Daily Archives: February 22, 2012

CLICO Scandal: Leroy Parris charged criminally, Former PM David Thompson law firm money-laundered millions from CLICO to Parris: How much came back to Thompson & DLP?

CLICO's lawyer, David Thompson, helped build the house of cards.

UPDATED: February 23, 2012

It gets worse, much worse. Former PM David Thompson was in the the thick of it in August 2007, prior to being elected. Thompson’s law firm took 4% of the purchase of CLICO’s new business jet for ‘legal fees’. We told you so, folks. We told you.

Stabreoek News: Stunning revelations in Barbados CLICO probe

PM Thompson said DLP use of CLICO's business jet was none of your business, but policy holders didn't know just how dearly it was costing them.

BFP’s original story published February 22, 2012…

Deloitte Auditors list shocking revelations

We all knew the relationship between Parris, Thompson and the DLP was dirty. Now, as they say, you can take it to the bank… except the bank is empty.

I still don’t believe we’re really going to get to the whole truth, but for now this is the news…

Legal Fees for Parris

Late Prime Minister David Thompson’s law firm received a whopping $3.3 million in legal and retainer fees from CLICO International Life Insurance Limited (CIL), but the fees were actually destined for former CLICO executive chairman Leroy Parris.

This was among the explosive revelations of the Deloitte Canada-led forensic audit into the operations of the insurance company and its financial relationship to the parent company – CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited (CHBL) – and other members of the local CLICO empire.

“On January 16, 2009, a payment for $3.333 [million] was made to the law firm Thompson & Associates by CIL…

The Nation: Full story: Legal fees for Parris

And…

CLICO Action

Criminal charges have been filed in the magistrates’ court against former executive chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited, Leroy Parris, and current president Terrence Thornhill.

Official police sources have told the MIDWEEK NATION that the two executives are to be served with summonses to appear in court.

They are accused of contravening an order by the Supervisor of Insurance in August 2009, which prohibited the company’s subsidiary CLICO International Life Insurance (CIL) from selling new business.

Read the full story: CLICO Action

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Name removed from BFP’s story about counterfeit cancer drug Avastin

Never let it be said that Barbados Free Press or our readers would unfair anyone…

What kind of lawyer is in the office at 4:13am?

At 4:13am today BFP received an email from a B’town lawyer, Satcha S-C. S. Kissoon, Bsc, LLB of the Attorneys-at-Law Weekes, Kissoon, Deane.

Well… are we impressed or what! 4:13AM in the morning some lawyer is in the office working away for their client and sending emails. Okay, I guess they could have been sitting at their kitchen table having the first coffee – but whether at the office or kitchen table this is some different kind of lawyer to be working hard at 4:13am. That got our attention and our respect right away.

The story is this: In our post Counterfeit cancer drug Avastin: Barbados in vortex of international investigation we mentioned some folks who are associated with the Barbados drug sales group under investigation. Satcha Kissoon’s client is one of those people we mentioned, but according to Attorney Kissoon the client was only an employee doing computer entry, and they were made redundant in June of 2010. BFP found the client’s name on LinkedIn as a current employee, but Attorney Kissoon says that information is way out of date.

Attorney Kissoon asked us to remove the client’s name from our article because like any low-level employee the person had very little to do with anything and it is unfair to associate them with something they had no knowledge of and that is way above their pay grade.

We at BFP talked about it and decided that we believe Attorney Kissoon and that fair is fair enough – so we’ve removed the client’s name from our story and we won’t even mention if it was a man or a woman. We feel we owe our readers an explanation because anytime the media removes a name or changes a story they should be accountable to their readers and explain the change.

This is only the third time in seven years that we’ve removed a name from a news story. We were right to include the name, but now that we’ve heard additional information, well… fair is fair enough.

Another thing we’d like to mention is that Attorney Kissoon didn’t come on like gang-busters or threaten lawsuits or behave like some lawyers we’ve all heard about. We just received a respectful email that provided some additional information and politely asked us to consider removing the client’s name from our story.

So that’s what happened folks.

Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados

Nine winters in Barbados, tourist says “a paradise lost if Barbadians don’t wake up.”

For the past nine winters Douglas Edmondson has chosen Barbados as his escape. That makes him a very special friend indeed – especially in these difficult times. He obviously loves Bajans and Barbados, so we should probably pay close attention when he speaks.

Take it away, Mr. Edmondson…

Re: “Tourism’s high end market good area to place focus” of the February 14, 2012 Barbados Advocate.

Many of the leadership in Barbados, like Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Harold Codrington, are under the illusion that Barbados is known for luxury accommodation. However, a search on TripAdvisor.com shows Barbados rates no better than four and a half out of five stars. By comparison, a bottom end mass tourism market like the Dominican Republic has over a half dozen five-star hotels.

There is a belief among the leadership that the luxury market here will attract high net worth tourists who will spend a lot. But the truth is, this kind of tourist spends most of his or her time within the luxury resort or spa only leaving on occasion for a round of golf, a polo match, a visit to the new Limegrove Centre, or for a change in restaurant.

In contrast, it is the middle class tourist who gets out and visits the Cheapside or Brighton markets, Sunbury or St. Nicholas Abbey, Gun Hill or the Barbados Wildlife Reserve as examples. In so doing, they rent cars, buy petrol, take taxis, shop for groceries, shop for souvenirs, visit local bars and restaurants, and therefore spend and put money into the local economy. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

BLP & DLP Governments’ stupid refusal to pay Al Barrack cost Bajans $35 million dollars

Government’s motto: “Delay, delay – never pay.”

by Nevermind Kurt

We read in today’s Nation that “Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley says his ministry is working feverishly to have contractor Al Barrack paid the more than $70 million owed to him.”

If memory serves, the truth is that Barbados once owed Al Barrack ‘only’ about $34 million dollars for the Warrens office building debacle. The Owen Arthur BLP government refused to pay, went to arbitration and lost large – ending up owing about $50 million dollars after a 2006 judgment.

“For the next two years the BLP government refused to pay, deciding instead to beat Al Barrack through the simple Bajan tactic of lawyering him to death and waiting for him to die.”

The BLP government’s story was that the country couldn’t afford to pay the lump sum and Mr. Barrack was unreasonable for refusing to take a ‘very fair offer’. Mr. Barrack described the ‘very fair offer’ as a dollar now and a dollar a day for the rest of his life. For the record, Mr. Barrack’s version is probably closer to the truth than the government’s.

The clock kept ticking and the interest compounded frightfully as interest does when it’s not being paid. Ask any Bajan fool who has missed a credit card payment – it’s not a pretty sight.

Enter the DLP

The Thompson DLP government inherited the mess when they won the election in 2008, but they too decided that the answer was to keep Al Barrack at bay with years of false negotiations punctuated with court battles to keep him from selling the assets of the National Housing Corporation. Minister Lashley says the government tried to ‘give’ the Warren’s office complex to settle with Barrack, but the truth is the government fought for years to prevent that happening and then changed its mind when the economy tanked and took the building’s value with it.

What’s changed now? Why is the government suddenly appearing so contrite and anxious to keep Al Barrack hopeful? I’m not sure if this is another delaying tactic, or the government has heard the rumours that Barrack is about to go ‘nuclear’ on the international legal scene and that he has found the financial backers to do it.

The times, they are a’changin

As we recently saw with a legal conflict involving the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA), ‘globalism’ is a many-edged sword that sometimes allows people to seek justice internationally when they cannot find justice in their own countries. In Grenada’s case, a Taiwan bank obtained a US Court order that allowed them to seize all the fees normally paid to the the Grenada Airports Authority by airlines flying to Grenada from the USA.

BFP said in a previous post

“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.”

Maybe our master Bajan economist Owen $ Arthur can chip in some money from one of his offshore bank accounts. After all, it’s only fair that he assist to pay off a financial mess that he and his government initially created.

Nevermind Kurt

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption