Tag Archives: Harlequin Merricks Resort

How many Harlequin companies did Dave Ames register in Barbados?

Harlequin Resort

Why so many Harlequin companies?

It happened like this… we were sitting around last Friday discussing how David Ames and his Ponzi partners have more companies than anybody knows about. Marketing done by this company, land held by that company, building done by another company supplied by another company delivering materials.

It all collapsed and left eyesores and abandoned building sites that are a blight upon Barbados and other nations.

And then somebody asked if anyone had run the word “Harlequin” at the Barbados Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office.

Everybody looked at each other with that “aren’t we a bunch of idiots?” look. Nope, nobody had done it.

So we fired up the computer, logged into Anonymouse.org to cover our asses, and did the deed.

Here they are, folks… All the Barbados-registered companies with the word “Harlequin” in their name…

HARLEQUINS
POLLY HARLEQUIN PRODUCTIONS
HARLEQUIN DEVELOPMENTS
HARLEQUIN (BARBADOS) PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARLEQUIN BOUTIQUE HOTEL LIMITED
HARLEQUIN (BARBADOS) PROPERTY LIMITED
HARLEQUIN LUXURY HOTEL LIMITED
HARLEQUIN BOUTIQUE HOTEL MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARLEQUIN LUXURY HOTEL MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARLEQUIN PROPERTY (SVG) LIMITED

Truly, the government looked the other way on all of this. How many of these companies filed proper reports? You know how it is here on this rock… a political donation takes care of having to worry about filing the paperwork for companies. No worries about annual reports if you make a big donation to the ruling party.

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

Harlequin’s Merricks Resort “a rotting garbage dump – a liability not an asset”

Merricks Barbados Harlequin Bankruptcy 14Merricks Barbados Harlequin Bankruptcy 12

Why didn’t Barbados obtain completion guarantees backed with performance deposits and bonds?

Our political class, along with Harlequin and other developers, left Bajans holding the bag!

by Old Cutter

What a mess we have with abandoned and “on hold” construction sites and failed projects throughout this country. There is a reason for this and it is not “economic slowdowns” or “unforeseen circumstances”.

“We have these numerous failed project disasters littering our coasts because our DLP and BLP governments allowed unfettered development of our beautiful island by almost anyone that showed up.”

Politicians’ offshore accounts are fat and happy

Our elected representatives stuffed bags of cash into offshore accounts of their “consulting” companies but never acted to protect Barbados from shaky developers.

Our political class never imposed standard contract conditions like performance guarantees and deposits. The big developers hired DLP and BLP friends and family as ‘consultants’ in exchange for building permissions.

“Everybody knows how this place works, and why the political class never voted for Integrity Legislation or assets declarations since Bajan independence almost 50 years ago.”

Harlequin Resorts is just one more failed developer, but they fell in a big way and are worth looking at closely…

As the broader Harlequin Resorts debacle carries on in the courts we see Harlequin suing accountants Wilkins Kennedy and WK countering with accusations of their own, and many other court battles in various stages.

Somewhere in all of that there is a book figure for the value of Harlequin’s assets, including the abandoned Merricks Resort site in Barbados.

Whatever that book figure is for Merricks Resort, a visit to the abandoned construction site reveals a rotting garbage dump that is undoubtedly far less of an asset due to the demolition and environmental cleanup that would be necessary prior to any new activity. Barbados Free Press covered this story a year and a half ago, and the deterioration is easy to see when we compare the photos then and now. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Economy, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

UK’s Serious Fraud Squad investigating Harlequin: Any information welcome!

Harlequin's The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

Harlequin’s The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

by Peter Binose

Investors in Buccament Bay Resort are the closest to luck as one can get when wishing for luck for their investment from a company that promised everything and gave very little to very few.  But as luck goes it may be running out even for the Buccament investors.

Those that have invested in Harlequins different projects through like sounding Harlequin companies around the world, have only had bad luck.  They have put their money in to what they thought were rosy investments.  Many were encouraged by island politicians and governments, many of which had been warned of impending problems with Harlequin, yet went ahead and promoted them in such a way that now brings  disgrace to those small and even large nations. People have lost life savings and retirement pensions with help from these government ministers and governments. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments

More Questions for former Harlequin associate David Campion

David Campion Harlequin Barbados 2

With the collapse of so many large scale, foreign-owned projects in Barbados in the last few years, Bajans are understandably cynical about any new projects. And when a former Harlequin employee sets up shop, some folks naturally want to ask how much they knew about Harlequin and when they knew it.

Back on June 22, 2013 BFP published an article that asked tough questions of David Campion and his Argo Development Studio. We received no word from Mr. Campion then or since.

Now another reader asks more questions that seem most reasonable to us and are what ordinary Bajans want to know about Mr. Campion and all developers – especially from over and away.

If Mr. Campion desires to comment or reply, we will print his unedited response right here and give him full coverage. We and all Barbadians would like to hear his side of the story.

Regarding David Campion, some questions …

by BFP reader Just give me a straight answer

After the Harlequin fiasco:

  • Is David Campion living and working in Barbados based on documentation as an ongoing employee of the non-operating Harlequin (of Merricks) fame?
  • If not, has he legal status in Barbados?
  • Has he applied for or is he in possession of a work permit?
  • Is Argo (his “company”) actually registered as a company?
  • Is Argo VAT registered?
  • What are his professional qualifications?
  • Regarding the claims of Argo’s expertise made on the Argo website, does he have a core building industry professional qualification? such as Surveyor or Engineer?
  • Is there any other person here working for him (the site claims 4 directly employed persons) who is professionally qualified and is registered and have they paid their yearly fees?
  • If Mr. Campion is properly qualified, is he a member of one of the professional organisations here in Barbados?
  • If he has a professional qualification, is he on the governments register of qualified professional persons …and has he paid the statutory fee for 2013/2014?
  • Has Argo direct or indirect ownership in “Tourism Consultants International”, who with Argo have recently been appointed by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry – BCCI – to carry out surveys of Bridgetown businesses as part of their “Revitalization of Bridgetown Initiative”?
  • If he is in the process of submitting Town and Country Planning applications to the Town Planning Department, and is he aware that certain qualifications have to be proven (for submitting proposals of more than domestic or residential size) before the Town Planning Department will accept the application?

BFP thanks The Nation for the source photo. Used with permission!

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy

Does Harlequin’s The Merricks have “full planning permission” or not? We have some doubts…

Merricks-Barbados-Bankrupt

Dave Ames says Merricks has “full planning permission” …

“Last month, Harlequin’s The Merricks Resort project in Barbados was finally granted full planning permission after years of protracted studies and work. It was initially anticipated that this process would be much quicker, but Harlequin has always kept purchasers updated with progress.”

Financial Times Adviser, Beleaguered Harlequin owed £30m by property buyers April 24, 2013

“Harlequin is delighted to announce that last week it received full planning permission for The Merricks Resort project in Barbados. There are normal conditions attached to the permission and our team is now working to ensure we have full compliance to allow us to commence works.”

Financial Times Adviser, Harlequin halts construction amid £9m legal battle April 9, 2013

BFP’s old friend St. George’s Dragon checked personally at the Planning Office and is not so sure…

Mr Ames announced at the investor meetings that Harlequin had received full planning for Merricks. I admit that I was skeptical about this so I thought I would drop into the Barbados Town & Country Planning Office this afternoon to check. It is possible for members of the public to check applications. The information you can see is limited, though. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Real Estate

Regulatory Legal met with David Ames & Harlequin – What now?

Harlequin Resort

“The Harlequin Investor Group met with David Ames in the afternoon of the 22nd April 2013.

Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 22:06:21 +0000
From: mail@harlequininvestorgroup.co.uk
Subject: Harlequin Investor Group – Meeting with David Ames – 22nd April 2013

Network Email

All,

The Harlequin Investor Group met with David Ames in the afternoon of the 22nd April 2013.

•3 investors and 2 Directors from Regulatory Legal met with David Ames.

The meeting was conducted cordially and respectfully as building a rapport in these difficult times is clearly key.

1.There is no doubt in the minds of those attending on behalf of investors that Harlequin is cash starved and requires new investment.
2.The lack of cash in the business is a key issue as without liquidity the business will continue to struggle.
3.The business has a significant number of non-completed contracts, many of which have completion dates which are overdue. In simple terms, the various companies are obligated to repay investors their money back plus 10%. The “repayment overhang”.
4.The business needs to source new monies. This is going to come from either

(a) Investment into the equity of the business

(b) Completions on properties (eg the balancing 70%)

(c) New investor monies

We feel (a) & (b) are the best way forward. The HIG see (c) as unlikely in the present situation. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Harlequin Investors must not walk away with a false sense of security

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors

Risk Warning, a voice for distressed investors in the UK, cautiously welcomes Harlequin Property’s meetings with investors and IFAs, scheduled for next week in both Manchester and Basildon. It hopes that investors who have, thus far, met with stony silence from Harlequin will get the answers they have been seeking at these meetings.

Set up by Regulatory Legal Solicitors, Risk Warning recently met with investors throughout the country to help them advance their case with Harlequin.  The response at these meetings was overwhelmingly in favour of opening up a constructive dialogue with Harlequin. Gareth Fatchett from Risk Warning says, “The lack of information from Harlequin has been disconcerting for many of the investors we have been speaking to this month. It is important that Harlequin engages with its investors, many of whom are very concerned about the safety of their property investments in the Caribbean.”

While acknowledging that Harlequin’s efforts to have a dialogue with its investors signals a necessary step in the right direction, Risk Warning urges that investors must arm themselves with the right questions to ensure that they get a full picture of the current status. Mr Fatchett continues, “Given the amount of money invested and the state of uncertainty over a long period of time coupled with some of the recent news coverage on Harlequin, there are many detailed questions to which investors should be demanding answers. It is important that investors do not leave these meetings with a false sense of security.”

Risk Warning, which is acting for a number of Harlequin investors, has compiled a comprehensive list of over 30 questions for Harlequin, which it is seeking to raise with Harlequin next week. These questions demand answers on a number of critical issues such as:

  • how much of investors’ money has been spent on Caribbean resorts being developed by Harlequin
  • what has actually been built but is not yet completed
  • what the cost to finish each development will be
  • what the value of finance payments in arrears is
  • when the Caribbean accounts will be brought up to date

“Hundreds of investors believed in Harlequin’s marketing and invested millions of pounds in Harlequin properties but now find themselves in the calamitous position of not knowing the outcome of their investments.

We call on Harlequin to listen to its investors carefully and to tell them the plain truth about where they stand regarding the current status of their investments and, equally importantly, what the future holds. Anything short of a honest discussion will be unacceptable. We sincerely hope that investors will have productive discussions with Harlequin.”

Gareth Fatchett, Risk Warning

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Filed under Barbados