Tag Archives: Dave Ames

Press release from Regulatory Legal Solicitors regarding Harlequin freezing order

Regulatory Legal Solicitors have seen much comment and speculation about the litigation issued at the High Court in Birmingham last week.

The case was brought on behalf of 10 individuals under case reference 3BM30141 on Wednesday 6th March 2013. Within the substantive proceedings an application for a freezing order was made. The freezing order application was listed on the 7th March 2013 at 2pm.

The judge postponed the hearing of the application until the 14th March 2013. The Claimants asked for an interim order for 7 days until the hearing on the 14th March 2013. This interim application was not granted by the court. The parties reached an agreement on the 8th March 2013. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Procedurally, the Claimants lawyers  will appear before the court on the 14th March 2013 to obtain an order from the court finalising proceedings.

“We have seen significant comment on this matter, most of which is wrong. This is of no benefit to us, Harlequin or those reading the inaccuracies. “

“This statement sets out the procedural position. We have no further comment on this matter”

Barbados Free Press received the above from Gareth Fatchett on Monday March 11, 2013.

Comments Off on Press release from Regulatory Legal Solicitors regarding Harlequin freezing order

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Harlequin’s The Merricks Resort as it really is right now

Harlequin Merricks 21

The Merricks, Barbados – Thursday, March 7, 2013

(click all photos for larger versions)

Dear Barbados Free Press

While sight seeing and using Barbados Holiday Map provided to us tourists as a guide, we went looking for the “Photo Opportunity” shown on the map at Palmetto Bay. As we looked for Palmetto Bay, we came across the Merricks sign; so being a periodic reader of BFP I decided to proceed to see what Photo Opportunities we could find.

The attached pics were just taken Thursday March 7, 2013.  They look strangely similar to those previously published on BFP in August 2012! What has been done in the past year?

There were two workers (?)  on the site.  An old guy who was dismantling a temporary storage area, and a young kid who was wandering around and sitting around. Thought you might want save the time and gas expense to go out to the Merricks site.

Harlequin’s promotional claims that “The Merricks Resort is situated on the stunning Atlantic coast in the south east of Barbados; and the resort has been designed to take advantage of the stunning cliff top position which affords spectacular vistas across the Atlantic Ocean.” are true. I must have missed it but I saw no beach.

“Just Taken” moniker reflects that the photos attached were just taken a couple of days ago.  Fortunately I have not been taken in by the Harlequin Scheme.

Just Taken

Harlequin Merricks 24.Harlequin Merricks 23.Harlequin Merricks 22.Harlequin Merricks 19Harlequin Merricks 32

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Filed under Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Harlequin personnel infiltrating the ranks of disgruntled investors, spying on meetings?

UPDATED: Wed March 6 2013 6:30am Bridgetown

“Anonymous” poster thought to be revealed as Sean Ghent, Harlequin employee, bodyguard for David Ames!

“First the commenter claimed to be a Harlequin employee in St. Vincent…

Now they claim to be an investor in the UK wanting to meet and talk with other disgruntled investors.”

Harlequin Resort

The editors at BFP want to remind everyone that this is an anonymous forum and website where most of the articles and comments are published anonymously. Not everyone is who they pretend to be, and some folks like to pretend to be many people for all kinds of reasons – mostly to support their own opinions or to pretend to be different voices supporting someone else.

A few weeks ago we caught a Harlequin supporter (or maybe a group of Harlequin supporters) really working the web under different names and leaving several hundred comments on Barbados Free Press and other blogs and discussion forums.

Now we have caught someone pretending to be two different people, but this is serious because they are not just talking – they are setting up meetings with real people attending investor meetings in the United Kingdom.

First they said they were a Harlequin employee in Buccament Bay Resort and then they came back three days later using another name and want to meet with other people attending investor meetings in the United Kingdom.

These two comments were left by the same person…

Buccament resort worker

Submitted on 2013/03/03 at 7:40 pm

As a worker at Buccament Bay Resort I find it rather disturbing that BFP would post a story from a source without first investigating the truth of the allegation! All resort staff have been paid this week for the month of February as they were paid last month and the month before! Why not check with any one of the 351 local staff before attacking with false stories!

(See the comment here)

Then the same person left many anonymous comments, including this one below… AND they made arrangements to meet with “Paul and Erica on the weekend”. They caution to be careful about people “hijacking the group” when it look like they are spies for Harlequin!

“Paul and Erica” you be careful…  These persons be something else other than what they say they are! They are not some fellow concerned investors coming to the same meeting!

How do we know these two comments were left by the same person?

Any HTML coder can tell you a dozen ways we know. The commenter made mistakes and we saw their mistakes. End of story. 100% it is the same people in St. Vincent claiming to be 1/ a Harlequin worker and then 2/ a concerned Harlequin investor arranging to attend investor meetings in the UK.

Cliverton

Here is one of their other comments where they are going to go to the investor meeting on the weekend in the UK…  Continue reading

98 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

Serious Fraud Office confirms Harlequin investigation, asks for investor stories

Harlequin Fraud Office

Serious Fraud Office and Essex Police: Harlequin Property

5 March 2013

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO website), together with Essex Police, is looking into complaints in relation to the Harlequin group.  The business activity of the Harlequin group includes the marketing, sale and construction of luxury off-plan property developments in the Caribbean and other resort locations.  If you have invested in Harlequin schemes, we would welcome any information you can give us.

We are particularly interested in hearing from people who invested in the following resorts:

(1) Buccament Bay in St Vincent & the Grenadines;
(2) Merricks in Barbados;
(3) Marquis Estate in St Lucia;
(4) The Hideaway in the Dominican Republic;
(5) Las Canas in the Dominican Republic;
(6) Two Rivers in the Dominican Republic and
(7) Garapua Beach Resort in Brazil.        Continue reading

104 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law

Harlequin, Barbados Free Press hit with Court Order

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin... but he could have!

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin… but he could have!

“By the look of this latest court order BFP presumes that Daniel Dalligan and Harlequin have been caught with their pants down (so to speak) spewing untruths about Mr. Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors.”

BFP receives email from Gareth Ward Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors

If we at Barbados Free Press read the documents correctly – on Monday, March 4, 2013, His Honour Judge Seymour of the Queen’s Bench Division in the High Court of Justice did a court order against Daniel Dalligan and Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited, prohibiting Dalligan and Harlequin from publishing words claiming that Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are not legitimate, licensed lawyers.

Mr. Fatchett sent us a copy of the court order and a copy of his Practising Certificate proving that he is a solicitor in good standing. At the end of this article we publish the court order and Mr. Fatchett’s certificate. It sure looks to us that Mr. Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are legitimate, hard working lawyers.

Mr. Fatchett alerted us to a couple of comments on Barbados Free Press where a person wrote that Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors were not legitimate and had linked to another website where someone had uploaded a little diatribe about Mr. Fatchett. We’re going to take down those comments and any others like that when folks inform us, just like the order say. But don’t forget Mr. Fatchett: this is a part-time do-as-we-can blog so it can take us a day or two to check the email and clear the comments. With over a quarter of a million comments on this blog plus thousands of spam comments every month it takes us some time to sort through things. So doan be too quick on the draw when you fire off those legal bullets, okay? Sit back, have a shot of Mount Gay an give us some time to sober up and check de email.  🙂

Regulatory Legal Solicitors

It looks to us that lawyer Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are representing some disgruntled Harlequin investors and that some persons who support Harlequin started to attack Mr. Fatchett by leaving comments at forums on the web and here at BFP.  Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Harlequin replies to Mail on Sunday article: “highly defamatory disinformation, seeking legal advice”

David Ames and Harlequin released a statement in answer to the latest Mail on Sunday article about the holiday property scheme that has failed to deliver properties in the promised time to thousands of ‘investors’. (See BFP’s Serious Fraud Office asked to investigate Harlequin)

Fair is fair and we’ll let Mr. Ames speak for himself. Please take the time to get Harlequin’s side of the story…

Dave Ames Statement re press  (Download PDF)

David Ames denies bribing Prime Minister Gonsalves

In another recent press interview, Dave Ames also denied giving a suitcase full of money to the Prime Minister of St. Vincent in exchange for citizenship…

“The BBC has accused the Prime Minister of St Vincent Dr Ralph Gonsalves of accepting from me a suitcase of money in order to receive my citizenship. This is an outrageous lie.”

“Sam Commissiong, my solicitor in St Vincent, has attended each and every meeting I have had with the Prime Minister and will confirm the allegation is completely false.”

… read the full story at the Basildon Recorder: South Essex businessman denies bribe claims

199 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Buccament Bay Resort staff member asks: March 1, 2013 a tipping point for Harlequin?

Harlequin Resort

Some local Buccament Bay staff haven’t been paid for December or January!

by BB Staffer to Barbados Free Press

I think tomorrow will be a tipping point for Buccament Bay and Dave Ames. You might call it ‘Desperation for Dave Day’.

Harlequin has staff to pay and all the loan interest for the ‘investors’ that should have been paid earlier this month. If they don’t make those payments, I suspect there will be a lot more people will talking to the Mail on Sunday.

“There are staff at Buccament Bay Resort who are yet to be paid for December and January.”

Will these local people be paid? All the expat staff have been paid! Why not the locals?

I’m not even talking about how expat staff members are paid many times what locals are paid for doing the same jobs. Will Dave Ames and Harlequin ever show these wonderful local staff the same loyalty they demonstrate to him on a daily basis? Simply paying the local staff would be a start!

105 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

How Harlequin damaged Barbados reputation

Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

January 2013: Does this look like a vibrant healthy construction site to you?

“Our government gave Ames and Harlequin the benefit of our country’s reputation – and when the Harlequin house of cards falls, it will be the reputation of Barbados that is harmed the most.”

Barbados H Hotel 3

There are so many Caribbean islands with the same Carib sand, sun and water. So many Caribbean islands with friendly people and special cultures not found on other Caribbean islands. Each island nation has its own cultural flavour, its own beauty and its own special offerings to attract tourists and offshore investments.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep on saying it: there are other Caribbean islands more beautiful, more unspoiled, more private and certainly cheaper to visit than Barbados. Why then, do people come to Barbados and keep returning? What is it that we have that brings the world’s elites here instead of some other Caribbean islands?

Security and safety is a big issue. Although Barbados has fallen down on the job lately, we’re still a whole lot safer than say, Jamaica, the Bahamas or even Bermuda. We’ve lost some ground, true, but we’re still way ahead of so many other islands in terms of tourist safety.

But the big asset we have that differentiates us and attracts the tourists and investors is the perception that Barbados is a stable society where good laws protect investors, tourists, retirees, and citizens. This is so important, and has been front and centre in Bim’s long term success. Without this perception that Barbados is a land of laws, we are no better and probably worse than some of the competition.

And then came Harlequin.

When Barbados allowed Mr. Ames and his bunch of brigands to sell from plans without putting deposits into a trust account: we allowed Mr. Ames to ride upon our good reputation. We allowed Mr. Ames to collect money based upon the public knowledge that Barbados is a safe society, where people are protected by good laws. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Harlequin Property to make refunds to disgruntled investors: or so their lawyers say.

Harlequin & David Ames: Ponzi Scheme House of Cards?

Harlequin & David Ames: Ponzi Scheme House of Cards?

“Some investors asked for refunds, but in some cases were told up to a third of their deposit would not be repaid because it has been spent on commissions to sales agents and would be paid back over one to two years.”

“Harlequin is not authorized and regulated by the FSA, meaning there is no Government-backed protection for UK investors.”

What if everybody wanted their money back now?

Man oh man! 30% commissions paid to sales agents? No wonder the ‘investment counselors’ push Harlequin! 30%!!!

Here’s from Echo News and you should go their website to read Resort developer “to pay back cash” but you know we have to print the whole story here in case the Echo News story disappears like before times…

Resort developer “to pay back cash”

4:00pm Friday 14th December 2012 in Local News By Jon Austin

A SOUTH Essex-based Caribbean luxury resort developer hit by delays has confirmed it will pay back some investors.

Harlequin Property, based in Honywood Road, Basildon, says it will return any cash they are entitled to.

Nine investors are involved in court claims filed against Harlequin at the East Caribbean Supreme Court to get back deposits and compensation plus damages for alleged misrepresentation by the firm.

It comes as the Echo can reveal the business has been probed by the UK finance watchdog the Financial Services Authority. Continue reading

71 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

Harlequin posts H Hotel construction video – “Seven guys trying to look like a busy mob” ?

by Doing Alright

The ongoing saga of Harlequin Resorts property developments in the Caribbean and Asia long ago became a contest of dissatisfied and worried investors claiming that the progress of various Harlequin projects doesn’t match the millions upon millions of dollars ‘invested’ vs. Harlequin’s efforts to calm fears and show satisfactory progress. When projects are years behind schedule continuing excuses and blaming local governments for holding things up only goes so far.

Barbados Free Press recently featured some photos of Harlequin’s H Hotel project on the island that showed little visible construction progress. (See here and here)

In apparent response, Harlequin posted the above video on YouTube. I count seven construction workers throughout the video and few wide angle shots that would reveal the true extent of worker activities at the site.

Have a look for yourself, but my sense of this video is that it is seven guys trying to look like a busy mob. I have never worked in construction but this doesn’t seem to be a healthy and vibrant construction worksite to me. I wonder if BFP’s readers have any other interpretations of this video.

Barbados Free Press Editor contributes…

Harlequin’s sales representatives Assets International recently published H Barbados Update for October that says the following…

“We recently visited the hotel site in Barbados (11th October 2012) – below are our photographs for you to enjoy – currently onsite there are 54 construction workers with supervisors and architects – the current construction is on sections A, B and C. Huge amounts of underground work has been carried out with deep piling for the existing structure and new phases, in all this will be one of the leading hotels on Barbados and in our opinion the “leading boutique hotel” on the island. The site is on schedule for opening in 2013.”

“54 Construction Workers” currently onsite ?

Have a look at the photos and you’ll certainly see progress from the above video that was posted in September, but whether the progress is reasonable for ’54 Construction Workers’ currently onsite, we’ll have to leave to other more knowledgeable people. The update promises that H Hotel will open in 2013. As recently as January 2012 Harlequin was promising a 2012 opening.

What is the truth? Once again we at BFP are no experts, but we remain unconvinced that H Hotel can be a functioning resort anytime in 2013.

Comments are open!

637 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts: New Democratic Party politicians “alarmist” in predicting violence and bankruptcy at Buccament Bay Resort

St. Vincent and The Grenadines Opposition Leader says eight lawsuits filed over non-payment at Buccament Bay Resort

On June 6, 2012, NDP and Opposition Leader the Honourable Arhnim Eustace issued the following on the NDP website:

Government must make every effort to have investors pay local contractors

Opposition Leader the Hon. Arhnim Eustace is calling on the government to make every effort to have investors make payments that are due to local contractors and employees who are working at the Buccama Bay Resort.

The Opposition Leader made the call today at a press briefing held by the NDP to discuss issues of importance to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr. Eustace noted that the evidents that are being produce are indicative of problems associated with the Buccama project. Some of these includes, eight law suits being filed against the company by contractors who claimed that they have not been paid or only paid in part and local workers not being paid their salaries.

Eustace said that those with authority need to defend the interest and rights of local contractors and workers. The government must make efforts to ensure that the rights of Vincentians are protected.

In addition the government must maintain an appropriate investment climate that will allow for foreign investments, thus it is therefore imperative that this matter be dealt with promptly, Eustace added.

… taken from the NDP website here

Dave Ames fires back…

The following press release was received from Harlequin Hotels & Resorts on June 11, 2012. The original press release is in PDF format at the end of this article. BFP used an OCR programme to cull the following words as Harliquin’s PDF was set up to block the copying of text. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) produced some errors and we think we corrected them all – but before you get too excited about anything you read in the following, check the original PDF, okay? If it reads the same, then you can get excited.

Take it away, Mr. David Ames…

11th June 2012

Press Statement from Mr Dave Ames, Chairman of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts

In an interview with Searchlight newspaper, Mr Dave Ames provided the following statement:

I first came to the beautiful islands of St. Vincent and The Grenadines in 2005 and fell in love with it. In the years since, I have worked hard to open Buccament Bay Resort, one of the most stunning resorts in the Caribbean.

Harlequin has never engaged in politics, nor do we wish to do so. It has always been our position to remain impartial and go about our business, but following recent comments by Mr Eustace and opposition legislator Mr Leacock in both parliament and press, I feel obliged to speak out for the first time. Mr Eustace and Mr Leacock raise alarmist concerns about the government’s “hands off approach“ to Buccament Bay Resort. Further, they make allegations of failing to pay staff and Mr Leacock goes as far as to suggest, and I quote, “There is the potential for a business to go belly up, leading to violence at the worksite.”

It is apparent to me that Mr Leacock has no idea what he is talking about at all and these comments are not only wholly incorrect and baseless, but frankly tantamount to incitement and hugely damaging to our relationship with the people of St Vincent and The Grenadines. I have in excess of 300 full time employed staff at Buccament Bay Resort, and let me state very clearly that all employees of Harlequin at Buccament Bay Resort are paid and paid on time, every month. In fact, since opening I have committed over $14,000,000 EC Dollars to payroll our hardworking staff in Buccament Bay Resort, making Harlequin one of the largest private employers on the island. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados Tourism