Daily Archives: February 11, 2012

US Court hits Grenada government airport revenues

A lesson for Barbados and Al Barrack?

Grenada owed money to a bank in Taiwan and didn’t pay – so the bank sued in the USA and now all US airline revenues that would have been paid to Grenada’s airport are being paid into an escrow account in the USA. As a result, the airport is in deep financial trouble and the Grenadian government looks pathetic on the world stage. If the situation isn’t rectified PDQ, the travel and tour sellers will soon start to wonder if their clients will get stuck in the middle someday. When that thought starts to form, the travel industry will start to recommend other destinations until confidence returns. It might be happening already because we discovered the story through ETN Travel News.

There is a lesson here somewhere about what can happen when governments decide to not pay lawful debts. Globalism is more than a word, you know. Increasingly, creditors are successful seizing assets in other countries when stonewalled by governments and courts in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

For the last day and a bit we featured Why Al Barrack will never win against the Barbados Government: The Fix is In! at the top of the blog – telling the story of how the Barbados won’t pay a man even when faced with an order from the Barbados court.

One of our readers, millertheanunnaki, commented…

“I am willing to bet that if Barrack were to sell the debt to an overseas factor through a “big” British or American firm of lawyers this matter would be settled within weeks. If not a judgment to seize Government’s properties in London or New York would certainly be enforced unlike what prevails locally.”

There are certain government assets that can’t be seized overseas (Embassies, airplanes etc.) but the idea of seizing airline fees is a shocker. Can you imagine what would happen if some court in New York or London ordered airlines to pay all Grantley Adams airport fees to the court over the Al Barrack debt? How about port fees for cruise ships too?

Wuhloss! That would put the mongoose in with the chickens! If that happened you can bet the government would settle with Al Barrack right away – and that just shows how bankrupt our government is: both financially and morally.

Statement from St. George’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The St. George’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is working with other government departments, particularly the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Finance, to arrive at a solution to the current financial difficulties being experienced by the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA).

This situation arose as result of the EXIM Bank of Taiwan obtaining judgment against the government of Grenada for outstanding loans in a suit filed in the United States. The Taiwanese have made a claim for all monies owing to the government of Grenada and its agencies to be paid against the loan. Consequently, a request was made to airlines operating on the Grenada route to pay monies owed to the Grenada Airports Authority to the Taiwanese. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ethics, Grenada, Offshore Investments

Trinidad: Police storm newspaper offices, journalist’s home

Snapshots from the battle for press freedom

Police seize Andre Bagoo’s computers, phones, flash drives

Nine police officers raided the Newsday offices and journalist Andre Bagoo’s home on Wednesday – seizing at least four computers, two mobile phones and several external storage drives. The police say they are looking for evidence of Bagoo’s sources for his December 20, 2011 story about the row between Integrity chairman Ken Gordon and deputy chairman Gladys Gafoor.

Of course, now that the police have EVERYTHING on Bagoo’s computers they will have a look at EVERYTHING, won’t they? Emails, love letters, shopping lists, contacts list, financial records, photos, sources for every story Bagoo has ever written – little things like that.

The latest attack in the Trinidad police campaign to muzzle a free press comes two months after a similar raid on TV6 last December.

The lesson is that if the Trinidad news media won’t self regulate (as the Guardian did causing journalist Afra Raymond to resign in disgust) then the Trinidad & Tobago police will teach the Trini press to know their place.

We’ve had our own problems here in Barbados with the police strong-arming journalists, seizing their cameras and arresting journalists for photographing accident scenes and corrupt police officers. As a society we must be vigilant and aggressive about preserving the independence and freedom of the press. History has too many examples of what happens when citizens drop their guard.

Photo courtesy of Newsday: Journalist Andre Bagoo, centre in white shirt, surrounded by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) as they search his computer in an attempt to get him to reveal the source of information in a report he wrote on the Integrity Commission.

Further Reading

Newsday Statement

Newsday:  Shame!

Newsday: Newsday raid shocks AG

Trinidad Express: Police storm ‘Newsday’ offices in PoS

Trinidad Express: Cops want interviews with CCN directors

Trinidad Express: Newspaper stands by journalist not to reveal sources

Guardian: Tribunal to probe Gafoor

Newsday Statement, February 10, 2012

NEWSDAY condemns in the strongest possible language, yesterday’s raid by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) on our Newsroom at 23A Chacon Street, Port- of-Spain and at the private residence in Belmont of this newspaper’s senior investigative parliamentary and political reporter, Andre Bagoo.

The police officers led by Senior Superintendent Solomon Koon Koon, executed a warrant and searched Mr Bagoo’s desk in our newsroom, went through his office computer, all documents on his desk, including parliamentary papers and other information used in the course of his duties.

After two hours they left our Chacon Street newsroom, taking with them two flash drives, one Newsday cellphone issued to Mr Bagoo, his personal cellphone and Newsday’s computer hard drive on which Mr Bagoo has stored confidential information relating to his duties. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police, Trinidad and Tobago