Category Archives: Consumer Issues

CL Financial Directors tell Afra Raymond (and you) “Don’t worry. Relax. Have a rum.”

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

The contempt of the elites for the rule of law continues in the CL Financial scandal.

‘We’ the people sometimes forget the primary rules of island life:

  1. In any large scale fraud upon the public, initial Profits are privately owned by the elites who did the fraud. Later Losses are publicly owned.
  2. There will be zero accountability or transparency by the elites charged with “getting to the bottom of things”.
  3. No elite is ever charged with any crime, except if it is really necessary. In that event, the police are given marching orders and not enough time and resources to complete the task. The accused will be found ‘not guilty’ in a fair trial before a carefully selected judge.

“I’m sure there’s some good legal reason why High Court Justice Kaye Goodridge ordered the Barbados Police to put the CLICO criminal charges on hold. Always is some good legal reason for doing what is done.

It’s just that we predicted this months ago. Futures destroyed, pensions gone, lifetimes of work and savings stolen… and nobody will ever pay.

Nothing changes ’bout hey. Nothing. Ever. Changes.”

… from BFP’s Barbados court orders CLICO criminal charges stayed against Terrence Thornhill, Leroy Parris

And like we’ve said at BFP before, it’s a good thing that Prime Minister Thompson died before the public knew of his role in money laundering millions of CLICO dollars for his close friend Leroy Parris.

But still, there are those good citizens who keep pounding away at a corrupt system ruled by corrupt elites…

Afra Raymond is one of those good citizens looking for justice for us all.

See his email exchange showing how the caretaker CL Financial Directors duck, dodge and slide…

Afra Raymond: Compliance of CL Financial Directors with the Integrity in Public Life Act

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Trinidad and Tobago

Secret Harlequin Resort legal documents ‘found on London train’ – here they are!

Harlequin Fraud Office

Dear Barbados Free Press,

We were just coming of a train just outside London and we found a box of documents relating to “Due Diligence” of a company or companies called Harlequin, they appear to be developing resorts in the Caribbean so we feel this is probably a good place to show what we found, especially for anyone out there who might be interested in investing in Harlequin.

There are many files to upload so please bear with us.

This is a 70 page redacted interim intelligence report from Regulatory Legal Solicitors, it makes for pretty grim reading, we did not redact it, the documents are exactly as we found them on the train.

This is an interesting witness statement from Jim Baker contained in the due diligence documents apparently left on the train, by a guy who resembled Simon Terry, but it was dark so we could not be sure.

Seems to be a lot of people suing Dave and Carol Ames in the Courts in the UK, wonder why this was in the Due Diligence, Seems like Jim is saying that Harlequin are worth nothing.

Yours very truly,

Anonymous!

Editor’s Note

Okay, okay… we’re a little behind on things. Might have had a couple of lost nights in the tradition of Dick Van Dyke. (Loved him in Mary Poppins, nevermind the worst phony cockney accent in film history!) The “found on London train” comments and documents were all sent using one of those anonymous proxies, so we really have no way to tell who sent them to us or from what country.

We’ll upload the documents when we can below. We’ll do a few now and get to the rest in the morning right here…

Continue reading

2,679 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Harlequin – Dave Ames serves WordPress with court subpoena about Barbados Free Press

UPDATED April 30, 2014: PDF of Court Document Posted Below

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

Harlequin / Ames alleges defamation by commenters?

Dear Barbados Free Press readers,

Here is what we know so far…

Today some anonymous person posted the following as a comment on Barbados Free Press.

IF the posting is for true, then Harlequin, David Ames and Carol Ames served some court papers on Automattic Inc. (otherwise known as WordPress) in San Francisco USA, demanding that WordPress produce the IP numbers and email addresses for persons who posted some comments about Harlequin on Barbados Free Press. According to the court papers, it is not BFP who is being served or sued, but our internet host WordPress.com.

We at BFP have not looked at the comments, but they are listed in the court papers printed below. It looks to us like what was posted as a comment contains errors of the type that come when a paper page is scanned and converted to a Word file.

We expect that WordPress will vigorously defend free speech – because, aside from free speech and human rights, if they don’t defend free speech, their business model collapses.

PDF of Court Document: Harlequin Court Document 2014_04_21

Here is what was originally posted as a comment on BFP…

The following is the Ames application for the IP addresses of those posters Ames feels may have defamed him,

SUBP-002
ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address):
Timothy B. Broderick (97082), Katrina M. Saleen (253706)
Broderick Saleen, 2600 El Camino Real, Ste. 506, Palo Alto, CA 94306
TELEPHONE NO.: (650) 857 9000 FAX NO.: (650) 857 1100
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
ATTORNEY FOR (Name): Dave Ames: Carol Ames• Harlequin FOR COURT USE ONLY  Continue reading

390 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Shocker: Frozen Taiwan Mahi-Mahi sold as fresh Barbados dolphin!

UPDATED: Importer to Barbados is… (drum roll please)…

Yinnex Co.
Taiwan 3 shipments total Has verified third-party data
2 shipments match west indies
…Stowed In A Refrigerated Set At The Of 25 Also Morgans Fish House Inc. 7 Gibbons Industrial Park, Barbados West Indies

Attn: Mr. Jonathan Morgan (link here)

Barbados Fish Market Mahi Mahi

We used to have to explain Bajan Dolphin to visitors. “It isn’t flipper but a fish known elsewhere as mahi mahi”.

Now even Bajans may need some explanations. As this recent photo taken at the Bridgetown Fishing Complex shows, your “fresh Bajan Dolphin” may well be defrosted Taiwanese Mahi Mahi!

How can this be? The answer is that it is easier and cheaper to import fish from the other side of the world, rather than to pay local fisher folk fair value.

Wary Bajan Fish Eater

Barbados Taiwan Dolphin (click photo for large)

Thanks to an old friend!

And from another old friend, we received this:

Yinnex Co. 17TH FL, 129 FU HSING SOUTH ROAD, SECTION 1 TAIPEI,TAIWAN S/O:1111

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues

Peter Binose: Harlequin shows ignorance of Flood Plain disasters – or they are not being forthright

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

How often does a ‘Hundred Year Event’ happen?

by Peter Binose

According to Harlequin’s Solicitors, it only happens once in a hundred years.

They said that the World Bank are sending a report in which Christmas floods will be described as a hundred year flood.

Obviously Harlequin do not know what a ‘100 year flood’ actually means.

We need to be aware of a 1 in 100 year event does not mean the probabilities will only happen once in every hundred years. It actually means that it is an event that will happen once in every 100 big cloud bursts or storms. If you had a hundred of those in a day, there are probabilities that such flooding will occur. If it happens in a week, then once a week, if it happens in a year once a year etc. In fact what it means there is a 1% probability of it happening. See here.

There is approximately a 63.4% chance of one or more 100-year floods occurring in any 100-year period.

That means folks, 63 floods in a hundred years, more than one every two years.

“That Buccament Bay Resort is built in a flood plain is a physical fact. There can be no debate.”

Flood years for Buccament   Continue reading

949 Comments

Filed under Consumer Issues, Disaster

Top-Heavy death traps: 18 casualties as another minibus overturns – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Barbados Bus Accidents

Barbados Bus Accident Injury

(Photos courtesy of Nation News & Barbados Today)

“Our minibuses are badly designed. They are difficult to control and are far too unstable for a vehicle transporting our loved ones.”

Another minibus driver loses control – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Can the Barbados government deny the truth any longer? Our minibuses are poorly engineered, top-heavy death traps that are inherently unstable even when only half full.

How many more similar accidents do we need to see before we do something to correct the problem? How many more dead and injured will it require?

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

“Another day, another horrific traffic accident with lives, faces and families ruined.

You’re looking at an overturned minibus on Pinders Bottom Main Road in St. George. Thirty seven people hurt with 5 critically injured.”

From the March 15, 2012 BFP story Another mass casualty bus accident: 37 injured, 5 critical

The minibuses are involved in way too many tip-overs, but even when they stay on their wheels they sway badly and the drivers often struggle to maintain control. You see it happening! How often have you seen minibuses veer over the road center? It’s an everyday happening and so common that drivers know to keep an eye on an oncoming minibus and move over a little bit just in case something happens.

How many minibus accidents are caused by the poor handling, even if the bus doesn’t tip over? I’d bet there are plenty. Yes, speed and recklessness are factors as is poor maintenance – but speed and maintenance alone cannot account for the slaughter. There is something wrong with the buses.

In aviation, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming the pilots and start blaming a bad airplane. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Disaster

UK’s Serious Fraud Squad investigating Harlequin: Any information welcome!

Harlequin's The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

Harlequin’s The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

by Peter Binose

Investors in Buccament Bay Resort are the closest to luck as one can get when wishing for luck for their investment from a company that promised everything and gave very little to very few.  But as luck goes it may be running out even for the Buccament investors.

Those that have invested in Harlequins different projects through like sounding Harlequin companies around the world, have only had bad luck.  They have put their money in to what they thought were rosy investments.  Many were encouraged by island politicians and governments, many of which had been warned of impending problems with Harlequin, yet went ahead and promoted them in such a way that now brings  disgrace to those small and even large nations. People have lost life savings and retirement pensions with help from these government ministers and governments. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Former Hindu Credit Union president Harry Harnarine pays the price for failure

“Harnarine said his biggest concern is that if he is declared bankrupt although he may soon successfully attain his law degree, he would be unable to practice.

During the recently concluded enquiry into the failure of HCU several depositors who were unable to withdraw funds from the institution blamed Harnarine personally for the death of family members.”

Harry Harnarine wants to be lawyer!

Harry Harnarine wants to be lawyer!

The failure of the Hindu Credit Union destroyed lives, pensions, families and businesses.

And when we say that HCU destroyed lives, we mean exactly that. Distraught people killed themselves because they trusted Harry Harnarnie with everything they had, and Harnarine and his cohorts betrayed that trust.

Now we see that what goes around comes around.

The T&T High Court says that Harry Harnarnie owes Afra Raymond $868,000…

… and Harnarnie doesn’t have that kind of cash lying around.

Or so he says.

* quote from Trinidad Express Final straw to kill me

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Disaster, Economy, Offshore Investments

Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio: Public procurement, government corruption and Christmas

afra raymond CMMB

Fearless anti-corruption fighter Afra Raymond was not appointed a senator (surprise! surprise!), but he says he didn’t expect it despite the rumours.

Check out an excellent interview on 101.7FM where Afra speaks his mind as always.

Afra Raymond.com: Audio – Heritage Radio Interview of Afra Raymond

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Should financial advisors be penalized for recommending the disastrous Harlequin ‘investments’?

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

TailorMade Independent under the microscope…

“In total around 7,000 investors put £300 million into Harlequin, half of this, £150 million was invested on an advised basis.”

Gareth Fatchett, solicitor at Regulatory Legal, who is representing a number of Harlequin investors, said most of the advice he had reviewed was poor and had been motivated by commission. ‘99% of the advice I’ve seen is terrible, inappropriate, commission-driven stuff,’ he said.

It doesn’t get much worse than this, and we wonder when and if criminal fraud charges will be laid against David Ames and his cohorts. So many lives ruined, so many pensions destroyed.

Some new happenings:

FSCS writes to Harlequin promoter TailorMade’s clients

Harlequin investors hit out at TailorMade Group

539 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Sir Hilary Beckles should dump the ‘Sir’ in protest of the CLICO scandal.

Clico Parris Theft

($3,333,000 cheque money laundered by Prime Minister David Thompson for CLICO’s Leroy Parris. Where is Sir Hilary Beckles’ outrage?)

Sir Hilary Beckles Barbados

“It’s not easy for the titled elites to act on principles that conflict with their vanity”

by Just another Destroyed Policyholder

Some 23 years ago, Sir Hilary Beckles was more than vexed at the Barbados Mutual insurance company – rightly accusing the elites of the day of raping policyholders’ funds and using them for their own schemes and personal wealth-building.

Beckles recently recalled the time and said “It had exploited them. It took their money, it took their investments and they were used as a pool of resources to assist the elites of this country,”

And how is that so different from what we saw with the CLICO and CL Financial collapse? The now dead Prime Minister David Thompson and his DLP were thick as thieves with Leroy Parris and sucked the CLICO well dry so there was nothing left for little policy holders. Don’t forget, former PM David Thompson was Clico’s lawyer, and he signed a secret contract and kept it secret from the Oversight Committee he later appointed as Prime Minister! (See BFP’s Leroy Parris has no shame)

David Thompson money-laundered 3.3 million dollars from CLICO International Life Insurance Limited, but the money was actually destined for former CLICO executive chairman Leroy Parris. Oh… by the way – Parris is godfather to Thompson’s child and turn about too! (see BFP’s Former PM David Thompson law firm money-laundered millions from CLICO to Parris: How much came back to Thompson & DLP?)

People go to jail for less in other countries.

But this is Barbados. David Thompson, the same lawyer who helped set up the CLICO employment contract in 2005, received secret “campaign donations” from CLICO and Parris. After Thompson was elected Prime Minister, CLICO got land use approvals and Thompson had the use of the Clico executive jet.

Then when the CLICO – CL Financial house of cards came tumbling down, Thompson fought off judicial management of the company, appointed some toothless “Oversight Committee” without real authority or power to do anything, and gave Parris a nice job in charge of the Caribbean Broadcasting Company – managing what news the public heard about the CLICO debacle.

Prime Minister David Thompson knew about the secret agreement because he witnessed and signed it. He probably set it up as Leroy’s lawyer. Then years later when the “Oversight Committee” that Thompson appointed couldn’t find any contracts with Parris, Thompson stayed silent to protect his friend and himself.

Where does Beckles stand on that rape by the elites of Barbados? We don’t know because SIR Hilary is one of the elites now and, as he says, he’s adopted a more moderate tone. Heh heh…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption

More Questions for former Harlequin associate David Campion

David Campion Harlequin Barbados 2

With the collapse of so many large scale, foreign-owned projects in Barbados in the last few years, Bajans are understandably cynical about any new projects. And when a former Harlequin employee sets up shop, some folks naturally want to ask how much they knew about Harlequin and when they knew it.

Back on June 22, 2013 BFP published an article that asked tough questions of David Campion and his Argo Development Studio. We received no word from Mr. Campion then or since.

Now another reader asks more questions that seem most reasonable to us and are what ordinary Bajans want to know about Mr. Campion and all developers – especially from over and away.

If Mr. Campion desires to comment or reply, we will print his unedited response right here and give him full coverage. We and all Barbadians would like to hear his side of the story.

Regarding David Campion, some questions …

by BFP reader Just give me a straight answer

After the Harlequin fiasco:

  • Is David Campion living and working in Barbados based on documentation as an ongoing employee of the non-operating Harlequin (of Merricks) fame?
  • If not, has he legal status in Barbados?
  • Has he applied for or is he in possession of a work permit?
  • Is Argo (his “company”) actually registered as a company?
  • Is Argo VAT registered?
  • What are his professional qualifications?
  • Regarding the claims of Argo’s expertise made on the Argo website, does he have a core building industry professional qualification? such as Surveyor or Engineer?
  • Is there any other person here working for him (the site claims 4 directly employed persons) who is professionally qualified and is registered and have they paid their yearly fees?
  • If Mr. Campion is properly qualified, is he a member of one of the professional organisations here in Barbados?
  • If he has a professional qualification, is he on the governments register of qualified professional persons …and has he paid the statutory fee for 2013/2014?
  • Has Argo direct or indirect ownership in “Tourism Consultants International”, who with Argo have recently been appointed by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry – BCCI – to carry out surveys of Bridgetown businesses as part of their “Revitalization of Bridgetown Initiative”?
  • If he is in the process of submitting Town and Country Planning applications to the Town Planning Department, and is he aware that certain qualifications have to be proven (for submitting proposals of more than domestic or residential size) before the Town Planning Department will accept the application?

BFP thanks The Nation for the source photo. Used with permission!

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy

Afra Raymond on Invader’s Bay: “A large-scale act of intentional illegality…”

“If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.”

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Since my previous article on this controversial proposal, we have seen that certain legal advice reportedly considered by the government has been featured in another newspaper, The Guardian.  If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.

My main concerns are –

CONSULTATION?

Compare the lack of consultation at Invader’s Bay with what happens elsewhere.  In particular, the large waterfront lands near the city centre of San Fernando at  King’s Wharf, which has been the subject of ongoing public consultations over the years.  The press reports that various design and redevelopment concepts were presented to and discussed with a widely-based audience.

Whatever the criticisms one might make of the King’s Wharf proposals, it is undeniable that views have been sought from the public/stakeholders and various proposals have been made for consideration.

The JCC and its Kindred Associations in Civil Society met with Ministers Tewarie and Cadiz on 26 September 2011 to express our serious concerns.  Yet, when Minister Tewarie was challenged by the JCC and others as to the complete failure to consult with the public, the only example of consultation he could cite was the very meeting we had insisted on, which took place after publication of the Ministry’s Request for Proposals (RFP) and just about one week before the closing-date for proposals.

This Minister obviously does not consider public consultation to be a serious element in real development, notwithstanding the lyrics about innovation, planning and, of course, Sustainability and the Cultural Sector.  Just consider the way in which East Port-of-Spain is being discussed within that same Ministry.  The prospects for sustainable economic development of East POS must be linked with the Invader’s Bay lands, there is no doubt about that.  What is more, to carry-on as though the two parts of the capital can enjoy prosperity in isolation from each other is to trade in dangerous nonsense.

When criticising the large-scale physical development plans of the last administration, ‘dangerous nonsense’ is exactly what I had accused them of dealing in. Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad: Invader’s Bay payday?

invaders bay Trinidad (click image for large)

“Ministers of the Government and others employed in the various Ministries must begin to appreciate that laws are there to be followed both by the Government and by members of the public alike.”

Expediency must never be allowed to take priority over principle.

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Invader’s Bay has re-emerged from the shadows via PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi’s budget contribution (PDF) on Monday 23 September 2013 (pp. 168-175).  The twists and turns in this controversial proposed scheme are detailed at the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry – JCC’s webpage here.

Invader’s Bay is a 70-acre parcel of reclaimed State land off the Audrey Jeffers Highway – just south of PriceSmart & MovieTowne – in the western part of Port-of-Spain.  Its value was estimated by the State in 2011 to be in excess of $1.2Bn, so these are prime development lands, possessing these attributes –

  • Water, Electricity and all urban services are readily available;
  • Flat/gently-sloping terrain;
  • Direct access to Audrey Jeffers Highway;
  • Waterfront location.

Before proceeding to the latest revelations, it is important to restate the main objections raised by the JCC and others with respect to this proposed development –

  • The Request for Proposals (RFP) was published by the Ministry of Planning in August 2011 seeking Design-Build proposals for the development of these lands and specifying an entirely inadequate 6 weeks for submissions;
  • There has been no public consultation at all, so the public has not been involved in this, the largest proposed development in our capital in living memory;
  • The RFP was silent as to the other three, extant strategic plans for the POS area, all paid for with Public Money.  Given that the RFP was published by the Ministry of Planning, that is a tragic irony, to say the least;
  • EIA – The RFP is silent as to the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment in a development of this scale;
  • The proposals were to be evaluated against the “Invader’s Bay Development Matrix and Criteria Description”, which was only published after the closing-date for submissions.  That is a clear breach of proper tender procedure, which renders the entire process voidable and therefore illegal.

The key points Al-Rawi was advancing seemed to be based on certain leaked Cabinet papers, but not having seen them, there is little detailed comment I can give.

Al-Rawi stated that the Government has agreed to lease parts of the property to two developers – DACHIN Ltd (Derek Chin, the MovieTowne man) and Invaders Bay Mariner Development Company (Jerry Joseph).  He also claimed that those leases are to be granted at the land value quoted by the developer/s’ valuer -$74psf – which is a small fraction of the valuations obtained from the Commissioner of Valuations – $511psf – and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the independent consultant retained by the State – $436psf.

According to Al-Rawi –

…The developers are saying, “Hold on, you need to look at this from a residual valuation approach”, and on a residual valuation approach they are saying, “Remember we have to do infrastructural work, we are only going to get a residue of this land coming into our hands, therefore, we want a residual value approach…   Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Canadian Government Broadcaster hires private investigator to expose Barbados tax haven loopholes

canada_barbados_flag

What don’t these Canadian journalism types get about Barbados?

The answer is simple: The Canadian laws are not being broken, they are being used as they were intended.

It’s the same with the American IRS regulations. If the Americans, Brits and Canadians don’t want their citizens to transfer income offshore, then those governments should make it illegal and rescind the tax laws that make these schemes possible. Until that time, places like Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda will continue to welcome Canadian, American and Brit business people who can’t survive with the 30, 40 and 50 percent tax rates of their homelands!

Tax avoidance: Canada-Barbados tax deal loopholes revealed

An exclusive CBC News hidden-camera investigation into the world of offshore banking found professionals in Canada and Barbados willing to help hide business profits in Barbados by exploiting loopholes in a long-standing tax saving arrangement between the two countries.

“My advice to [the Canada Revenue Agency] would be, every time you see a Barbados [company] in the structure, investigate it,” said an individual who used to run one of Canada’s largest offshore companies and also spent time in prison.

For decades, Canadian companies have flocked to Barbados with their cash in order to legally avoid paying Canadian taxes. If a Canadian company wants to expand its business outside of Canada, it can create a subsidiary in Barbados where it can park its international profits. This way, it legally doesn’t have to pay Canadian taxes on those profits.

… read the rest of the article at CBCnews Canada: Tax avoidance: Canada-Barbados tax deal loopholes revealed

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Canada, Consumer Issues

Afra Raymond: The threat from Trinidad & Tobago’s Appeal Court

trinidad integrity law

Politicians everywhere love those state-controlled enterprises that are exempt from the rules applying to wholly owned state-enterprises. Why, you ask? It’s all about politicos being able to profit from your tax dollars while hiding the profits.

It’s been a constant battle trying to craft integrity laws because the moment a country puts them in place the politicians discover a hundred ways they are exempt.

In Barbados, of course, we don’t bother with Integrity Legislation because we’re happy that the politicians and government employees are able to steal. With about 60 % of the islands workforce somehow employed by the government it all works out. Well, everything works out except the mathematics of keeping the whole thing afloat.

Our old friend Afra Raymond has a problem with the Trinidad & Tobago Appeal Court ruling that undermines Integrity Legislation.

We only wish we had the same problem in Barbados. For in Barbados, we have no integrity or conflicts of interest laws at all!

Take it away, Afra…

afra raymond

Integrity threat from the Appeal Court

by Afra Raymond

On 27th June the Appeal Court ruled that –

  • TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
  • It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the (Integrity) Commission.

Telecommunications Company of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) is a company established between the T&T State and the British-based multinational, Cable & Wireless. C&W holds 49% of the shares in TSTT, while the State holds about 42% of the shares together with the right to nominate 5 of its 9 Directors.

That unanimous ruling has serious consequences for the viability of our nation’s integrity framework.

The intended purpose of that framework is to ensure a satisfactory level of transparency and accountability in the way Public Money is transacted and Public Functions are discharged.  There is still a strong case for this Integrity Framework as a necessary ingredient in the Good Governance of our nation. The Integrity Framework includes the Auditor General; the Integrity Commission; the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance and the two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees.  Ours is the most vibrant Caribbean economy and the State is clearly the largest player, so the proper management of that sector is critical. Given the continuing rise in the waste and theft of Public Money, there will always be a need for an improved, more effective Integrity Framework to oversee these huge, controversial operations…

…continue reading this article at AfraRaymond.com

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

UK Financial Conduct Authority cautions investors on new Harlequin rescue plans

Harlequin Resort

“We urge financial advisers considering recommending consumers paying monies or further monies over to any of the companies in the Harlequin group at this time to proceed with caution.

You should ensure that consumers fully understand the risks involved with the investment. You should also advise consumers to obtain legal advice from lawyers in the country where the property is located before proceeding with any investment in a company in the Harlequin group.”

… UK Financial Conduct Authority

The last five or six months have seen a lot of talk of plans and schemes to rescue the investments of the poor folks who believed everything that Dave Ames said about Harlequin’s business plans. Nevermind that even the most mathematically challenged should have been able to see that Harlequin’s ability to continue to build relied upon finding new suckers, ah, ‘investors’ willing to suspend their disbelief as if they were watching a child’s cartoon on Saturday morning.

Harlequin was first and only a Ponzi scheme where payback to earlier investors was only possible with money from new investors. I’m not sure of the current situation but I think it is something like only 300 units built out of 6000 sold, and no money left to build the missing units.

Or so I think. No doubt one of our readers can provide the current stats.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority remains concerned about plans by various Harlequin entities to ‘save’ investors’ monies… with only a small additional investment. Ha!

Have a read of the notice and then… class, discuss!

Update to information on investments made through Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited (“Harlequin Property”)

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued an alert to financial advisers on 18 January 2013 regarding this subject. Since 1 April, the Financial Conduct Authority is one of the UK’s two new financial regulators, which has replaced the FSA.

The alert sets out our expectations where financial advisers recommend overseas properties purchased through Harlequin Property. It also sets out what advisers need to do before recommending an overseas property investment through Harlequin Property.

The full text of the alert can be found here. The FCA’s Harlequin page can be found here.

Since this date, important developments have taken place as follows: Continue reading

2,945 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Barbados Government asked Facebook for private user information

Owen Arthur Facebook

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet, word comes that our own DLP – Democratic Labour Party Government is spying on Facebook users.

Are YOU one of the three accounts that interested Prime Minister Stuart’s government in the past six months? Are you sure you’re not?

Barbados govt asks Facebook for info on users’ data

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados is the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to have made a request of the social website, Facebook, for information regarding how its nationals use the facility.

Facebook has for the first time published data on how often governments around the world request data on its users, and according to the social media group, Barbados made three quests in the last six months.

Facebook does not specify the nature or type request but said it set “a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of our users”.

There has been no official comment from Bridgetown but Facebook has outlined the conditions under which requests are accepted from governments.

Read the full article at Jamaica Observer: Barbados govt asks Facebook for info on users’ data

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