Tag Archives: Colman Commission

CL Financial’s “Barefoot Billionaire” Lawrence Duprey enjoying Monaco Grand Prix

Smiles come easily when spending OPM – other people’s money.

Lawrence Durprey - Barefoot Billionaire in Monaco 2007

Readers throughout the Caribbean deserve to see these photos and read the story of Lawrence Duprey and friends visiting the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix. After all – our grandchildren will be paying for Mr. Duprey’s crimes until they die. And yes, that is a US$100 “per cigar!” Cohiba in one of the photos. You can bet the wine isn’t from Tesco either.

Enjoy… but first a word about where this material comes from: Monaco Revue and DiversityCanada Foundation.

Although we are using this material under the Fair Use provisions of copyright because we are commenting upon the material and it is also public evidence of the crimes of Mr. Duprey and his gang, and therefore contains an overriding public interest in its publication at BFP, we ask each of our readers to visit Monaco Revue HERE to read the original material.

It looks like DiversityCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have worthy goals and we encourage each of you to at least visit their websites and give them consideration.

We do note that according to the article, former Trinidad government minister Carlos John (and then “advisor” to Lawrence Duprey) is the “compatriot” of Monaco Revue’s editor.

Colman Commission evidence?

We also see that what was once an article about the elites having a good time in Monaco is now certain to be of interest to the Colman Commission inquiries into the CL Financial Fraud. Especially as the commission looks into the close relationship between Duprey and Ministers and former Ministers of the Trinidad & Tobago Government. This 2007 article is evidence of crimes and has a compelling public interest. Therefore we have been advised that the Fair Use provisions of copyright are exceptionally strong and allow us to publish the material here at BFP.

We hope that DiverstyCanada Foundation and Monaco Revue have the journalistic integrity to leave this information published at Monaco Revue.

Now on to watching Mr. Duprey and his friends spending your money on a good time… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption

CL Financial collapse: Colman Commission hiding facts from the public

“Sir Anthony Colman needs to be watchful of the wily attorneys, who may seek again to tempt him to agree to conceal some more financial information which might be awkward for their clients.

The fact is that all those companies are now being funded by the Treasury and we have a right to know what caused this huge mess.”

The Colman Commission – The Importance of Money

by Afra Raymond

The Colman Commission was established about a year ago as a Public Enquiry into the failure of the CL Financial group, some of its subsidiaries, and the Hindu Credit Union.  The Commission is also mandated to report on the causes of these costly failures, so that it can make recommendations for possible prosecutions and the regulatory or systemic changes needed to avoid further collapses.

There has been a lot of fresh information revealed at the Commission and that is good, since the public now has a much better view of the various episodes behind the scenes.  The sole Commissioner, Sir Anthony Colman, has now made a statement which outlines his progress in this huge and complex matter.  Colman expects to take at least one more year and will be continuing his examination of the HCU matter when the CL Financial stage is completed.

Despite all the evidence about staggering sums of money and the heated public discussion that has sparked, I am perturbed by the way the essential information is being handled.

Since it is a Public Enquiry into a huge financial collapse, the financial information has to be front and centre if we are to get at the facts.

It is common knowledge that the link between performance and pay is essential in obtaining quality results in any competitive situation.  That basic fact, with which most people would agree, is now seriously challenged by some of the key events in the global financial meltdown.  It is beyond the scope of this article to delve into the new learning emerging from this global crisis, suffice to say that the old learning has literally been ‘tested to destruction’.

An unhealthy relationship between pay and performance would be a problem for any company, but in a financial company the issue is worse.  That is because the investors expect those companies to endure and prosper, so that they can collect the expected returns.

The Colman Commission will be unable to fulfill its mandate if it does not uncover the relationship between pay and performance in the failed companies.  Colman will also need to consider the motives and behaviour of the investors, who must also form a significant part of the story.  Without their participation and investments, the failed companies would have had no money to lose.

There is a strong interest in keeping the real figures and circumstances out of the news and some of the main items are –

  • The Accounts
  • The true levels of salaries, fees, dividends and bonuses
  • The identities and sums of money returned to those who have benefited from the bailout
  • The delinquent borrowers who owe the failed companies huge sums of money
  • The extent to which the failed companies and their chiefs complied with our tax laws

In ‘The Colman Commission – Cloudy Concessions’, published here on 1st September, I pointed out the danger of allowing the HCU claimants to testify without stating the amounts invested for the public record.  It was my view that those concessions represented the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ in terms of the entire exercise being a Public Enquiry into a series of financial collapses.

In this recent, third session of evidence Hearings, we have had three examples of the ‘widening wedge’ in respect of financial information. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Trinidad and Tobago

Colman Commission secret meeting about Afra Raymond

“Natural Justice is not negotiable.”

From: Afra Raymond
To: judith gonzalez, Colman Commission
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:02 AM
Subject: To the Colman Commission

To – Judith Gonzalez, Secretary to the Colman Commission

Dear Ms. Gonzalez,

I was perturbed to learn, only recently, that the Commission had convened a meeting on Friday 8th July at which one of the items discussed was whether my various submissions should be admitted as evidence and if so, what should be the ‘status’ accorded it.

Here we had the situation of a Public Enquiry into a matter of Public concern, convening a private meeting which discussed as one item of business my inclusion as a witness.  As a participant in the Enquiry, not a party, I was excluded from the discussion as to whether my evidence should be omitted…I was not invited to that meeting and only found about this afterwards, almost in passing. 

I also understand that the various parties are to be given the opportunity to make submissions on those issues on my testimony, on which the Commissioner can make a ruling.

My work on this matter of grave public concern has been a solo exercise, except for the occasional assistance of friends. I am without legal representation at this important forum.

Given the substantial parties involved – all of whom are represented by attorneys – and the limits placed on my input by the Commission’s decision to deny me the status of a party, one can scarcely imagine a more lop-sided scenario than this one. Natural Justice is not negotiable.

All that said, the meeting in question has already taken place, so I am requesting that you give proper consideration to inviting my participation when this matter is next to be discussed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Afra Raymond (www.afraraymond.com)

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Colman Commission ignoring the smell of dirty money?

Afra Raymond asks where the money came from in the first place

Auntie Moses says that all money has a smell. Honestly-earned money smells clean and dishonest money stinks to high heaven. If you put too much of that dirty money in your purse, you start to stink too. So says Auntie Moses and she’s generally correct about those kinds of ethical issues.

Our friend Afra Raymond has noticed a little problem over at the Colman Commission into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle. I’ll let Afra explain it…

“There also seems to be a strange situation on CL Financial, since I am told that none of the affected people are willing to come forward to testify.  I am not very surprised at that and it is yet another indication of the extent of that toxic ‘Code of Silence‘.

What a shame!  25,000 policyholders said to be affected by the failure of CL Financial, yet only one is willing to testify.  Only One!   I wrote before in this space about the probability that a high proportion of those EFPA monies had never been screened by rigorous Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures.  I suggested to the Minister of Finance that provisions be made in the payout agreements for the applicants for bailout monies to have the source of their funds vetted for compliance with VAT, PAYE, Income and Corporation taxes.  The Minister did not adopt those proposals.

So, what we now have is the spectacle of the Colman Commission set up by the government to examine the causes of the collapse and finding that few want to speak, very few.  I don’t know if it’s dirty money, or ‘keeping it in the family‘ or what…but I do hope that Colman takes a robust approach by using his powers to sub-poena people to appear and testify.”

Read the whole dirty story at Afra Raymond Colman Commission considerations

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Retirement planning by CL Financial Directors & Officers: They got their money!

Florida: Just one of the Duprey family mansions

When did CL Financial & CLICO insiders know that the group was heading for collapse?

by Afra Raymond

When you consider increasing lifespans, inflation and the greater likelihood of major medical expense, it is clear that proper retirement planning should be a major factor for most people.

Central to the growth and long-term success of the CL Financial group was its ability to mobilise the retirement savings of the Caribbean people in pursuance of its wider commercial objectives.  I have been writing on how it all went wrong and who is to blame.

In preparing my submissions for the Colman Commission it occurred to me that the retirement planning of the 3 CL Financial chiefs is central to understanding the entire fiasco.  It is rich in irony.

Fiduciary Duty of Directors and Officers

When did the Directors and Officers of CL Financial (CLF) know that the group was heading to collapse? 

When did the Directors and Officers of the failed subsidiaries know? 

What did they know and when did they know it? How much warning did their management controls give them?

The questions are pertinent and the time-line is instructive – Continue reading

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

Colman Commission ignores Afra Raymond’s request for standing

CL Financial & CLICO Scandal

At the last sittings on 6th and 7th April, five new parties were announced and Afra Raymond was not among them. It doesn’t look like the Colman Commission wants someone so knowledgeable to have official standing.

Can’t have someone like Afra Raymond asking questions because who knows where that would take the Commission. Why, the big boys would lose control and we can’t have that!

Here’s Afra’s latest article…

CL Financial bailout – A crucial choice

by Afra Raymond

There were several important developments in the Colman Commission at its sittings during the week of April 6th, with the widely reported appeals of Sir Anthony Colman QC for the Central Bank to change its position with respect to the presentation of accounts to the Enquiry.

From my own attendance at the opening session of the Colman Commission on Friday 11th March and the various reports, it seems that there are various moves afoot to restrict or stop the enquiry.  I expected this sort of scenario in declaring the main players to be part of a ‘Code of Silence’ – it is no surprise to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information

Code of Silence kicks in at Colman Commission


People doing their level best to shut down the Inquiry into CLICO/HCU collapse

VIDEO: Morning Edition Interview – 11 Apr 2011

Afra Raymond sits with host, Fazeer Mohammed on the Morning Edition television show to discuss further developments in the Colman Commission into the CLICO/HCU collapse. Video courtesy TV6

Programme Air Date: 11 April 2011
Programme Length: 0:32:40

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Economy, Freedom Of Information