Category Archives: Corruption

Caribbean justice: Bank collapse settles after 30 years

Pennies on the Dollar

Joke of the Day – Pennies on the Dollar…

“… tremendous relief to the many suffering depositors”

BASSETERRE – Clients who lost money when the Bank of Commerce closed some 30 years ago were put on alert by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris that a legal settlement had been arrived at that allowed for the payment of $15 million.

Prime Minister Harris made the revelation during today’s sitting of National Assembly.  He noted that the court settlement will bring “tremendous relief to the many suffering depositors in the Bank of Commerce,” noting that “a fresh start has now come to the depositors.”

… read the entire sad tale at the Nation News

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Opinion: Freundel Stuart and his DLP are the real destroyers of Barbados

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

If there is a group of inexperienced and irresponsible “leaders” who have done serious damage to our country that group is not to be found in the trade unions of Barbados! Rather, they are to be found in the Freundel Stuart-led Democratic Labour Party administration.

Who – after all – is responsible for the dismissal of close to 5,000 Barbadians from their jobs in the public service of our country?

Who – for the first time in our history – imposed tuition fees on Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies, thereby causing some 4,200 Barbadians to drop out of UWI?

Who is it that recently imposed an additional $200 million in taxes on an already over-taxed and over-burdened Barbadian people?

Who is it that has taken virtually every Governmental contract of any worth and conferred them upon a small select group of elite business people?

Who is it that has entered into contractual arrangements that obligate the masses of Barbadian taxpayers to literally pay hundreds of millions of dollars to a small group of privileged elite business people over the next two or three decades ?

The record is clear! Barbados is being destroyed – not by young Toni Moore and Akanni Mc Dowall – but by Prime Minister Stuart and his band of Ministers, the majority of whom may legitimately be described an immature, callous, irresponsible and rudderless.

How comic it is to hear Stuart complaining that the new President of the NUPW does more talking on behalf of the Union than the General Secretary, when he (Stuart) has absolutely no control over no less than 5 of his Ministers; Donville Inniss, Chris Sinckler, David Estwick, Ronald Jones and Denis Kellman!

Furthermore, if Stuart wants to talk about new wine in old wine skins then we need to tell him that his Administration constitutes a “new wine” that we, the citizens of Barbados, do not recognize!

We all recall and recognize the late Errol Barrow and the Democratic Labour Party that he established. But we do not recognize Mr Stuart’s Democratic Labour Party! The Freundel Stuart – led DLP administration is something totally new in our political culture! Where Mr Barrow’s DLP constructed and nurtured Mr Stuart’s DLP attacks and destroys!

Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Outrageous, corrupt government contracts are killing Barbados

barbados-flag.jpg

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

As we approach Barbados’ 50th year of Independence, I am calling on all patriotic Barbadians to join together and make a determined effort to uproot and eradicate the destructive remnants of the “Old Colonial System” that still exist in our supposedly independent nation.

And one particularly odious remnant is that aspect of the “Old Colonial System” that traditionally permitted the social and business elite of Barbados to have compliant members of the political directorate grant them outrageously preferential business and commercial arrangements that allowed them to feed on the substance of the Barbadian State and on the mass of predominantly black labourers, consumers, and – in more recent times- taxpayers!

Just take a cursory look at Barbados’ history and you will see exactly what I mean. From the earliest colonial days, the planter/merchant elite utilized a compliant House of Assembly to, inter alia:- supply themselves with cheap labour by legislating the enslavement of Blacks; grant themselves legal title to the lands they had occupied; give themselves a commercial advantage by prohibiting free Blacks and Coloureds from being able to give evidence in Court against them; control Black labour by enacting a Post- Emancipation “Masters and Servants Act”; prohibit the migration of Black labourers from Barbados; transfer the burden of falling international sugar prices unto the backs of the large black labouring class; use legislation and the Court system to ensure that the lands of bankrupt plantations did not fall into the hands of Blacks; use grant money from the British Government exclusively for the elite sugar planter class; and the list goes on and on.

In more recent “Independence times”, this old colonial phenomenon has been manifesting itself in the practice of predominantly black Parliamentarians and Ministers of Government granting amazingly preferential taxpayer- funded or guaranteed contracts to elite white Barbadian and foreign business-people – contracts that they would never dream of conferring upon black Barbadian business-people!

One such contract is the so-called “Take or Pay Contract” that the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable (Barbados) Recycling Centre Inc (SBRC) in June 2009. Under that contract, we, the taxpayers of Barbados, are obliged to underwrite a guaranteed minimum payment of $22.6 Million per year over a 20 year period to SBRC for the processing or managing of so-called municipal solid waste, whether or not the company is actually called upon to carry out work of the requisite minimum quantity! Thus, under this contract alone, we taxpayers are saddled with a minimum payment of $45 Million over the 20 year period.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Banking executive from CIBC’s FirstCaribbean International Bank carried FIFA bribe!

Why would a CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank executive travel from the Bahamas to New York to personally pick up a US$250,000 cheque?

Why not just wire the funds? Why not send the cheque via courier?

The answer appears to be that the US$250,000 was being money-laundered by one of FIFA’s top officials, Chuck Blazer. After picking up the cheque in New York, the banking executive returned to the Bahamas and deposited the cheque into Blazer’s personal offshore account.

I didn’t really catch onto this at first. I thought it was a situation where the CIBC had been unknowningly duped or had a client misuse the bank. But that isn’t what happened according to the articles in the press – the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank was directly and knowingly involved in money-laundering.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Anyone who has seen the award-winning documentary about the 2008 meltdown – Inside Job – knows that the banks are rotten to the core, and in conjunction with bribed elected and appointed officials ensure that the motto of the inside crowd remains “Profits are private. Losses are public.”

Closer to home just look at Clico and the Barbados DLP government.

But for you and me though, just miss a mortgage payment or don’t pay taxes and see what happens. Wuhloss!

FIFA scandal exacerbates Canadian banks’ Caribbean troubles

An eyebrow-raising disclosure in the U.S. indictment of FIFA officials is that a representative of a Caribbean bank made it easy for one allegedly illegal transaction to be done by flying to New York to personally collect a check and then returned to deposit it in an account in the Bahamas.

This unusual courier service, which reduced the electronic trail on a $250,000 payment to former FIFA official Chuck Blazer in May 2011, was provided by an unnamed officer of Barbados-based CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, the indictment shows. CIBC FirstCaribbean is a subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s fifth-largest bank.

That cheque, U.S. prosecutors allege, was part of a $10 million bribe paid in return for the votes of then FIFA vice president Jack Warner, Blazer and another FIFA official in support of South Africa being granted the rights to host the 2010 World Cup.   Continue reading

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

Witness fails to appear in court – accused set free, absent witness faces no penalty…. Welcome to Barbados!

Nothing to do with this case... just an illustration of reality when the police make witnesses' names known!

Nothing to do with this case… just an illustration of reality when the police make witnesses’ names known!

Intimidating a witness is standard operating procedure in Barbados.

Five years for a marijuana case to come to trial in Barbados!!!

The Court should have issued a warrant for the arrest of the witness and dug into the “why” behind the witness failing to show. This happens time and time again and undermines everything from the police to the court.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick dismissed a 2010 case in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today, after a police witness who was supposed to testify was absent from court.

Hezron Joseph Williams, who was previously charged with possession, trafficking and intent to supply marijuana in October 2010, was therefore free to go.

Williams, 27, resides at Hutson Alley, Reed Street, The City.

When the case came up for hearing in the morning, Station Sergeant Neville Watson said he expected the witness to be at court by midday.

When it was called again in the afternoon and the prosecutor was questioned by the Magistrate, he said he still had not heard from the witness.

Magistrate Frederick determined that “unless he (the witness) has a reasonable excuse or some type of emergency, the case would have to be viewed differently”.

He therefore dismissed the matter.

Disgusting!

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s sleazy conflict of interest

Kickback? What kickback? Wuhloss! Surely you jest!

Kickback? What kickback? Wuhloss! Surely you jest! It’s a CONSULTING FEE!!! For consulting. Plus the politician owns a piece of the company getting the government contract. Just another business entrepreneur. Nothing to see here folks. Move along, move along…

Should a Minister of Government have a financial interest in the outcome of a company’s bid for a government contract?

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler smiles. You'd smile too!

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler smiles. You’d smile too with a piece of a $700 million dollar government contract!

Anywhere in the civilized world the answer to that question is a resounding “NO!!!!”

But not in Barbados.

In Barbados we have no conflict of interest laws. No Integrity Legislation. No disclosure of assets for elected and appointed officials. No transparency laws that allow citizens to monitor elected or appointed government officials.

So if our DLP Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler stands to personally profit from the awarding of a government contract to his own company to build a $700 million dollar waste-to-energy plant… that’s just too bad for you taxpayers and ordinary citizens.

Barbadians accept that elected politicians become wealthy in office. This is so ingrained in our culture that when former Prime Minister Owen Arthur donated US$150,000 in after-tax dollars to Cricket Legends of Barbados, some folks said what a wonderful man he was. Only a few in the blogging world and none in the oldstream news media bothered to say Think about the wealth it takes to give away US$150,ooo.”

Where the Hell did Owen Arthur get that kind of money?

When Owen Arthur was caught money-laundering campaign donations through his personal bank account, what was the official response of Barbados? Ha! The DLP government appointed former BLP Prime Minister Arthur as head of a Commonwealth team in the Maldives tasked with ensuring the elections were conducted legally! HA!

So back to Finance Minister Chris Sinckler…

According to news reports, Sinckler has an interest in a company looking for a $700 million dollar government contract, and the true cost of the project will be $4.8 BILLION over the next 30 years.

How corrupt. In the USA or UK he’d be headed for jail. But not in Bim!

No laws being broken here folks… because there are no laws about this kind of thing. Nothing to see. Move along… move along…

“Members of the DLP and BLP had an opportunity to remedy this vulnerability with the passing of integrity legislation… but we all know how that turned out.”

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Remembering Campus Trendz and Arch Cot – years later Barbados still doesn’t have a building code

Passersby heard the screams from Campus Trendz store: no back door and bars on the windows.

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Barbados Free Press, September 5, 2012 Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

by Cliverton

Almost five years after the Campus Trendz slaughter, sleep does not come easily for my friend. In her mind she still sees the weeping desperate men in the smoke at the rear of Campus Trendz – cursing and yelling as they used hand sledges to break through the brick wall all too slowly. She couldn’t watch any longer, she couldn’t listen to the screams any longer and there was nothing the girl could do so she walked away. That haunts her to this day.

Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18, Kelly Ann Welch, 24, Shanna Griffith, 18, Nikita Belgrave, 23, Tiffany Harding, 23 and Kellisha Ovivierre, 24, burned to death because two evil men robbed the store and smashed flaming bottles of petrol. That is one of the causes of their deaths.

The other cause of their deaths is that Barbados has no enforceable building code. Folks just build as they want to, with no standards as to amount of steel or how rebar is connected. No standards as to fire exits or alternate fire exits through windows. Campus Trendz was a deathtrap from the moment it was constructed, and six young women died because Barbados had no building code to protect them.

Similarly an entire family died at ArchCot when a powerful family (BLP leader Mia Mottley’s family) invested in land over a known cave. How the prohibition against building over the known cave was lifted was never really explained to the public. Just another of those magical Bajan processes very similar to how a BLP Government Minister came to live in a house built on private land that had been expropriated for government purposes.

That Barbados has no building code makes it easier for the corruption and the corrupt to thrive and profit.

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Politics & Corruption