again. I have setup a new survey to look at the sentiments of consumers in Barbados (in terms of the economy, income, consumption, etcetera). It is similar to the US Consumer Confidence Index, The Survey of Consumers (by Univ of Michigan), as well as others around the World.

I’m not 100% sure if there is one like specifically for Barbados, and even if there was, it doesn’t hurt to have more data to study, analyze and cross-reference. Accordingly, I have created such a survey, 30 questions in total, which should take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes to complete. When the survey period expires, I will post a summary of the results (as I did with my 2009 survey) and the methodology for all to see (I will send a notification to the blogs when ready).

I believe that the information coming out of studies like this may be useful for decision makers in the public and private sectors because it offers up a glimpse of what/how Barbadians feel when it comes to certain topics that are important to our economy at the micro and macro level.

Please therefore take the time to fill it out (I’ve set the expiry date for June 18, with a max. of 1500 responses), the link is right here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ACUBCSS

Thank you for your time.

Cheers!

Amit

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues