Tag Archives: Barbados investments

Barbados Ministry of Tourism lacks a functional website. Like running a business without hanging up a sign.

Sometimes you just want to scream!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Should we as a sector or in fact a nation, be overly concerned that the Ministry of Tourism has not had a functional website for months?

In this time when both foreign and local investment is absolutely critical to upgrading existing plant and product, what sort of message are we sending when a default statement ‘This site is temporarily unavailable’ is the response that greets potential users of the portal?

For those non-nationals not familiar with how things work on Barbados it could also be the first point of reference and a vital source of information, including contact details for the Minister, Parliamentary and Permanent Secretary together with other heads of department that may facilitate any possible investor’s plans. It should also provide important links to other agencies, both public and private to help facilitate seamless access to enable informed decision making.

Frankly, from a prospective overseas investment perspective you are currently forced to plough through a multitude of websites. And that’s even assuming you actually know the names of the many agencies involved, which is highly unlikely unless you have intimate local knowledge.

If there was ever a legitimate call for a single ‘one-stop-shop’ then this is a prime example.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

Psssst… Want to buy Barbados residency status? Got US$2 million?

royal-westmoreland-barbados.jpg

I must have missed the changes to the law last year when the government decided to start openly selling Bajan residency, but we’ve been seeing a lot more rough men with Eastern European / Russian accents lately, haven’t we? Maybe this is something to do with it?

Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

Royal Westmoreland estate introduces special entry permit service to carry out paperwork for NHWIs buying property worth more than US$2million to qualify for the scheme.

There has been such a demand for special entry Barbados property-for-residency permits for wealthy investors that a top development has launched a special service to handle the paperwork for clients.

High-net-worth-individuals are seeking special entry permits that were introduced last year that allow buyers of properties worth US$2million or more to obtain residency status that includes their spouse and children.

The Royal Westmoreland estate, which has just announced another 200 luxury villas and a nine-hole golf course on the adjacent 210 acres of land, plus some larger plots, has seen rising demand for luxury homes from High-Net-Worth Individuals (NHWIs).

Additional planned private jet flights from Heathrow to Barbados by Royal Jet, owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, is adding to the island’s appeal to wealthy investors, says Westmoreland.

A company spokesperson says, “There has been take up of the special entry permit and Royal Westmoreland has been introduced to a new business consultant service to carry out all the paperwork for the clients if they do not have the time themselves.”

… read the rest at OPP-Connect’s Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

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The heartache and frustration of renovating historical buildings in Bridgetown

Building before renovation

From a mutual friend we (and every other news media outlet in Barbados) received another sad tale of outrageous abuse by our government officials against an investor and business person who was doing something positive in the community.

You want a lesson in how a few narrow-minded bureaucrats can take six years to pass a few pieces of paper around and discourage even the most enthusiastic foreign investor? Read on…

The document speaks for itself, so we’ll let ‘er rip…

By Ryan Thorpe: property owner, business investor

Telephone (246) 2687665
Email : RyanThorpe69@hotmail.com

Historical Building : Violet Bourne’s Bar and Andy’s Bakery & Deli 116 Roebuck Street
Bridgetown

This property was on the market for sale over 6 years (1999)

Mr recommendation to: The Bill for the preservation of places, structures and relics or other object of archeological, historical and cultural interest.

To :

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Hon Stephen Lashley,

Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Shirley Farnum

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Celia Toppin:

Dear all,

Site Description

The subject site is one of the typical small urban lots on Roebuck Street. Roebuck Street is a Class 1 road according to the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972. This street is one of the seven Cultural Heritage Conservation Areas identified within the Bridgetown Community Plan Boundary. The sites contain a two storey stone building that has been identified by the Barbados National Trust and UNESO as a building for its historical and architectural value. The building on Lot 116, like most other heritage buildings along the throughfare of Bridgetown occupies the majority of the land space zero degree to the boundaries lines.

The property was formerly known as “V Bourne’s Bar” which was a popular Rum shop for liquid lunch, cutters, rock cakes, lead pipes and fish cakes in the 1970’s situated on the ground floor. The first floor was living quarters for the same shop keeper’s family and later in the 1980’s was a Tailors shop.

This property was renovated to almost the same architectural design alike the 1800’s, approximately six years ago by me (Ryan Thorpe) the owner and property developer resulting in a change of use to facilitate more up market retail space and corporate offices, harmonizing the old with the new designing. I have injected 40% physical labour and design into this project for this final finish.

I have resided and worked in the United Kingdom for the past ten years as a Multi-Skill Engineer with a International Blue Chip Companies and the United Kingdom government.

I was very happy with the area as an investment, having done tremendous historical research about the area, which holds so much history for Barbados and the Caribbean trading communities. I had some costly delays and setbacks with the Chief Town Planner, since it took that Department one year before the approval of my building plans, and one of the main requirements was to locate twenty five (25) parking facilities in Roebuck Street to accommodate my business venture i.e Change of use to public entertainment and Sports Bar (2011). I believe the government of Barbados should pay more attention to the Town Planning Department as these delays can hinder returning nationals and foreign investors from coming to Barbados to invest in our heritage. Continue reading

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REDjet provides tough lessons for foreign investors in the Caribbean

“REDjet might still have been flying if the Barbados Government had honoured financial commitments to the collapsed airline.”

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur talks to The Nation about the DLP’s failure to honour its promises.

Owen Arthur chides DLP for breaking REDjet promises – conveniently forgets he did the same thing with other foreign investors

Submitted by One Who Knows

For a man who himself made false promises to major foreign investors just to entice them to Barbados, Owen Arthur has some nerve criticizing the DLP for their handling of REDjet.

Not that the DLP government is undeserving of criticism over the REDjet matter. The point is that both DLP and BLP governments have shown they will say and promise anything to a foreign investor: at least until the cash arrives. The promises aren’t always about money or tax breaks, sometimes they are about changing the laws to facilitate business or protection of the environment, or putting in roads and sewerage treatment to encourage development.

Unfortunately that long-established history of promising anything to potential investors but then failing to keep up the agreement is starting to cost Barbados credibility in the eyes of the world. Continue reading

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

Canadian tax decision should spur Barbados to ease up residency procedures

Garron Barbados Trust case has frightening implications for Bajan offshore industry

by One Who Knows

An April 12, 2012 decision by Canada’s Supreme Court is putting the pressure on Barbados. The decision changes everything for Canadian trusts residing in Barbados. Many Canadian-controlled trusts will now be taxable in Canada at Canadian rates… and if that is the case then what is the use of having the trusts in Barbados or having the annual meeting on the beach at the Bridgetown Hilton?

Barbados and other Caribbean offshore banking centres rely heavily upon favourable tax laws from Canada, Britain and the USA. As our Prime Minister is so fond of saying: Barbados is not a tax ‘haven’, we are a legitimate financial and corporate centre. There’s a difference you know – but it is a difference that the Canadian government is increasingly unsympathetic to.

The Canadian government is aggressively pursuing a policy of hunting down potential tax revenues that have been ‘missing’ offshore and Barbados is squarely in the tax-haven gunsights.

It’s all about residency… so is Barbados willing to expedite residency for worthy offshore investors?

Whether true or not, Barbados has a reputation for being a difficult country to deal with in terms of immigration, residency and citizenship. Now that Canada has set new rules that threaten the health of our offshore financial and corporate industry, can Barbados adapt quickly enough to keep the trust clients who will soon be moving out?

Offshore trusts can still fall within Canada’s tax net

On April 12, a new landmark was established in the world of tax. It’ll provide guidance to taxpayers for years to come. I’m talking about a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in a case known in tax circles as the Garron case.

One of the most fundamental questions that every government must ask is this: Who should be liable to pay tax? Most governments have adopted the same answer to the question: If you reside in a country, you should pay tax there. (The U.S. is a rare exception where individuals are taxed if they are citizens, regardless of where they live. Oh, and the U.S. also taxes those who reside there.)

The common principle is that a person who derives economic and social benefit from living in a place should owe an economic allegiance to that place. And so, Canada – like most countries – taxes based on residency.

The problem? Determining whether you’re resident in Canada for tax purposes can be tough because it’s generally a question of fact and subject to the interpretation of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or the courts (with some rare exceptions where certain people are deemed to be resident here).

The case

Determining residency is even tougher when we’re talking about an entity that isn’t a person with a family and a home to live in. What if you’re a corporation? Or a trust? The Garron case, formally referred to as Fundy Settlement v. Canada, 2012 SCC 14, is the story of two family trusts that purported to be resident in Barbados, not Canada, and therefore claimed to escape the Canadian tax net.

The trustee of the trusts is St. Michael Trust Corp., resident in Barbados. The beneficiaries of the trusts are residents of Canada. The trusts sold shares in two Ontario corporations and realized substantial capital gains in the process. The purchaser was required to withhold and remit taxes to the Canadian government on account of these capital gains – to the tune of $152-million. Continue reading

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Firebombing followup: Barbadian businessman’s family still stalked

by David Weekes

Two nights ago two men came back to my cul-de-sac at maynards.

When my neighbours came in, (the same Brits who were firebombed last week Tuesday), the men DID NOT BUDGE when the lights of the car the visitors were driving, shone on them.

These stalkers remained unconcerned about the fact that they were bathed in the car’s headlights.

The Brits remained in their car for 5 minutes. The men remained in the cover of the overgrown bush and trees and DID NOT MOVE.

The visitors finally made a dash for the house and there they called the police who arrived five minutes later. By the time the Police arrived the men had left.

Yesterday I left the house to go for some foodstuff. During that time a white truck started to do what I can only describe as stalk the area. Take a look at the video my daughter made of the vehicle that was loitering in my area for about 15 minutes. (Link here if the embedded video doesn’t work.)

Watch how when she goes to one side to video the vehicle they reverse to the other side and watch how she moves to that side they drive forward. She (unfortunately) did not call the police. She was not able to get their truck number. My neighbours were sleeping at the time.

By now most readers may realise that I am not as paranoid as some detractors to this firebombing incident have claimed that I am. My neighbours indicate that the police still think it is a prank even in the face of these two men who are unafraid and do not shy away, even if the full glare of headlamps.

I must now spend thousands of dollars to clean lots 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 31, 26, 27, 22 and 23 around my home that respective owners have left unattended, spots where the bush is so high and provides lurking areas for these emboldened stalkers.

Of course to date my attempts to reach The Rt. Hon Owen Arthur and the Rt. Hon. Haynesley Benn (the BLP & DLP representatives respectively) have been unsuccessful. To the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Navanethem Pillay, she who so recently passed through Barbados. I would only say that all is not so hunkadorie in this “Gem of the Caribbean Sea”,

My daughter and I, and my UK neighbours, have become veritable prisoners in our homes at the mercy of what the police call “pranksters”

If I should fall here Lupo, do not let me fall alone.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law

Harlequin Resorts says change in Barbados planning laws caused one year delay

What change was that?

We can’t find any change in the law…

The Basildon Echo News in the UK recently published a major (four full pages) article about Harlequin Properties and their Caribbean projects. One of the puzzling statements by the Harlequin spokeswoman is that a change in local (Barbados) planning laws caused a one year delay.

We’ve been asking around and have been unable to come up with what change in planning laws Harlequin Properties is talking about. Does anyone have any idea?

There was an issue with setback from the cliff face listed by the critical site ‘Harlecon.net’ but that isn’t a change in the law. We reported on that story in our post Stunning new allegations about Harlequin Resorts: misuse of investors’ funds, auditors refuse to sign off

Speaking of Harlecon.net, where is the website?

As I write this the Harlecon.net website is off the internet. This happened one time a few months ago and it turned out to be a technical problem – but is this another technical problem or did Harlequin’s solicitors find a way to shut them down?

Stay tuned folks… life is always interesting when the little guy takes on big monied companies and governments!

“There are additional challenges involved with carrying out building projects in the Caribbean, where delays are not untypical.

“For instance, in Barbados, a change in local planning laws meant that construction work was interrupted for a year due to circumstances outside our control.

“We have, however, brought in additional resources in order to make up time that was lost.”

Harlequin Property spokeswoman in the Basildon Echo story When will Harlequin’s holiday homes be built? (Formerly titled The 180m holiday homes gamble)

Further Reading

PDF: copy of the Echo News April 3, 2012 article here.

PDF: May 19, 2010 letter from Barbados Prime Minister’s Office to Harlequin… DOC194

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

British tourists firebombed in Barbados: Mistaken identity over anti-government lawsuit.

Barbadian businessman says his home was the real target

Four British tourists just learned what most Bajans already know: litigation, especially against government, is dangerous business in Barbados.

The Brits rented a holiday home not knowing that it was next door to the family home of David Weekes: a Barbadian international businessman who has become a very inconvenient thorn in the side of both the Barbados and CARICOM governments.

“David Weekes told this newspaper he was certain his home was the target of what he suggested was a fire bomb. Weekes explained that since his house was the only one in the area which was normally occupied, the assailants or assailant could have aimed their wrath at the next door home because the lights in it were on.”

… from the Barbados Today article Fire bombed

At 2am on Tuesday April 3, 2012, an unknown person (or maybe more than one) firebombed the Brits’ holiday rental home with two exploding incendiary devices. Fortunately, no one was injured – but next time it could be different.

Why do we say “next time” people could be injured? Because there will be a next time, if not in the Weekes case then in some other legal battle. Barbados has a long history of incidents like this related to legal and other disputes. This is certainly not the first arson or similar attack associated with a Barbados court battle and it is unlikely to be the last considering our island’s recent history. We’ll get to that history in a minute, but for now let’s look at the litigation involving Mr. Weekes and the Barbados and CARICOM governments…

“Law Courts of Barbados seems unwilling or incapable of adjudicating my CARICOM civil suit”

… David Weekes, Barbados business owner and inventor

David Weekes is the inventor of a software and hardware visa solution that he claims Caricom stole from his company and used to issue visas during Cricket World Cup. Mr. Weeks claims that he showed the system to Caricom in 2003, and that Caricom used the software and system without his authorization in 2007. Weekes filed a lawsuit in 2007.

Adding credibility to Mr. Weekes’ case is that in October 2006 – just before Cricket World Cup – some Barbados Government people accidentally left a black folder at the Hilton Hotel, Bridgetown. When the staff saw the papers had Mr. Weekes’ name on them, they contacted him. Aha! According to Mr. Weekes, the Barbados Government papers showed that “confidentiality surrounding certain trade secrets Weekes had divulged to CARICOM representatives during many months of meetings had been compromised. Another company got the contract he was expecting.” (see Patrick Hoyos’ column at The Nation: David vs legal Goliath)

‘Normal’ in Barbados lawsuits: Delay the court case. Attack all the family. Steal the home.

David Weekes says powerful, connected lawyers of Carrington & Sealy were able to ‘rush’ their litigation through the Barbados court while stalling Weekes’ litigation.

Now throw in another layer: Weekes borrowed money to patent the visa software, and he put his home up as collateral – with the Barbados Central Bank guaranteeing the loan. Now Mr. Weekes is about to lose his home…

As Mr. Weekes explained it in a recent letter to Barbados Attorney General Brathwaite (and copied to all the news media and blogs – full letter later in our post)…

“(My home) is advertised to be auctioned by none other than (CARICOM lawyers) Carrington and Sealy on April 18th.

The travesty and injustice of this situation can be couched in one salient fact. The same CARICOM lawyers of Carrington & Sealy whom, like you, I have beseeched for the documentation at caption i.e. the Instruments of Ratification, from 2007 until now, are the same parties who have been able to rush concomitant litigation through the Barbados courts and get a judgment against David Weekes and IBIS Latin America Corp – two of the plaintiffs in CARICOM’s litigation!

This Carrington and Sealy, while stalling our substantive CARICOM case, aided by the fact that the Law Courts of Barbados seems unwilling or incapable of adjudicating my CARICOM civil suit, have simultaneously been able to put my company in court and get a civil judgment, against me, in a personal capacity, not my company, for default on a Central Bank backed Guarantee.

This is the same security my company used to finance the commercialization of the technology that I purport that CARICOM purloined!”

… Business person David Weekes in a letter to Barbados Attorney General Brathwaite

For 5 years CARICOM & Barbados Government refuses to provide Copies of Ratification

It gets even worse, folks. The Barbados Government and CARICOM have a real interest in not providing Mr. Weekes with access to government records that will assist his lawsuit… so Prime Minister Stuart and Attorney General Brathwaite put Mr. Weekes on ‘ignore’. He can ask and demand all he wants, but CARICOM and the Barbados Government want him destroyed, so they will not provide the records he needs to pursue his case.

Firebomb! Sue the cartel that runs this place... expect trouble at your family home.

The message of firebombs delivered at 2am

We don’t expect that the police will do anything substantial to find the culprits who arsoned what they thought was the Weekes family home: the police are pre-disposed to look the other way when the victim is suing the government. If you need some examples of this normal police blindness, neglect and complicity, just read on.

The Weekes case is yet another real lesson to international investors who might be considering Barbados as an investment or business location. If the deal goes wrong and you go to court, you will soon discover that litigation in Barbados carries risks that aren’t part of the court process in New York or London – like firebombs at your family home.

Barbados is a wonderful country with good, friendly and loving people – but we have some serious problems with rule of law, less than independent courts, disappearing government files and court cases that take up to 20 years to reach trial. Throw in the usual threats, arson and intimidation against persons who stand up to the small cartel that runs this place and you’ll see that business, investments, oversight and legal recourse in ‘Little England’ aren’t exactly as advertised to prospective foreign investors.

Barbados Free Press has been highlighting this problem for over seven years in hopes of driving change, but this latest arson (yet again!) against a family home shows that when it comes to doing business with and in Barbados… investors and business people had better be prepared for big trouble if it goes wrong – because law suits in Barbados are dangerous business. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Source: Barbados Foul Bay developer Ecoterra International Corporation failed to file financials for last three years

Take it with some salt folks…

Before we all go running off proclaiming that this or that is the truth, keep in mind that Barbados Free Press is an anonymous blog, and that someone using the name of “St. George’s Dragon” posted some information as a comment through one of those European anonymous proxies.

Maybe this is a personal vendetta and totally false. Maybe it’s a little bit true. Maybe it’s all true.

Whatever the story, rumours about another half billion dollar project on our little island are important enough that this story deserves to be vetted in public. Especially considering how much our coastline has been blighted by unfinished projects.

We just posted our story Another half-billion dollar Barbados resort announced with standard fanfare, concept paintings etc. when along comes St. George’s Dragon to have his or her say.

We’ve emailed Ecoterra to get their comments, but haven’t received anything back from them. If we do, we’ll be happy to post their side of the story with equal prominence – maybe more.

As well as the information in the following post, we’ve been doing some research ourselves and find:

Shin Lee is a Managing Partner at CF Canada Financial Inc., Toronto, Canada. He is also a founding JV Partner at Pure Beach Resort & Spa, and Eastern Regional Manager at Accolade Lands. In the past, he was Chief Marketing Officer at Ecoterra International Corp, and principal at Tritan Canada Financial.

We also found that Alex Gross of 202 – 130 Spadina Ave. Toronto, Ontario Canada m5v2l4 registered the domain name of EcoTerraInternational.com.

Posted by St. George’s Dragon…

For a company which says it is a leading developer of waterfront locations throughout the world ecoterra is a bit shy about saying what they are. If you go by their website, they only seem to have one project on – Foul Bay.

The company was incorporated in 2008. Its filings for 2009, 2010 and 2011 are overdue.

Its Director of Development, Kris Parthiban, has been associated with two previous projects, 11 Christie Street, Toronto and Elevator Bay, Kingston, Ontario. Both were developed by a company called Lux Group Inc. Remember that company’s name. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Barbados Court does government’s will: Tells Al Barrack he’s screwed

AS IF the Barbados Courts would really rule against the government for $65 million!

Contractor Al Barrack is owed $65 million by the Government of Barbados and the Barbados justice system ruled that he is owed the money for the office building he constructed – or at least started to construct until unknown and hidden caves under the building site changed everything.

Oh, but now he wants his money or to seize and sell the building and other government assets to help pay what the government owes him. Ha! Fool that Barrack is! He thought justice was for all.

The courts will keep this man going round in circles until he dies because on an island of fewer than 300,000 people EVERYTHING is politics including the court. Doing business with the government of Barbados is fine, fine so fine… until something goes wrong. And then, my friend, you have to turn to the government run courts to seek “justice”. As so many have found, the courts will keep you going round and round for ten or fifteen or twenty years and by that time you’re crazy looking for justice and you dress in whiteface and hold signs and stand on the corner and shout and be laughed at.

Beware when you do business with the government of Barbados, because the court is the government and the government is the court.

Like we said in our past article Al Barrack gets it wrong again – it’s not racism, it’s business as usual

“All because a government construction contract went bad FOR THE GOVERNMENT because of an unknown cave under the project.

Welcome to the wonderful world of doing business with the Government of Barbados, Mr. Barrack. Like a male praying mantis seeking a little love, it’s thrilling but often ends badly for the little guy.”

mostly contributed by Al’s Friend.

Strong language removed by Auntie Moses.

Here is the latest on the Driving Al Barrack Crazy and enjoying every minute of it story from Barbados Today. As usual we ask BFP readers to read the story at Barbados Today, but we’re reprinting the entire story here because you know how the press changes history ’bout hey. Haven’t caught Barbados Today doing that just yet, but ya never know!

NHC break

Court rules stay on Al Barrack writ against government

by Shawn Cumberbatch

The protracted and controversial battle between the National Housing Corporation and Al Barrack, over the $65 million the state agency owes the contractor, has taken a new and significant turn.

Barbados’ High Court has just put the brakes on a previously-issued writ of fieri facias commanding the chief marshal to sell the NHC’s “goods, chattels and property” to clear the massive debt, saying if such was allowed to proceed “the statutory functions performed by the corporation at its various locations across Barbados, and in particular at its head offices at Reef Road would be severely dislocated without (Barrack) achieving any substantial reduction in the amount owed”. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Culture & Race Issues, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race

Al Barrack gets it wrong again – it’s not racism, it’s business as usual

It’s not about Justice denied because of race: it’s about no rule of law in Barbados and… revenge

Poor Al Barrack dressed up in whiteface yesterday to illustrate his belief that the 100% black government of Barbados is not paying a court ordered judgment to him because he is black. Barrack says if he were white, the government would pay up.

Maybe he’s saying that ordinary folks are nothing to our government, that if he were white he would be respected. (Ahhhh… but if Al Barrack was white, would he have been awarded the government contract in the first place? Was he merely the right sucker in the right place at the right time, or, was it all a big accident that could have happened to anyone?)

We at BFP don’t believe it’s about race. We think it’s about business as usual in Barbados: when political elites from either the DLP or the BLP form a government, they do whatever the hell they want – the rule of law and the courts be damned. It’s always been that way. The party in power uses the law when convenient, and ignores it when the law is inconvenient.

It has always been that way.

Before we talk about how revenge factors into the Al Barrack story, let’s quickly review how Barrack arrived where he is in the first place… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Culture & Race Issues, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race

Barbados Bar Association blames public for choosing crooked lawyers “at random”

President Leslie Haynes cautions public to avoid lawyers with “cash flow problems”, and to ignore recommendations of friends.

Barbados Bar Association website recommends lawyers who have been caught stealing from clients!

The President of the Barbados Bar Association vented at the public on Saturday while appearing at a seminar on conveyancing. When asked about the high number of lawyers lately charged with misappropriating clients’ money, Leslie “blame the victims” Haynes said that Barbadians “have to stop picking a lawyer at random or choosing one simply because a friend suggested a name.”

So it is the fault of the chickens for not knowing which mongoose will eat them. Or, more properly, the fault of honest Barbadians for not knowing which lawyers are dishonest.

The Barbados Bar Association does not provide a list of lawyers who have been disciplined or took money then paid it back when caught. Why not?

Shocker!

Astoundingly, BBA President Haynes also predicted that more Barbados lawyers will misappropriate their clients’ money because times are tough… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Real Estate

Are these Barbados plantations still receiving an agriculture rebate on their Land Tax?

Sugar cane was once like gold or oil

To our knowledge, each of the following plantations are not in any meaningful agricultural production, or have been given over to housing or commercial activities. Are they still receiving an agricultural rebate on their land taxes?

Exchange Plantation, St Thomas
Alleynedale Plantation, St Peter Continue reading

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Florida Today picks up two Barbados Free Press offshore investment articles

Florida news service interested in BFP’s Clico, Barbados investor residency articles

That’s kind of special! With our permission (as if we would refuse. 😉 ) the Melbourne, Florida-based publication re-printed and linked online to two of our articles about offshore investments in Barbados…

May 6, 2010 New Cayman standards provide predictability for business investors. Will Barbados ever do the same?

April 27, 2010 Silly? Ironic? BLP’s Mottley vows to protect CLICO investors after appointing “Worst Regulator” Carlos Belgrave as Insurance Supervisor

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Barbados Advocate accurately reports Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary press release!

Watchers of news media and political elites stunned as one of Barbados’ major newspapers apparently ceases censorship of story.

For years the oldstream Barbados news media has censored and politically-spun stories about the environmental and foreign investment disaster at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Canadian eco-tourism investor who is claiming mistreatment by two successive Barbados governments. This censorship and agenda-driven reporting by the Barbados news media includes…

– completely ignoring major story developments, including the launching of an international treaty complaint.
– re-wording nature sanctuary press releases to remove references to government incompetence or wrongdoing.
– failure to fairly report the central issues being contested between the government and the sanctuary and how these issues impact the Bajan public.
– failure to report the government’s removal of environmental protections for Graeme Hall lands so developers can profit from a national public treasure.
– false reporting designed to conceal the public support for the sanctuary and the proposed Graeme Hall National Park. (For instance, reporting that “hundreds” attended special Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary free day when TEN THOUSAND supporters attended.)
– re-writing history: falsely reporting that the new shorebird sanctuary project is a “first” for Barbados (Ya. Right) while not mentioning Graeme Hall.
– refusing to confront elected and appointed government officials for their agenda of putting corporate profiteering before the long-term interests of our country.

News Media Agenda of Deceit

This news media agenda of deceit in support of the interests of business and political elites was interrupted yesterday when the Barbados Advocate published a fair and accurate report of a press release issued by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. (Press release and Barbados Advocate story both shown below.)

Frankly, we were surprised and incredibly pleased to see the Barbados Advocate story “Ministry not supportive of Nature Sanctuary”, but we don’t know if this is a major change in policy by the Barbados Advocate – or perhaps the mistake of a junior editor on the weekend who didn’t know the “official” position of silence on this story.

I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks what happened to cause the Barbados Advocate to print … (gasp!) the truth! We’ll also see if any reporters ask Barbados Environment Minister Lowe about the total disconnect between his version of events and that being claimed by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Here’s the Barbados Advocate article… (240k to download)

and here’s the original press release from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary…

The Future of Graeme Hall:  Setting the Record Straight
[ Christ Church , BARBADOS , February 14, 2010]

The Government of Barbados has not responded to requests for constructive meetings with the owner of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to discuss the future of Graeme Hall in over a year.

“Except for an introductory meeting in January 2009 with Minister Denis Lowe of the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, nobody from government has called back and agreed to substantive meetings,” said Stuart Heaslet, the owner’s representative for the Sanctuary.  “This is despite our outreach efforts and multiple trips to Barbados .” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments

The Barbados Advocate blows the Manulife Lawsuit story big time

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Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (current Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds” … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Manulife Case Going To Trial in 2011

The civil court case involving Bajan policy holders who claim they were fleeced by Manulife will finally take place in 2011. Maybe. If the Manulife lawyers don’t do their “delay, delay, delay” thing until witnesses and victims die or move on after a decade of being under the oppression of being denied justice for so long.

If you want some background on the case and to read the court documents, they are posted online at the Sutts, Strosberg lawyers who are handling the class action. Here is their website: Manulife class action website

About That Inadequate Barbados Advocate Story…

“The suit claims that Manulife obtained approval for the sale of its Barbados interests by providing adequate information to the Supervisor of Insurance in Barbados.”

… from The Barbados Advocate article Manulife trial set for 2011

I guess that the reporters at the Advocate didn’t read the court documents about the case because if they did they would know that the plaintiffs are alleging that Manulife provided inadequate information to Barbados Supervisor of Insurance, Wismar Greaves, not “adequate” information as the news story says.

That is a small issue – a word that changes the whole meaning of the story – but it is important.

Lawsuits Cut Two Ways

The larger issue about this story is unreported and unremarked upon by the Barbados news media: lawsuits cut two ways. The defense will undoubtedly claim that the fault lies not with Manulife, but with inadequate and/or incompetent performance by the Barbados Supervisor of Insurance.

In many ways, it will be the Wismar Greaves and our system of oversight that is on trial. Considering that Carlos Belgrave, our current Supervisor of Insurance, received the 2006 Offshore Alert award for “Worst Regulator” – I expect that Manulife will come on strong and aggressively defend this case.

No Sir, this Manulife case will be no “slam dunk”.

Contributed by an anonymous BFP reader

Further Reading

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Announces $2,500 Voluntary Fine For Infractions… That Should Stop Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Frauds Like CLICO!

Belgrave named in 2006 as the “worst regulator” by Offshore Alert.


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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Investor files international complaint – says Barbados government violated agreement with Canada, failed to protect Canadian investment in Barbados

“Barbados has consistently refused to enforce its domestic environmental laws and to abide by its international obligations…”

Barbados news media silent as Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner alleges Government harmed wetlands & eco-tourist facility

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Letter says International investor's complaint was filed September 8, 2009

The government and the news media in Barbados must be disconnected with reality to think that in the year 2009 they can hide a major international investment story from Bajans. Do they think that ignoring the issue will make it a non-subject with investors in London, New York and Toronto?

We’ve got news for our government and our news media: Reuters covered this story four days ago and it’s being picked up by international investment and environmental forums everywhere. According to the documents presented at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the international complaint was filed early in September, 2009.

Yet our print and electronic news media haven’t mentioned it or approached the Barbados government for comment.

No problem ladies and gentlemen of the Bajan news media – just go back to your intensive coverage of government Ministers standing beside a pothole announcing that government will soon commence a study on when the pothole should be fixed.

Don’t worry folks, the international investment community won’t notice anything amiss!

Read the details at The Bajan Reporter

We’ll be saying more on this story in the coming days and weeks, but unless I shut down this computer in the next five minutes there is no way I’m going to be on time for work today. Meanwhile, our blogging friend Ian Bourne has the story and links to the official complaint at the Bajan Reporter: Canadian Alleges Treaty Violations by Barbados.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Wildlife