Tag Archives: Conflicts of Interest

UK Commons Speaker’s wife to make Barbados speech with or without clothes?

click photo for larger

Conflict of Interest scandal surrounds Sally Bercow’s Barbados trip.

Barbados Anti-Gay buggery laws also focus of attention.

“I would end up sometimes at a bar and someone would send a drink over, and I’d think, ‘Why not?’ and we’d go home together. I liked the excitement of not knowing how a night was going to end.”

Sally Bercow, Labour Party approved candidate and wife of UK Commons Speaker John Bercow at Mizzo

Folks, this should be fun… and the story is already garnering some great publicity for Barbados.

If somebody at the Barbados Tourism Authority could take credit for the growing scandal surrounding Mrs. Bercow’s upcoming speaking engagement at the Bridgetown Hilton, I’m sure they would jump at the opportunity. We won’t say “You can’t buy publicity like this”, because you can and Barbados buys stories all the time as part of the BTA’s marketing efforts.

… But this one wasn’t bought. It’s the perfect storm and hopefully the BTA will jump in to make the best of it. After all, it’s free publicity!

The BTA won’t be able to take credit for Sally Bercow because she’s already a legend in the Brit papers after ‘scandalizing Parliament’ by appearing on the TV show Big Brother and posing nearly naked in front of Parliament.

Oh yes… she also told the Brit public what it is like to have sex in the Speaker’s bed under Big Ben (apparently very exciting!), and also told about her binge drinking, drug use and series of one night stands with… well, anybody. Even Gordon Brown succumbed to her, ah, assets, when the Queen gave here Diamond Jubilee Year address to Parliament, Mr. Brown seemed to be more interested in Sally’s “generous cleavage”. Shades of Owen Arthur and Rihanna!

Well, you know how it is… when the pretty little poodle shakes that thing, all the puppies on the block follow her around. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Celebrities, Human Rights, Rihanna

The Sparman Clinic Affair – Questions about money, conflicts of interest

“The lower the cardiac care capabilities are at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the more money the private Sparman Clinic will make.”

“How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?”

… BFP staffers Marcus, Robert & Cliverton discussing the Sparman Clinic Affair

Who are the financiers and beneficial owners of The Sparman Clinic Inc.?

  • Did the Government of Barbados provide any financing or guarantees regarding the Sparman Clinic?
  • Are any Sparman owners or personnel also Government officials or Queen Elizabeth Hospital employees or Board members with potential conflicts of interest?
  • Have any Government officials, Queen Elizabeth Hospital workers or their immediate family members received any payments or gifts from Doctor Sparman?
  • Has the Sparman Clinic accepted any Barbados citizens for free cardiac treatment as promised in 2009 when government financial concessions were provided?
  • Why hasn’t the government opened the new $5.2 million dollar Cardiac Suite at the QEH as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009 “on an urgent basis”?
  • Have the automated external defibrillators been strategically positioned throughout the country and 200 persons trained to operate them as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009?
  • How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?
  • Dr. Ishmael’s letter of complaint details a similar incident where a complaint was made about Dr. Sparman to the Medical Council of Barbados. What are the details and the outcome of that complaint?

(L - r) Director of the Sparman Clinic, Cardiologist, Dr. Alfred Sparman; Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, his wife, Gail Inniss and the Minister's Personal Assistant, Cindy Downes at the start of the official opening of the $20 million facility for cardiac care located at No. 4, 6th Avenue Belleville St. Michael (photo & caption: Barbados Government Information Service)

  • Given the controversial and troubling public history of Doctor Alfred Sparman dating back ten or more years, why did the Minister of Health and government think it wise in 2009 to so closely associate government with Dr. Sparman and his clinic?
  • On what basis did the Minister of Health call Dr. Sparman a “cardiologist”?

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael pays the price for asking reasonable questions about corruption.

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael was suspended by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for daring to put into writing his observations and concerns about Dr. Alfred Sparman’s actions and qualifications – and also his questions about the troubling apparent relationships between Doctor Sparman, the Director of Medical Services, the Minister of Health and unknown staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital acting as “moles” for The Sparman Clinic. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Health, Politics

Sir David Simmons declares Turks & Caicos public servants must declare assets – but not him!

Re-virginated politician David Simmons: “Do as I say, not as I do”

Oh, this hypocrisy is almost too much to take!

As the newly appointed head of the Turks and Caicos Integrity Commission, SIR David Anthony Cathcart Simmons recently declared that members of the advisory council and consultative forum must now declare their income, assets and liabilities along with all other senior public servants. (Turks and Caicos Weekly News: Integrity commission extends its reach)

In truth, that’s a great idea that, in conjunction with other measures, assists in making sure that the political elites have the best interests of society in mind and not their own profits when they make decisions.

Yup. SIR David thinks it’s a great idea for the Turks and Caicos, but not for himself of any other Barbados politician or public servant.

“In the last 35 years David Simmons had many opportunities to propose and implement all kinds of rules and oversight into how people in positions of power access and spend public money. He never did.”

Simmons fought against integrity and transparency laws for 35 years… Continue reading

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Were the CLICO pension funds segregated and managed separately as required in law?

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

Barbados Thompson Government continues with the CLICO cover-up

“There are many persons in Barbados who owe, not so much the public, but more importantly the Policy-holders of CLICO, a complete candid set of answers, free of rhetoric and put in the simplest form.

It is being re-iterated that Mr. Leroy Parris is still Chairman so he owes the first set of explanations. It is his responsibility even if he chooses to delegate it. If you are in charge, you have to face the music at crunch time. The Board of Directors must also show that they are not asleep at the wheel. The Board should have a full investigation and someone has to be held responsible. If no-one is responsible, the members of the Board will have to answer other questions.

Mr. Thornhill and the other members of CLICO’s management team must be more candid and direct in their statements. They have to come out of their state of denial and accept responsibility for this state of events. They cannot hide behind CL Financial because managing the risk of a CL Financial failure must have been one of the contingencies they were planning against.

Mr. Parris most importantly has to speak out on the issue of Pensions. As I understand it these funds ought to be segregated and managed separately. I am yet to hear a definitive set of assurances that these various pension funds are fully intact. If they are not intact, CLICO also has to come under closer scrutiny with a view to whether or not there was any breaking of statutes on the part of the company.

The Government of Barbados also needs to provide the public a full explanation of what appears to be a systemic failing of institutions that were created to protect the public interest. Furthermore, the former Prime Minister ought for the record to explain what was happening under his watch or that of any other Minister who might have had responsibility for the Office of the Supervisor of insurance.”

… taken from an absolutely excellent article by The Devil’s Advocate over at Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter: CLICO Unplugged: An Insider’s Perspective

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

CL Financial bailout is a grievous attack on the very integrity of our Treasury

“We have now been bound into a long-term arrangement to restore the fortunes of one of the Caribbean’s riskiest adventurers.”

“…it seems clear that the cupboard is bare and that this CL Financial group has no unpledged assets of any value.”

“We are… advancing an unlimited quantum of taxpayers’ funds, for which no security has been provided and those funds are being advanced at ZERO interest.”

“…the State (takes) all the risk, a massive injection of capital, responsibility for management, yet even in the case of a successful outcome there is no return either by way of interest on the funds advanced or equity in the rejuvenated enterprises.”

“..where is the $5.0Bn missing from the CLICO Statutory Fund?”

These are some excerpts taken from Afra Raymond’s latest article on the CL Financial – CLICO bailout. Afra used a Freedom of Information demand to obtain the June 12, 2009 CL Financial shareholders’ agreement with the Trinidad & Tobago government – and what a scam that agreement is.

Afra explains how we taxpayers are being raped to save the skins of a few big shot friends of government – and it’s not just the Trinis.

With the full and enthusiastic participation of their David Thompson DLP government, Barbados citizens are also being raped as our Prime Minister uses our money to bail out the Godfather of his children, long-time legal client and political supporter, Leroy Parris.

Barbadians of all ages, colours and political stripes should read Afra Raymond’s articles – but they should also think for themselves as they read the original documents that are posted on Afra’s website.

Florida: Just one of the Duprey family mansions

Taxpayers take all risks while the Bigshots keep their Mansions

My friends, you don’t have to listen to what Afra says. You don’t have to listen to what Barbados Free Press says. You can think for yourself so read the original documents and make your own list of questions and demands of the elected politicians who have pledged the wealth of your nation and your future in a bailout that lets Parris and the Dupreys and the rest of them keep their mansions and offshore bank accounts.

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped build the house of cards

Then ask Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson to show all the CLICO – CL Financial bailout documents and business records that remain hidden from the taxpayers because Barbados does not have a Freedom of Information law.

Here is Afra’s latest article published in full. You really should visit his website and read it there, but we’ll leave it up here in full because… ya never know!

COMMENTARY on the CL Financial Shareholders’ Agreement of 12th June 2009
By Afra Raymond, Chartered Surveyor

Read this article at: www.afraraymond.com

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: A copy of the official agreement between C.L. Financial Limited and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (PDF) has finally been delivered to me per my request under the Freedom of Information Act.  The CL Financial Shareholders’ Agreement (SA) of 12th June 2009, which I requested on 16th November 2009 under the Freedom of Information Act, was sent to me by the Ministry of Finance on 11th March 2010.  My emailed response to the Minister of Finance is on the home page of this blog.

My preliminary comments are –

Quantum – The shareholders’ agreement (SA) is silent as to quantum, which would seem to mean that the group will enjoy unlimited access to taxpayers’ funds.  The 2010 budget statement on 7th September states an estimated allocation to the CL Financial bailout of $5.4Bn – but subsequent events have only added to the confusion.  To wit, the $50M USD for the British-American Insurance recovery (as per 2nd November ECCU press release) and the ‘up to $510M’ announced to be available to meet the pensions due to ex-Caroni workers.  Question being whether the $5.4Bn includes the subsequently-announced amounts or are those to be added-on?

Security – At the preamble to the SA – on page 5 – we are told that “…valuable consideration…” is being offered by CLF as per the original MoU.  Of course, given the Governor’s revelations on 7th April 2009 – see http://guardian.co.tt/business/business/2009/04/08/govt-left-empty-handed-cl-financial-bailout – that is simply not so.  Indeed, it seems clear that the cupboard is bare and that this CLF group has no unpledged assets of any value.

Interest – No mention of interest at all.  We are therefore now advancing an unlimited quantum of taxpayers’ funds, for which no security has been provided and those funds are being advanced at ZERO interest.  Given the well-established rule that late payment of taxes makes a taxpayer liable to 20% interest and the interest rate the Federal government charged AIG for their bailout funds – it was 8.5% above the benchmark LIBOR, which was at 3.0% – it is clear that this represents a massive concession to the CL Financial group.  Quite apart from the bailout itself, the 325 shareholders of this group are also benefiting from this unprecedented and unexplained facility of ZERO percent interest rate.

Accounting – Section 4 of the SA sets out the procedure for a proper system of accounts, culminating at 4.4.5 – “…shall ensure that an annual report of CLF is prepared and dispatched…in manner consistent with standard corporate practice…“.  The accepted interpretation of this language informs us that the word ’shall’ denotes an obligatory, non-voluntary duty.  If that is the case, when can we expect publication of the 2008 annual report, accompanied by audited accounts, as per ’standard corporate practice’?

The role of the Shareholders – The MoU of 30th January, at Para (c) of its preamble, spells out its aims as “…to protect the interests of depositors, policyholders and creditors of these institutions…“.  According to the second sentence of the Ministry of Finance press release of 12th June 2009 – this is the penultimate document in the ‘Quick-Guide’ in the CL Financial bailout section of this website – “This new agreement is designed to give substance to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of January 30th 2009.”  The SA of 12th June 2009 was the subject of that press release.  The SA, at Para A. of its preamble, states the intentions of the parties as having been set out in the MoU of 30th January 2009 and ends by “…their stated understanding, inter alia, that certain steps be taken to correct the financial condition of CLICO, CIB and BA in order to protect the interest of depositors, policy holders, creditors and shareholders of these institutions…” (These two words are put in bold as my own emphasis).

I questioned that official version in ‘Fit and proper?’, ‘Party of parties’ and ‘Figuring it out’ – all available on this blog.  Now that we have the actual SA to work with, it is clear that the statement in 12th June press release is extremely misleading.  The SA does not just ‘…give substance to…‘ the original MoU, it in fact is an entirely different species of agreement.  The Shareholders’ Agreement constitutes a written guarantee to protect the 325 shareholders of this CLF group.


Assisting the incoming Management – Clauses 2.3.3 and 2.3.4. of the SA, require the outgoing CL Financial chiefs to render all assistance to the incoming Board and Management in terms of all records and accounts etc.  The question here is ‘Have the new Board and management been receiving the full assistance of the previous CLF chiefs?’  If not, what is being done about it?  If yes, where is the $5.0Bn missing from the CLICO Statutory Fund?

“…several important and shocking facts came to light.”

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister shows the world what corruption is all about.

St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Douglas knows nothing about US$95,000 cheque.

There is a story brewing in St. Kitts and Nevis that is just one more example of what happens when those in government use their insider positions, knowledge, authority and influence to put money in their own pockets – or in the pockets of their close family members. It’s really all the same, you know.

It turns out that Kate Woodley, the mother of the children of recently re-elected Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, has a “consulting business” that received funds from the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. It gets worse: she is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee at the St. Kitts and Nevis Consulate in Manhattan, New York.

That’s really all you need to know. Sure, we’ll tell you how those funds were directed and cleaned and processed to end up in the Douglas family bank account – but it really doesn’t matter.

All you need to know is right here… “Money donated to the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party by voters and businesses ended up in the personal bank accounts of family members of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.”

It gets worse…

During the recent election campaign the opposition People’s Action Movement had distributed copies of documents that appeared to show large sums of money passing through Lex’s accounts over the years, as well as copies of cheques including one for US$95,000 dated December 30th made out to Dr. Denzil Douglas.

Wednesday, Dr. Douglas acknowledged that his son, also Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, lived at the same address as the home-based company, but dismissed any knowledge of a cheque from Lex made out to him, the Prime Minister.

“I don’t know what cheque you’re speaking about,” the Prime Minister said.

… from the Winn FM article No Conflict Of Interest With Lex Says PM

It gets much worse…

Prime Minister Douglas is using the old “Nothing to see here, folks. Move along” defense…

“Several Government employees have private businesses, so that is nothing new.  There is no conflict of interest there,” Dr. Douglas said.

Public records indicate that Lex Consulting (LLC) is managed by Kate Alex Woodley, the mother of the Prime Ministers two children.  WINN FM understands that Ms. Woodley is an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assigned to the St. Kitts and Nevis New York-based Consulate Office in Manhattan.

Speaking at a press conference in the Parliamentary Lounge a Government Headquarters, the Prime Minister reiterated previous statements that Lex had provided consulting services to a number of companies including the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party.

… from the Winn FM article No Conflict Of Interest With Lex Says PM

Did any of Lex Consulting’s clients obtain government contracts at any time?

This gets worse because here is the way it happens… A government official will issue a government contract to a company we’ll call “Company A”. Company “A” then hires a “consulting” firm that just happens to be owned and run by the wife or lover of the same government official who issued the government contract to Company “A”.

Very slick.

The “consulting” done by the government official’s wife or lover is never on the project for which the contract was issued. It’s always some nebulous job like “office automation consulting” or “marketing consulting” – and the money is often deposited overseas.

For instance, into the New York bank account of the consulting company run by the Prime Minister’s ex-squeeze.

Slick. Very slick.

Probably No Rules Broken because like Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis doesn’t have Integrity Legislation

For over forty years Barbados politicians of both major parties have promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and conflicts of interest standards. The current DLP Thompson government is no exception. Thompson said he would implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct “immediately” upon forming a government, and would introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws within the first 100 days.

That was over two years ago – but the DLP have become very slick indeed at managing the political fallout from failing to keep their promises.

The latest ploy by the Democratic Labour Party and Prime Minister David Thompson was to suddenly announce that their proposed integrity legislation will include the private sector as well.

That just about guarantees failure for passing the legislation and the PM knows that. That’s why he included the private sector!

DLP Stage Managing to ensure failure of Integrity Legislation

So here’s the drill… The DLP will introduce something in late 2010 that will eventually die in process. Given just a little more time and the next election campaign will be approaching. The DLP will pull out a couple of old BLP scandals that they have been hoarding for the event. Thompson will wave around another couple of cheques at a rally similar to 2007 when he showed everyone the “campaign donation” cheque that then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur put into his personal bank account.

Thompson will claim that the BLP is blocking the legislation etc etc etc and that he needs a mandate from the people… and off we’ll go into the next election.

And Thompson and the DLP will have had four solid years of operating without Integrity Legislation or Freedom of Information laws.

That’s the way it is near Grape Hall on a Wednesday morning.

PM Thompson Says His Use Of CLICO's Business Jet Is None Of Your Business

As to transparency and conflicts of interest, one of David Thompson’s first official acts as a newly-elected Prime Minister was to borrow the corporate jet of a company that does business with the Barbados government – and to refuse to release any details of the costs and arrangements.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

CLICO sold to CGI – Skeletons will be pulled out of the closet and buried deep

Consumers Guarantee Insurance Limited of Barbados is approved to purchase the assets of CLICO.

The secretive committee formed by Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson to keep CLICO skeletons in the closet worked swiftly to sell the remaining assets before the public realises that the fiasco was caused by three factors: mismanagement, fraud and a lack of proper regulation, oversight and accountability.

Earlier media reports spoke of criminal activities and a billion dollar asset that turned out to be a worthless piece of paper, but don’t expect to hear anything more about the issue. Prime Minister Thompson has done all he can to ensure that no public inquiry will be conducted – starting with his refusal to put CLICO Holdings under judicial management.

Oh… did we mention that CLICO’s top dawg, Leroy Parris, is the Prime Minister’s best friend and godfather to one of his daughters?

No conflict of interest there folks.

Don’t expect the Mottley Crew to say too much either, because much of the shenanigans happened when the Arthur/Mottley BLP Government was in power.

Although there will be much said, there’s not really much else to say folks – because everything is being kept secret, especially the amount that this debacle cost the taxpayers of Barbados.

Nation News: CGI Wins CLICO Bid

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Tsunami of Swiss, European visitors to our Leroy Parris – CLICO articles

UBS Swiss BankHundreds of Swiss and other continental visitors are arriving at Barbados Free Press to read our articles dealing with CLICO and Leroy Parris.

The trend started early last night and started to taper off about 11am Bridgetown, which is 5pm in Zurich, Switzerland where many (but not all) of the visitors originate. While most arrive through various Swiss and European telecom companies, a sizable number indicate the in-house networks of “UBS AG” and “Credit Suisse”.

Barbados Free Press has no idea why these visits are happening, but it seems obvious that the story links are being sent around via email because they are NOT originating from a single referrer as happens when another blog or website puts up a link to one of our stories.

The first-time visitors are arriving primarily at four stories and then spend an average of just under 9 minutes cruising around other Barbados Free Press CLICO/Parris articles. This loiter time, according to our own Cliverton, is really something.

The four articles receiving the most initial attention from the visitors are…

September 24, 2009: Report: Leroy Parris ‘may retire’ from CLICO. Question: Would they dare fire him?

September 22, 2009: Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

June 3, 2009: CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

June 2, 2009: EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

If you are a visitor from a Swiss financial institution, please tell us what is happening. Thanks!

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

Update: March 2, 2010

This article was originally published by us on September 22, 2009. In light of Afra Raymond’s excellent article published by BFP on March 1, 2010 CL Financial & CLICO Bailout – The Mystery of the Missing Billions we thought our readers might want to give further consideration to the conflicts of interest by Barbados Prime Minister Thompson in relation to the CLICO scandal and bailout. We’ll repost this article at the top of the blog for a day or two.

Here is our original Sept. 22, 2009 article…

Barbados Insurance Industry executives finally sound public alarm about Prime Minister Thompson’s friendship with Leroy Parris

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped to build the house of cards

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped Leroy Parris build the house of cards

The Prime Minister of Barbados has a long-standing conflict of interest between his duty to the public and his close friendship with CLICO Barbados executive Leroy Parris. Mr. Thompson has addressed the conflict essentially by saying that Parris is his longtime friend and anyone who has a problem with that can pound salt. In other words, the public can “piss off”.

Sorry about the language friends, but I wanted you to be clear on the Prime Minister’s simple message when the fancy words are stripped away. Make no mistake, Barbados citizens have been told to “piss off” when it comes to mentioning David Thompson’s conflict of interest.

Now some insurance industry executives are finally speaking out. (source article at end of page)

Thompson’s Conflict of Interest with CLICO goes far deeper than his friendship with Leroy Parris

If the conflict was only friendship, it would be bad enough – but it is much worse than that…

Consider this about Prime Minister Thompson’s conflict of interest over CLICO…

Thompson used to be CLICO’s lawyer – at a time when the company illegally failed to file financial statements!

Continue reading

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President & Mrs. Obama Release Income Tax Returns – Will Barbados Politicians Do The Same?

UPDATED: April 17, 2010

ONE YEAR SINCE we published this article about President Obama and his lovely wife releasing their tax returns for public scrutiny. That’s another year passed without the integrity, transparency and accountability laws that David Thompson and his DLP promised to implement “immediately upon taking office” in January of 2008.

Transparency? More like “cover up” especially regarding the CLICO scandal and the Prime Minister’s continuing protection of his old friend Leroy Parris. Some things never change ’bout hey. Now the problem becomes “Who do we vote for in the next election?” because – really – there is only one political party in Barbados.

So how about it Prime Minister Thompson… can we see your income tax filings too?

Here’s our original story published in April of 2009…

obama-tax-returns

Bajans Got Fooled Again When They Believed David Thompson And The DLP

Barbadians were told that the David Thompson government would be “The most transparent, most accountable government Barbados has ever seen…”

Well, we all know what became of that, don’t we? We were promised integrity legislation, freedom of information, and a Ministerial code with conflict of interest rules. Instead, we are still a country without standards of conduct for elected and appointed government officials. It is still legal in Barbados for government officials to award government contracts to companies owned by themselves or their immediate family members.

David Thompson and the DLP government lied to us during their 2007 campaign. Their supporters, who so heavily criticized former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government for failing to introduce integrity legislation and conflicts of interest standards, remain silent one year two years and 100 days after David Thompson became Prime Minister of our country.

In the United States though, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have released six years of income tax returns.

It’s called Transparency, Accountability and Integrity.

Further Reading

TaxProf Blog: Obama Releases 2000-2006 Tax Returns

Reuters: Obama tax return reveals memoirs made millions

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Consultant Hired To Take Barbados Stock Exchange International – But If The Chief Justice & Others Don’t Have To Obey Our Financial Laws, What Message Does That Send To The World?

Barbados has hired a Canadian company to transform the Barbados Stock Exchange into an international exchange. This might be possible because, unlike so many small islands, Barbados has so far escaped some of the huge public scandals that call attention to the lack of standards and contempt for the rule of law that is endemic in offshore financial centers.

Escaped so far, anyway.

david-thompson-piggy-smlOne has to wonder though, if Barbados international reputation is more a result of luck, hype and spin than a reflection of reality. Successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP Thompson government, have refused to pass any laws relating to integrity, conflicts of interest, accountability and freedom of information.

Laws regarding records keeping by businesses — even public companies — are all but ignored on this island. Even the Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, has been caught out in a corporate scandal where business records disappeared or never existed.

Prime Minister David Thompson is likewise caught up in a scandal over the lack of financial records and failure to file records by CLICO when he acted as their lawyer for years. Oh, and coincidentally, Prime Minister Thompson just gave CLICO 10s of millions of dollars in guarantees, concessions and cold hard cash. Oh, did we also mention that Prime Minister Thompson and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris are godfathers to each other’s children?

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Some day all these chickens gots to come home to roost, and when it happens Prime Minister Thompson and Chief Justice Simmons will say, “Barbados is acting to put in place additional oversight in our financial and corporate sectors. The government will soon introduce integrity legislation…”

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Thompson’s plan for his friends: Privatize Profits, Socialize Losses

A great article at Keltruth: $10M for Clico Fund – Privatize Profits, Socialize Losses

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Barbados Chief Justice Involved In Corporate Law Breaking – Documents Online!

“We were unable to find any financial statements for any of the Chief Justice’s companies. In particular, CGI Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance Company Limited may be required by law to file audited financial statements. I would have thought that since CGI was an insurance company, it would go to great lengths to comply with the law. I believe the public is due an explanation…”

… Keltruth Blog digs into the murky corporate records of Barbados Chief Justice Sir David Simmons

Sir David’s Corporate Records Not A Pretty Sight

The folks over at Keltruth blog have been at it again — rummaging through the property and corporate records that are available to them in Barbados. They don’t always find all of the records, and we have a feeling that some records disappear at exactly the time they walk in the door, and then magically reappear when they leave the government office.

But they always seem to find enough records to piece together the most curious of stories every few weeks, and this week is no exception.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

As a lifelong professional politician, Sir David Simmons at times served as Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, Attorney General and Cabinet Minister in the Owen Arthur government. In private law practice Sir David represented many clients in large land deals and was himself involved in land speculation and business deals through various companies in which he had a stake.

After making his fortune and mastering the Art of the deal, Sir David decided to leave the rough-and-tumble of politics for the stately dignity of the post of Chief Justice of Barbados.

As Barbados Free Press extensively covered in the past, David Simmons had to reinvent himself [at least publicly] before taking the position of Chief Justice. Much like a girl whom too many men know too well, Sir David had to be reborn as a new virgin in search of a husband — or in this case, a respectable job.

He attempted to do this by resigning from politics and the government for a few months before then Prime Minister Owen Arthur [his good friend and drinking buddy] anointed him as one of the most powerful men in Barbados. Once freed from the backroom deals of politics, Sir David’s dignified place in Barbados history was assured…  Or so it seemed…

The only fly in the ointment are all those legal documents floating around Barbados that Sir David signed before he became Sir David!

Well, Keltruth Blog has rounded up some of those documents and it’s not a pretty sight. Apparently the Chief Justice recently testified that he resigned from one of his corporations in 1994. The only trouble is that no record of his resignation appears until 2007 when he was about to be exposed. And then there are other of Mr. Simmons’ corporations where no financial statements were filed for years — contrary to the law.

Barbados deserved a Chief Justice who could be seen to be independent of politics and political favoritism, but the good of the country came second to raw ambition and the consolidation of power.

It was unethical for Prime Minister Owen Arthur to appoint his Attorney General as our Chief Justice. It was unethical for David Simmons to accept the office of Chief Justice, but he wanted it so badly for himself that he was willing to undermine the independence of our judicial system and our courts.

Sir David Simmons wanted to appear as Chief Justice like a Virgin bride on her wedding day, but the corporate documents found at Keltruth are like an old boyfriend at the back of the church yelling, “Hey Hot Stuff, remember that night when?”

Keltruth Blog Digs Into David Simmons’ Corporate Past

Chief Justice David Simmons and the insurance company

Was David Simmons’ resignation from GEM Travel in order?

Chief Justice Sir David Simmons on Ethics

David Simmons resignation from SBG dated 1994 — filed in 2007!

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When Police Become Thugs: Bahamas Night Raid Terrorizes Mother and Child – Memories Of Barbados Police Ronja Juman Abuses

You are the mother of a seven year old child and you are both at home sleeping and at 4:30 am you are awakened by loud banging on your front door with someone shouting “open the door or we will break it down”. You start to frantically search for your keys and at the same time you hear a banging on the back door. By the time you get the door open both you and your child are terrified. Seven immigration officers rudely enter your home and start to terrorize you and your child. You offer to show them your Bahamian passport and you are rudely brushed aside. Not one of them states the purpose of their intrusion and they leave as abruptly as they entered.

I saw the fear in this young woman’s eyes. I saw a picture of the mallet that was used to break her gate. I could feel her anger because her home was invaded and she does not know why, nor has anyone apologized, nor has the Minister met with her as promised, nor has she been able to contact him or anyone else at the Immigration department.

… from Weblog Bahamas article Is the Bahamas becoming a frightened society?

Unholy Alliance: Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

Unholy Alliance: Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

News Media Continues Cover-Up Of Corrupt Activities By Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

A story of abuse by Bahamian Immigration authorities reminds us that it is time to once again mention an unresolved story of corruption and abuse by the Barbados Director of Public Prosecutions, Charles Leacock. Unlike the lapdog Barbados news media, we at Barbados Free Press don’t let a story fade from the public memory just because it is convenient for the elites – who are so powerful that they don’t bother to answer corruption allegations even when the incriminating documents are posted online for all to see.

The Corrupt Relationship Between A Dirty Cop And Our Director Of Public Prosecutions

Just before Christmas, 2006, Barbados Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock told his police friend, Sergeant Paul Vaughan, to collect some back rent owed to him by a former tenant named Ronja Juman.

Sergeant Vaughan used an illegal, blank, pre-signed search warrant to raid Ronja Juman’s home in the middle of the night with some of his fellow thugs. Juman was dragged off to the police station where she was strip-searched and humiliated by a VAGINAL SEARCH!

Over back-rent. And no… the Barbados police didn’t find any back-rent money in Juman’s vagina.

For Sergeant Paul Vaughan of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the middle-of-the-night raid was all about terrorising the woman and her child to get back rent for his friend DPP Charles Leacock. There is far more to the story and none of it is good. (The links are at the end of this article.)

So when we read the story on Weblog Bahamas about a middle of the night Gestapo-like “visit” by authorities there we decided it is high time again to remind the Bajan public that just because the cowardly “professional” news media won’t cover a story, it doesn’t mean that the incident isn’t newsworthy.

In fact, the refusal of the Barbados news media to cover a story is often proof that a cover-up is in progress.

Read the stories, view copies of the original documents online and make up your own mind about corruption by the DPP, the police, the courts, the government and the news media…

Barbados Free Press Articles

September 18, 2008: Corrupt Director Of Public Prosecutions Must Now Prosecute His Corrupt Police Friend For Accepting Bribes!!!

January 30, 2008: The Strange Disappearing Court Cases Of Barbados – And How The News Media Keeps Silent

November 5, 2007: We Publish All The Documents: Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions, Police Sgt Paul Vaughan And The Blank Search Warrant Scandal

October 12, 2007: Barbados Police Given Blank, Pre-Signed Search Warrants By Corrupt, Lazy Judiciary

September 24, 2007: Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock – Ordered Police Thuggery Over His Tenant’s Unpaid Rent – Night Raid, Woman Strip Searched Over Unpaid Rent!

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Barbados Government Bailed Out CLICO Even Though Company Failed To File Financial Statements

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business... but CLICO is getting an excellent return on loaning their corporate jet to David Thompson!

Barbados Prime Minister Thompson Was Lawyer For CLICO When They Failed To File Financials For 13 Years!

David Thompson and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris have had quite the cozy relationship and it just keeps getting better. Well, better for them anyway. Whether the relationship is healthy for the taxpayers of Barbados, that is another question. Especially after they read the new article by Keltruth that shines some light on a few areas the two gentlemen would probably rather not have mentioned.

Thompson was the lawyer for CLICO in 2004 when that company hadn’t filed financial statements for over a decade. CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Ltd. 1993 financial statements were filed in 2006!!!

Some of the CLICO sub-companies haven’t filed financial statements in years and years and some have NEVER FILED financial statements!

But Prime Minister David Thompson and his government are bailing them out anyway.

And it is the same with his rich horse-owner friends at the Barbados Turf Club where Thompy’s government bailed them out to the tune of $19 million dollars or so even though the latest financial statements on file are for the year 2004!

Keltruth Blog did proper searches at the government office and has copies of the corporate records to back up everything they have printed in their latest story.

Oversight? Rule of law? Accountability?

Cha! The DLP is handing out millions and millions of your tax dollars to bail out companies that don’t even keep or file their financial statements according to law.

Another disgusting illustration that electing the Thompson DLP government changed nothing except to provide a new bunch of piggies with their time at the public trough.

Keltruth Blog: Did Thompson’s DLP Have Audited Financials for the Companies that they Bailed Out?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Business, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – 85 Employees To Be Terminated, Barbados Government’s Double Standard Against Canadian Philanthropist

Sanctuary officials confirmed that there was still no word from Government on their intentions regarding the future of the Sanctuary…

…Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and Graeme Hall National Park is in the hands of the Government of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.  “We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados.  This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term environmental legacies for the nation.”

… from a press release by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary covered at Bajan Reporter

The Double Standard From Prime Minister Thompson

It seems that David Thompson and other Ministers of the Barbados Government have been everywhere lately trying to save jobs and convince businesses and investors not to cut back on employment in these hard times. Whether talking with LIME about keeping a hundred jobs at the call center open, addressing business people at the Chamber of Commerce, giving away tens of millions to rich horse owners and Thompson’s close friend and legal client Leroy Parris, or making secret deals and guarantees to keep the Four Seasons project abuilding, the Barbados Government has been in frenzied efforts to save jobs everywhere.

Everywhere that is, except for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary where the Government of Barbados has not even bothered to send a letter or make a phone call to the management.

Why the Double Standard?

On Wednesday, Barbados Free Press will present a compelling argument (complete with visual evidence) that the Government of Barbados is carrying out a strategy designed to allow certain friends of government to make huge profits from Graeme Hall: the last natural green space between the airport and the city. This profit will come at the expense of the citizens of Barbados who will be denied their Graeme Hall National Park. To effectively carry out the plan, the Barbados government would like to seize land from Peter Allard – the Canadian philanthropist who offered to GIVE the land to people of Barbados as part of a National Park.

The Barbados government is happy to have the gift of the land of course – but government officials want no strings so they can later sell or lease the land to friends and family members in their quest for personal wealth.

Don’t forget to visit BFP on Friday for part 2 of this article, with details that should interest every foreign investor and foreign landowner in Barbados. If it can happen to Canadian Allard (and a few others we’ll talk about) it could happen to you!

Meanwhile, head over to Bajan Reporter for the story of the layoffs and the full press release…

Bajan Reporter: BREAKING NEWS – Final Employee Termination Schedule At Sanctuary, Let’s Try And Stop This Please

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Wildlife

Company Owned By Barbados Civil Servants… Government Record Disappears From Internet

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

Special Treatment For Corporate Records – For A Company Owned By Senior Civil Servants!

A week ago we told you about Harrison Resort (Barbados) Limited, a company owned by Senior Barbados Government Officials that is or was developing a 200 million dollar hotel project at Harrison Point. In our article Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit, we pointed out that by virtue of their insider knowledge, connections and their ability to directly and indirectly influence lawmakers, civil servants are well-positioned to profit from their office and government employment.

It looks like that insider knowledge is also able to make certain records disappear from public examination!

If you do an online search the CAIPO – Barbados Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office website for “Harrison” you get a list of 11 or so corporations like this…

barbados-corporate-affairs-search

Then, if you click on one of the corporate records, say for the “Old Harrisonian Society”, a window opens up and you get more information, including the name, company number, date registered or incorporated and the category of the company. As you can see, for the “Old Harrisonian Society”, the company number is “39” and it was registered “1983-09-08” as a “Charity”…

old-harrisonian-society

That result is repeatable for any corporation in the database….

Harrison Point Resort Limited has a registration number of 28491 and was incorporated “2007-03-28”. Harrison’s Development Corporation has a registration number of 22190 and was incorporated “2003–03-13”.

Try it yourself for any company in the database and you’ll get the information.

EXCEPT FOR THE COMPANY OWNED BY SENIOR BARBADOS CIVIL SERVANTS…

When you click on the records for Harrison’s Resort (Barbados) Limited – the company owned by Barbados senior civil servants… you get nada. Nothing. No information.

That makes it difficult if not impossible to perform a search to see who the directors of this company are and when exactly it was incorporated.

Oh well – just one more day under a corrupt Barbados DLP Government that is unwilling to hold any government official accountable for anything. After all, if Prime Minister Thompson starts really doing something about corruption, he and his fellow DLP members won’t be able to engage in corrupt activities themselves!

Further Reading

Barbados Free Press: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit

CAIPO – Barbados Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office Website Here

(Go to the CAIPO website and perform a search under the name “Harrison” – then click on the various companies and see what happens!)

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Government, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit

New Wardrobes & New Cars On The Public Purse: This Is DLP Integrity Reform In Barbados

Elected and appointed government officials in Barbados are free to use their office for personal profit because successive governments have deliberately refused to pass laws or policies against the practice. Not only can government officials misuse and use information and influence to personally profit – they can actually issue fat government contracts to companies owned by themselves or their immediate family members!

david-thompson-piggy-smlThe current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government led by David Thompson promised during the election campaign of 2007 to implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon being elected. That was the first integrity promise to fall by the wayside but not the last. Upon election, the DLP priorities immediately switched from integrity and accountability to getting their little piggy snouts right into the public trough. Fine cars and fine clothes became the order of the day. Not to mention borrowing business jets from companies who profit from government contracts!

And what of the promised Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation and Policies?

Well, we did have some public consultations for a Freedom of Information Act proposal that has since disappeared. No public consultations for the Integrity Legislation are planned though – we can’t have citizens spotting the deliberate holes and weaknesses in the legislation beforehand, doan ya know!

David Thompson Failed To Make The One Simple Policy Change That Could Have Stopped Much Of The Abuse

With a simple policy statement Prime Minister Thompson could have sent a message of integrity throughout the government. Without passing any laws or any consultation at all, Mr. Thompson could have declared the following…

“It is now government policy that no government contracts are to be issued to companies or other government suppliers that are owned wholly or in part by an elected or appointed government employee or official or their immediate family members.”

Thompson could have also declared the following policy without too much trouble at all…

“It is now government policy that elected or appointed government employees or officials are prohibited from directly or indirectly receiving any gift, consideration or loan from any government contractor for any reason except that the value of such gift or consideration shall not exceed BDS$50 no more than three times in twelve months.”

That “limits on gifts” policy leaves open the door for some small Christmas or birthday presents between friends but stops thousand dollar “Christmas” presents or the five-thousand dollar “loans” to government officials that are never repaid and are coincidentally given by government suppliers who just received a fat contract.

To those of you who will moan about the difficulty in enforcing such policies, you must remember that many government policies are set. Some are enforced and some are ignored but everyone knows they exist and they do establish standards and limit behaviours just by their existence.

Had Prime Minister Thompson established these two government policies it would have sent a clear message to appointed and elected government officials. The fact that Thompson didn’t set these integrity policies AND that he failed to implement his integrity promises sent another very clear message to everyone…

The feeding trough is open. Nothing changed except the name of the pig – from BLP to DLP.

An Example Of How Senior Government Officials Use Their Office And Inside Knowledge For Personal Profit

For today’s lesson about how corrupt this island of Barbados is, we turn to a September 4, 2005 Nation article that says “senior civil servants” were behind a $200 million dollar hotel development…

$200m resort plans
Published on: 9/4/05.
by JULIE WILSON

AN INTERNATIONAL hotel brand is playing a major part in transforming Harrison Point into a rich and famous paradise, possibly in time for Cricket World Cup 2007.

The SUNDAY SUN has learnt that the 240-acre site, north of the temporary prison will undergo a $200 million transformation in two phases.

Local company Harrison Resort (Barbados) Limited, made up of a number of senior civil servants will construct in the first phase, 160 two-bedroom condominiums, eight ocean-front villas, 100 lakeside townhouses and 75 residential villas…

… continue reading this article at the Nation (link here)

Which “Senior Civil Servants” Are/Were Involved With This Mega-Project?

By virtue of their insider knowledge, connections and their ability to directly and indirectly influence lawmakers, civil servants are well-positioned to profit from their office and government employment. They know which government policy changes are coming. They know which landowners are behind on taxes, which zoning change is in the works and which pieces of land will become more or less valuable as a result. Their civil servant friends have access to other information or are able to put a piece of paper to the top of the pile and so on.

For all those reasons, most modern democracies have established rules and standards limiting the business activities that government employees can engage in after hours.

But no such limits or rules apply in Barbados – where the country is so corrupt that senior civil servants don’t even have to hide their conflicts of interest and the press prints it all like the corruption is some good news story that is evidence of progress and industry.

God, I love Barbados – but I hate the corrupt cartels and elites who have been feeding off the public for so long that citizens believe this is normal and acceptable.

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The Cheques That SSA’s Stanton Alleyne Refuses To Explain

UPDATED: September 15, 2011 (Pinned at top. Scroll down for newer content)

Stanton Alleyne given raw deal… or lucky he wasn’t charged for taking a kickback?

This from the Nation online Sept 15, 2011 issue:

STANTON ALLEYNE has been given a raw deal and to have him act as general manager of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) for seven years is unreasonable and unfair…says National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) general secretary Dennis Clarke…

“If an individual is not worthy of his hire, why string him along? There are no adverse reports being held against Mr Alleyne.

“His performance over the past seven years cannot be in doubt, given the fact that he has not been reverted to his substantive post and no charge has been laid against his performance.”

BFP’s original story first published July 11, 2008…

Exhibit #1

Exhibit #2

Why Did Stanton Alleyne Take Money From A Government Contractor?

It is very simple folks. Really simple.

Back on March 12, 1999, Stanton Alleyne as the acting manager of the Barbados Sanitation Service Authority wrote an official SSA letter to the Manager of the Caribbean Commercial Bank informing the bank that “Andrew’s Builders” had been contracted to refurbish the SSA’s recreational facilities for the sum of $130,000.

That letter appears below.

Then one week later on March 19, 1999, Stanton Alleyne cashed a $500 cheque made out to him by Andrew Builders and signed by none other than Andrew Thomas – the same government contractor hired for the $130,000 renovation at the SSA.

Once more on April 8, 1999, Stanton Alleyne cashed another $500 cheque again made out to him personally by Andrew Builders/Andrew Thomas.

There was a reason for the cheques. When the SSA Board recently became aware of the cheques, they asked Mr. Stanton Alleyne about that reason, and he refused to explain why a government contractor gave him the thousand dollars.

Mr. Thomas says that the reason he gave the money to Alleyne was clear. It was as a corrupt “compensation” for his being awarded the government contract at the Barbados SSA. Mr. Thomas even swore to that in writing in front of a Justice of the Peace.

In other words, the money was a kickback from a government contractor to a government official. A big “Thank you for the government contract.”

The cheques are at the top of this article. Both letters appear below. Continue reading

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