Category Archives: Business

Last Harlequin update by Serious Fraud Office was July 2014

Harlequin Fraud Office

Harlequin Property
25 July 2014

The SFO investigation into The Harlequin Group continues. We have had several reports from worried investors who have recently received information from other sources to suggest that our investigation is now closed. This is not the case.  Due to the complex nature of our investigations and the fact that several overseas jurisdictions are included within the scope of those investigations, it is inevitable that delays in the process of gathering information and evidence will be and have been encountered. It is not possible to issue any more detailed information at this time. Once we are able to issue a further update we will do so.

Many thanks to those who have been in touch to register their details with us at confidential@sfo.gsi.gov.uk

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Will the Harlequin Resorts debacle explode in 2015?

David Ames - Harlequin's Ponzi King

David Ames – Harlequin’s Ponzi King

The numbers tell us one giant truth: From the start Harlequin was set up as nothing less than a Ponzi scheme requiring a constant influx of new victims to keep everything going.

Consider these numbers…

- Total “deposits” by victims: US$800 million

- Percentage of “deposits” paid as salary and sales commissions: 50%

- Percentage of “deposits” used to pay interest to earlier “investors”: 22% (estimated, see below)

- Number of units sold: 9,114

- Number of units built: 230

It might be worth Ames and his merry band of supporters considering to remain silent throughout 2015.

To do so would reduce if not eliminate the anti-Harlequin responses no matter how articulate and factual they may be, given that the anti-Harlequin posts in the main are merely responses to the incessant nauseating, repulsive litany of lies emanating from Harlequin and their supporters in their never ending quest to justify “at best” the gross incompetence and abject failure by the Ames family and staff of Harlequin to operate their businesses in a proper manner.

The constant need to allay the blame for the failures of the Ames family and management at Harlequin at the door step of others demonstrates that the Ames family and management of Harlequin are in serious trouble.

And that summary is giving Ames and his cohorts far more benefit of the doubt than the facts say they deserve. The only reason I can think of that they haven’t been arrested as yet is that the Serious Fraud Office has been overwhelmed by the planned worldwide chaotic nature of the fraud through only god knows how many different companies, coupled with legal contracts bearing so much fine print, inter-jurisdictional references and available outs for the criminals.

The resorts will most probably never get built, not in the lifetime of many of the purchasers victims.      
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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Barbados natural gas stoppage: Government lapdog Nation newspaper blames hotels, restaurants, bakeries for “lack of business continuity planning”

Dog eats garbage

New Bajan tourism attraction: Dog eats garbage

by Passin Thru

In true Bajan and Caribbean “Island Time” style, a Nation newspaper editorial says that no one should be blamed or sacked for the disastrous stoppage of natural gas these past three weeks during the Christmas and New Years season.

The Nation says that those businesses, restaurants, hotels and other natural gas users are the problem. They foolishly didn’t have a backup plan and necessary technologies in place to prepare three meals a day for thousands of tourists for several weeks of outages.

Who wrote that editorial? Such foolishness from presumably an adult. They must be high on drugs or from another planet.

And what of the DLP Government’s failing to keep the gas flowing? Here’s what the suck-well Nation has to say about the government’s role in the crisis:

“The efforts of the Minister of Commerce, Donville Inniss, to personally interact with both the NPC and affected businesses, were very commendable.”

Fabulous! Government Minister Donville Pornville Inniss went about the place talking! What a fabulous job, Pornville, just fabulous!

Perhaps if Minister Inniss and his government paid the VAT refunds owed to business within say, a year of request, those businesses might be able to buy a gas grill or thirty to sit waiting “just in case” the government can’t deliver natural gas for a month in tourist high season? Should the hotels do the same with drinking water too? A month’s worth for 500 people?

Such foolishness.

And then there is the garbage problem… 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Economy, Energy, Environment

Why weren’t charges laid in attack upon Barbados Immigration Officer?

walter maloney Barbados

We might be wrong here, folks. We HOPE that we are wrong.

BUT… we have two people telling us that a foreigner punched out a Bajan Immigration officer at the airport …. and that management backed away and laid no charges. The Immigration officer is still on sick leave but no charges were laid.

WTF?

Yes. Exactly.

President of the National Union of Public Workers Walter Maloney confirmed much of the story at a symposium at Workplace Violence Awareness Day.

So what is the story? Let’s hear it!

above: Walter “lots of excuses” Maloney; President of the National Union of Public Punching Bags.

Go figure… Immigration officer attacked 

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Business, Environment, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Grenada, Immigration

A real Barbadian international business success story: Automotive Art promotes training in Barbados to attract new USA business!

Automotive Art Barbados training

Need an automotive paint system in the USA? Come to Barbados for training… in January.

Our own Bajan automotive paint supplier is leveraging their Barbados training centre to sell product throughout the USA. I love it!

by Robert

Please pardon me while I reminisce for a bit…

A long time ago my father advised that if I wanted to become a professional pilot as he was, I should first become a certified aircraft mechanic. (Certain folks will cringe at the word “mechanic” and want the word changed to “technician” or “maintenance engineer” depending if they live in America or Europe. Noted, but I’m old school and will continue to say “mechanic”. I also hold DC-3 & 727 type-ratings – master certifying mechanic and command pilot -, so put that in your tonic and gin too.)

My father knew that pilots come and go according to the ups and downs of the airline industry, and that a medical down-check can leave a professional pilot begging in the streets. He wanted me to have a valuable skill to fall back on, and I’m grateful I listened to him. My career as a professional pilot lasted only 7 years, and I made little money compared with my 20 years crawling on my back underneath aircraft with rivet gun or wrench in hand.

My father also told me that there was nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.

Young men should pay careful attention to that statement because it is true: There is nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Technology, Uncategorized

A camel named Barbados

Barbados Taxes

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, opposition to the new Solid Waste Tax is turning into a national cause – uniting taxpayers across party lines. It may well be the proverbial ‘straw’.

The sight of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley cursing the government for introducing the tax is laughable though – considering that it was Mottley and Arthur and their BLP who robbed de place bare when they were the government. Had the BLP government acted properly when in power, Barbados would be in much better shape today.

We’re broke. Something has to give and both parties are responsible.

But this tax is not going to fly. People haven’t got it, and they can’t pay what they don’t have and won’t ever have.

Freundel Stuart should read some books on what happened 1937.

Different situation, I know, but this kettle is already boiling and the Municipal Solid Waste Tax just turned up the heat.

Thanks to talented artist Connie O’Neill for allowing us to steal her drawing.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking

A solution for financial problems dogging the University of the West Indies

cave-hill-barbados-uwi

“Acknowledging how WORTHLESS most of the UWI degree programmes are to society and to the earning power of individual students would be a good start.”

UWI is sinking financially, but that might be a good thing

by Nevermind Kurt

by Nevermind Kurt

The Government of Barbados is behind in promised payments to the University of the West Indies by over US$100 million dollars.

Tongue in cheek as a taxpayer (and not a tax-vampire like so many of my fellow Bajans) I say that you can look at it as BDS$200 million and hope the currency will be devalued. Or you can value the debt in Jamaican dollars (11,190,083,000.00 JMD). Or Mexican pesos. Or Japanese Yen…

It really doesn’t matter how it’s counted it if Barbados can’t honour it…

And Barbados cannot make the promised payments to UWI. We are making thousands redundant in the civil service, cutting infrastructure development and maintenance, and still the government can’t meet continuing payrolls without further borrowing. There is no money for UWI.

For all his book-learning, Sir Hilary Beckles can be pretty thick at times, but at least he had the courage to speak the truth yesterday talking to Barbados Today, saying “In my own judgment I think if the Government had the resources they would have made them available to us, but the fact is that they don’t have them”.

That’s correct, Sir Hilary: no money, no honey. The coin jar is empty.

Sir Hilary’s solution, however, is to forgive tuition to students this September and hope that Barbados somehow comes up with the money.

Sir Hilary, PAY ATTENTION!

Here is where the academic world and the real world collide…

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.

A better idea: Shut down UWI at Cave Hill. Teach young people to install toilets, mix concrete, grow crops.

How many degree-holding sales clerks can Bridgetown support? How many useless BAs in Linguistics, French, Fine Arts, Creative Thinking, Philosophy and Social Studies can a small island nation of 250,000 citizens support?

How many lawyers do we need on this island? How many mathematicians with a BSc in pure mathematics?

Why do we continue to educate a huge proportion of our young people with degrees that they will never be able to profit from unless they leave not only Barbados, but the Caribbean?   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Education