Daily Archives: August 31, 2011

CL Financial & CLICO Fraud – Colman Commission lawyers edge further towards a cover-up

“The CL Financial Agents, many of whom masqueraded as ‘Investment Advisors’, appealed to people to close-off their other accounts and sell other investments so as to put as many eggs into that one basket as possible. “

The Colman Commission – Cloudy Concessions

by Afra Raymond

The Colman Commission held its first session of Hearings in the last week of June, so we were able to have moving reports from witnesses who had lost-out from various investments with the Hindu Credit Union (HCU).

I read those transcripts and it was painful to see the shape of this problem.  The most striking aspect for me was that the various attorneys seemed to have struck a compromise as to the parts of that evidence which would form part of the public record.

The main concession was that those witnesses did not have to state the amount of their investments for the record.  The reasoning seems to have been a stated fear of crime, but it is my view that this concession will compromise the effectiveness of the Colman Commission.  Given that the Commission is scheduled to resume its Hearings on 19th September, it seems timely to put these matters forward now.

To begin with, the two Golden Rules of investment are –

  • The Risk and Reward paradigm – Risk and Reward have an inescapable relationship – i.e. the greater the Risk, the greater the Reward and vice versa.
  • Investments need to be spread out so as to avoid undue concentration of risk – in colloquial terms, you should not put all your eggs into one basket, or bet all your money on one horse.

From these time-honoured ‘Golden Rules’, we derived the ‘Prudential Criteria’ which guide how financial institutions balance risk and reward.

Yet, despite the ‘Golden Rules’ the CL Financial and Hindu Credit Union chiefs were able to devise products which tempted tens of thousands of people to abandon those basic safeguards and invest in their products.  People who were normally sensible were tempted to abandon good sense and break both ‘Golden Rules’.  That is the measure of this tragedy. Continue reading

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Elizabeth Drive, Pine Gardens Crime Alert: Is Erdiston College doing their part?

Barbados Police working hard. Police Inspector Griffith came to the call while off-duty.

With the dramatic and recent increase in crime many folks around the island are banding together and doing what they can to look out for each other and their neighbouring properties. BFP receives quite a few email crime alerts and we’re very interested in following the trends. While we don’t usually publish the individual alerts because they concern localized happenings, this one is noteworthy because it is obvious the police are working hard and keenly interested in a pair of thugs spotted around Elizabeth Drive.

A big thank you to Inspector Griffith who attended a call while off-duty. We at BFP have long been critical of certain aspects of our police force and senior management, but we’ve also said from day one that successive governments have criminally under-funded the police to the point where the organisation is ineffective.

Give praise where praise is due though: Thanks to Inspector Griffith and the other officers who responded to the calls, and are doing their best to find these two dangerous thugs.

Erdiston College not doing what they should?

There is also a reference in the email that Erdiston College is contributing to the problem because they no longer shut their pedestrian back-gate at sunset. Well Erdiston College? Any truth to that?

Here’s the email crime alert from the Elizabeth Drive Pine Gardens Resident Association…

Dear Elizabeth Drive Residents

Please see the below email from our fellow neighbour. Am trying to obtain more information as to the descriptions of these individuals. Please continue to share any pertinent information and to be vigilant.

Many thanks,

Caroline Steinbok, Neighbourhood Liaison – Elizabeth Drive Pine Gardens Resident Association

The Original email

Don’t know if you heard but we’ve had another incident today adding to the ongoing saga of criminals in the area. This info needs to go to all Pine Gardens residents as it is not restricted to Elizabeth Dr.

Here is a brief rundown of what I know so far. I don’t  know if anyone can add to it.

1-There was the robbery of the construction worker in Elizabeth Dr at around 9.am by two men. I am told that after the event, the men ran off North up Eliz. Dr.

2- On the day following or the next day two men were observed from Eliz. Dr. in a tree in the back of the Leacock property looking into the two properties at the northern end of Eliz. Dr. They ran off when the realized that they had been seen.

3- On the following day Thursday (< >10.am) they were again seen, from a distance of about 5 ft, in the Leacock property holding on to the fence of the Atkinson property and looking into the Preece property…one was wearing a mask.

The police were called and they came promptly. Continue reading

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A tribute to assassinated Environmentalists

“She’s Alive” is a must-watch video

In Barbados we’ve seen for ourselves what happens when corrupt politicians and their developer friends want to turn public lands into private profits: they just do it. If laws stand in their way, they change the laws. Look at what happened to the Graeme Hall Wetlands and two National Parks.

If citizens stand in their way, activists are marginalized by whatever means the government thinks it can get away with. Sometimes that means using tax audits and agriculture inspections to communicate the government’s displeasure to an environmental activist. A tax audit or threats to shut down their business usually shuts people up. If the activist has a lighter shade of skin then a Minister of Government can declare on television that the opponent should be ignored because they are “Caucasian”, “rich and white” or “white plantocracy”. Sometimes three cane fields mysteriously burn three weekends in a row. Just ask “Caucasian Male” environmental activist Richard Goddard about all that.

If some of the land the government and their developer friends want is privately held, the government expropriates the land and very often doesn’t pay the owner. Then the land is transferred to “private concerns” for development. By strange coincidence, sometimes a Government Minister ends up living on the expropriated and never paid for land. Just ask Gline Clarke.

I don’t think we’ve had any Bajan activists murdered or beaten over environmental concerns, but there have been threats, incidents, break-ins and arson over environmental, political and social activism. Just ask Adrian Loveridge, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner and a host of other folks on this island.

The video “She’s Alive” is not only stunning and beautiful, it reminds us that standing up for a just cause can be dangerous when evil and powerful persons want their profits and don’t care about anything else.

Partial List of Assassinated Environmentalists

Chico Mendes – 1988
Ken Sarowiwa (Saro-Wiwa) – 1995
Dian Fossy – 1985
Joan Root – 2006
P.D. Majhi – 2007
Amit Jethwa – 2010

(Thanks to an old friend for suggesting this powerful video.)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Human Rights