Monthly Archives: November 2011

Mortgage my home to invest in Harlequin? Let me think about that Mr. Ames…

“People are still investing every week with Harlequin throughout the Caribbean”  (Harlequin Chairman David Ames)

This differs from a “Ponzi” scheme in what way?

(Mr. and Mrs. Curious and Curiouser, Birmingham)

Dear BFP,

We used to think that Harlequin “investors” were big shot rich people. After watching Harlequin Chairman David Ames in this video we’re sure that a good portion of them are ordinary retirees who worked hard and were persuaded to mortgage their home to ‘invest’ in a dream. We hope they get out what they put in.

When we watch this video it is difficult not to think of the word “PONZI” as Mr. Ames launches a convoluted explanation of how this business model is “very affordable”. (“Very affordable for whom?” we have to ask Mr. Ames.)

We think what he’s doing is paying the “investors” so he can use their good names to obtain funds for building, but if no profits are coming in, aren’t the first “investors” being paid with money coming in from later investors?

How is an “investor” different than a “partner”? Mr. Ames says the “investors” are “partners”. Does that mean that their “deposit” is not in escrow because it is an “investment”?

After watching the video three times, we swear we can’t figure out exactly what the “investment” model is all about. It could be that we’re just too stupid to appreciate the business model and benefits for two retired teachers from Birmingham.

Harlequin Chairman David Ames Posted on YouTube January 16, 2010…

“People are still investing every week with us throughout the Caribbean”

(Starting at about 1:15 in the YouTube video…)

“What happens is, we ask our investors to raise 30% of the property price. Let’s just say they invest a hundred thousand pounds, what we look for them to do is to raise 30% of that which is thirty thousand pounds. Now let’s just say that cost them in a mortgage or a loan, let’s just say two hundred and fifty pounds a month. Well, what we then do… we actually pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank. We’re actually, the project, the resort, is paying for those payments for them.

And why would we do that? If you think about it, that Harlequin is a partner with our investor because Harlequin actually owns the resort. So what happens is, when we’re letting out their room – renting their room, we actually share the percentage of the money from that room.

So for example with our investors they receive fifty percent of the room rate after the second year. So what happens, for every hundred pounds our investor gets fifty and the resort gets fifty…”

That sounds wonderful to us Mr. Ames, but we still have this question:

If there are no rooms yet built, and there are no room rental revenues: where is Harlequin getting the money to “pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank.” as Mr. Ames says?

Is the money coming from new investors, and always more and more investors are required to keep the pot large enough to “pay that money back to the investor so the time during the build, it doesn’t actually cost them a penny out of their own bank.” ????

This differs from a “Ponzi” scheme in what way? We’re not making a statement. We’re asking a question and we can’t figure it out.

Yours truly,

Mr. and Mrs. Curious and Curiouser
Birmingham

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14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

CL Financial’s “Barefoot Billionaire” Lawrence Duprey enjoying Monaco Grand Prix

Smiles come easily when spending OPM – other people’s money.

Lawrence Durprey - Barefoot Billionaire in Monaco 2007

Readers throughout the Caribbean deserve to see these photos and read the story of Lawrence Duprey and friends visiting the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix. After all – our grandchildren will be paying for Mr. Duprey’s crimes until they die. And yes, that is a US$100 “per cigar!” Cohiba in one of the photos. You can bet the wine isn’t from Tesco either.

Enjoy… but first a word about where this material comes from: Monaco Revue and DiversityCanada Foundation.

Although we are using this material under the Fair Use provisions of copyright because we are commenting upon the material and it is also public evidence of the crimes of Mr. Duprey and his gang, and therefore contains an overriding public interest in its publication at BFP, we ask each of our readers to visit Monaco Revue HERE to read the original material.

It looks like DiversityCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have worthy goals and we encourage each of you to at least visit their websites and give them consideration.

We do note that according to the article, former Trinidad government minister Carlos John (and then “advisor” to Lawrence Duprey) is the “compatriot” of Monaco Revue’s editor.

Colman Commission evidence?

We also see that what was once an article about the elites having a good time in Monaco is now certain to be of interest to the Colman Commission inquiries into the CL Financial Fraud. Especially as the commission looks into the close relationship between Duprey and Ministers and former Ministers of the Trinidad & Tobago Government. This 2007 article is evidence of crimes and has a compelling public interest. Therefore we have been advised that the Fair Use provisions of copyright are exceptionally strong and allow us to publish the material here at BFP.

We hope that DiverstyCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have the journalistic integrity to leave this information published at Monaco Revue.

Now on to watching Mr. Duprey and his friends spending your money on a good time… Continue reading

20 Comments

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

Erdistan House burns on Wednesday night

UPDATED: November 24, 2011 4:10pm

Another “Heritage” building goes up in flames with the usual reactions from everyone…

1/ Praise for the Fire Service.

2/ “Woaloss, we must rebuild it!”

3/ Total silence about why we as a nation prefer to see historical buildings burn or rot rather than spend the money to protect them. How much would a sprinkler system have cost to install vs. replacing the “irreplaceable” building and historical documents it contained?

4/ Total silence about what company insures the building and what the coverage limitations are.

In a few weeks the truth will set in: the building is a goner and we aren’t going to rebuild it.

What will be the next 100 or 200 year old building to burn that we don’t treasure enough to retrofit with sprinklers?

Photo taken by D. Hunt and sent via someone else.

Barbados Today: Professor Henry Fraser laments the loss, calls for rebuilding. Doesn’t mention that as a society we fail to protect and value our historical buildings.

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Filed under Barbados

Barbados Advocate rants about CBC funding – but loves government advertising!

The motto of the Barbados News Media:

“Never bite the hand that feeds us”

OH the irony!

The current Barbados Advocate editorial Another sacred cow? makes some good points about the primary value of the CBC as an instrument of government propaganda.

Left unsaid though is that the Barbados Advocate itself loves to suck off the government teet when it comes to printing those full colour, full page adverts for the government. During the BLP reign, it was The Nation that was the main beneficiary of government gifts, now the Advocate benefits from the DLP government.

In return for that government advertising revenue the Barbados Advocate will not cover certain news stories and keeps a respectful posture on others. Even if their editorial is bluster it’s good to see The Barbados Advocate at least recognizing the blogosphere as an antidote for the news media being used for government propaganda…

“It is not to our certain knowledge either that the Opposition is any more averse to state ownership. After all, it should take nothing less than a Damascene conversion for a party which has occupied the seat of government for an equal part of those years, suddenly to become convinced of the benefits of privatisation of the island’s lone television station.

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room which both sides of the political divide are careful not to notice is the perceived propaganda value of CBC; a perception that may indeed be more apparent than real in this era of the blogosphere, social networks, and streaming technology over the Internet. We are not aware of any empirical studies which would lead to an assumption that CBC is a national leader in the supply or analysis of information, whether political or otherwise in the public interest. We are prepared to be corrected on this nevertheless.”

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Freedom Of The Press

Is this the brutal truth about Harlequin’s Merricks project in Barbados?

The following as posted at Harlecon.net simply cannot be true. We await comments and information from Harlequin.

“So finally Harlequin have embarked on their eagerly awaited build program. Having sold in excess of 1000 properties in Barbados since 2006 at their much publicised Merricks resort, the plans for the next 12 months are set out below;

A total of three units.”

… from the HarleCON.net story The Current Status of the Projects, Is there really a future?

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

What does it mean? Almond Resorts: Slash and burn pricing @ 45% off

Barbados: £1,259.00 for 7 days, 2 adults, 2 children all inclusive

Friends, I don’t really know what to think of this one. Not being in the travel industry I have nothing to really compare it to, but it seems to be so low I have to wonder where the profit is. If I really think about it, I have to wonder about the necessity that drives this cut-rate pricing.

We are a high-end destination, aren’t we? Isn’t that our market?

The £1,259.00 price includes all taxes and all a family of four can eat, drink and play for a week.

Perhaps someone in the travel industry can explain what kind of an indicator this is. I have a feeling it’s not good, but maybe I’m wrong.

Comments are open!

Robert

Here’s the link to the deal while it lasts.

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Attention Finance Minister Sinckler: About those Donville Inniss US Corporations, Real Estate and Assets

How did Donville Inniss get cash to Florida to purchase this condo?

Finance Minister Sinckler assures: Barbados plays by the rules! (But does Minister Inniss?)

by Marcus & Shona

Barbados has this little problem right now. French, American and Canadian politicians are calling our country a “tax haven” and other names – which is actually their way of accusing Barbados of offering secret offshore banking to foreigners who don’t want to obey the tax laws of their own countries.

France and some others say we don’t obey the rules of international finance. (Joke on the side: How many French soldiers does it take to defend Paris? Answer: Nobody knows. The French have never tried to defend Paris.)

Our government is responding to the charges with an aggressive public relations campaign and a host of reciprocal information sharing agreements with other countries. We’ve also pledged to update financial legislation and to more effectively monitor international financial transactions.

Fair enough. The sea is changing so Barbados is setting out some different sails and adjusting the windage and the helm. Good. We’ll check the passenger manifest too, to ensure that everybody on board is someone we don’t mind sailing with. That’s only common sense when our survival depends upon the friendship of other countries. (“Friend of all, satellite of none.”)

This is serious business for Barbados, because as Minister Sinckler said the other day at a meeting at Cin Cin Restaurant (Look at the food! THE FOOD! YUM!!!)

“…the international business and financial services sector contributes upwards of 60 per cent of all corporate revenues in the country and, therefore, that is an important station for us and one that we seek to protect and, of course, guard very zealously.”

… Minister Sinckler quoted in the Barbados Today news story Leading by example

What about the international finances of Health Minister Donville Inniss?

Barbados Free Press is publishing a series of stories showing that Minister of Health Donville Inniss profited from the online porn industry. Our stories tell the truth even if the Barbados news media covers up and looks the other way. Minister Inniss knows that our stories are true so he hasn’t taken any steps to have the stories removed from WordPress where Barbados Free Press makes its home.

But now we get to the issue of money. How was Minister Inniss paid for his involvement with online porn companies? Was he a stakeholder in any company or was he providing a paid service to front the porn industry? Were any of his family members or friends acting as proxies?

We think we see some interesting discoveries on the internet…. Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption