Tag Archives: Political Corruption

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler silent on CLICO’s political donations to DLP

Sinckler: “Bajans aren’t mature or intelligent enough to see raw or incomplete data. They might draw conclusions different from what the government wants.”

How else should voters interpret Mr. Sinckler’s recent statement that the 30-day judicial manager’s report on CLICO International Life Insurance Limited should be kept hidden? Mr. Sinckler wants the big-ups and elites to put everything together in a tidy little report that directs Bajans to whatever conclusion the elites want to sell us.

“Let’s get this straight, Mr. Sinckler: Bajans don’t trust you or your government to tell the truth about CLICO.”

The late Prime Minister Thompson was way too close to CLICO’s Leroy Parris. David Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer when proper financial statements weren’t filed for ten years. And when it all hit the fan for CLICO and CL Financial, Thompson used the power of his Prime Minister’s office to deny judicial oversight. Not to mention the cushy job he gave to Leroy Parris at the CBC that allowed the government to control the news about this fraud.

“We know now that on May 15, 2005 while acting as CLICO’s lawyer, David Thompson signed a secret contract between CLICO and Leroy Parris’ private company that in effect deceived shareholders into believing that Parris was being paid less than he really was.”

…from the BFP article Leroy Parris’ defence of Prime Minister David Thompson rings hollow now

Friends forever: Finance Minister Sinckler & Leroy Parris chatting over champagne

Finally, the DLP received big money from CLICO in the form or political donations and who knows what else on the side, including executive jet use for free when the cost was tens of thousands of dollars or more per ride. The DLP was brought into power in good part through the big money of CLICO.

That was OUR MONEY that was given to the DLP. The money that policy holders and investors placed with CLICO in good faith and it was sucked out of the company into phony land purchases, mansions in Florida and who knows how much into YOUR POLITICAL POCKET MR. SINCKLER.

Answer the policy holders this Mr. Sinckler, or sit down and shut up:

“How much did the DLP Democratic Labour Party and the candidates receive from CLICO and associated companies and persons in the last 15 years?”

Until you answer that question Mr. Sinckler, just sit down and shut up. We’ve heard enough of your opinions on how this fraud should be investigated, thank you.

Signed,

A policy holder and a victim.

Further Reading

You should go to Barbados Today to read the story about Sinckler, but we’ll reprint the entire passage here because the Barbados news media has a habit of re-writing history and deleting stories, and that includes staff at Barbados Today who used to be at The Nation.

So read the story at Barbados Today, but if it’s gone, then read it here… Continue reading

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Andy Armstrong spills the beans about corruption and fraud

“Bravo Bravo, and again Bravo to Barbados Chamber of Commerce President”

by BFP reader “C7”

photo courtesy of The Bajan Reporter

The front page of last Wednesday’s Barbados Advocate stated BDS$566 million in fraud annually in Barbados. And on page 7 we saw a photo of Andy Armstrong in pensive mood, and repeating what William Layne said earlier: ‘you tend to get the most corruption and fraud where the public sector and the private sector intersect.’

You will notice, perhaps, the careful choice of the two words, “Public Sector”.

Well it was astounding to hear the president of the BCCI spill the beans – not that many of us were not already fully aware of the corruption.

We hope a lot more will be made of this brave Andyian submission. If will be interesting to see what the government block responds. Probably nothing will be heard and members of the press don’t have the courage to ask.

With no Integrity Legislation or Freedom of Information laws in Barbados, the corruption between the private sector and the government sector will continue. It must be horrendously bad for the President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce to mention it yet again.

Editor’s note: We ask our readers to head over to the Barbados Advocate to read their original article as it’s only fair. The link appears in our story above. Unfortunately the Barbados Advocate has a record of changing history by erasing or modifying their articles and news archives, so we have to print their entire article here to support our own article… Continue reading

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A positive direction for Trinidad and Tobago

“Even when I consider the disastrous Reshmi-gate episode, that list adds up to substantial progress in the right direction. Democracy is a messy affair and coalition politics has particular challenges, so progress will be uneven, with some pauses along the way.”

Afra Raymond is cautiously encouraged by the People’s Partnership government.

Cautiously, of course…

Setting the Standard

by Afra Raymond

The PP government is establishing a ‘new normal’ insofar as ethics and acceptable standards of behaviour in public office are concerned. As with any real-time and complex situation, the signals are mixed, but from my point of view, the direction is a welcome one.

To me, the main positive signs were –

• Coup Enquiry – The July announcement of the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 attempted Coup, now underway, was most welcome. It seems certain that we would still be waiting in vain, if either Manning or Panday were still in power.

• CL Financial bailout – Dookeran’s decision to review the payout to beneficiaries of the bailout was necessary and long-overdue. Dookeran has done his cause no favours by with-holding the accounts and seeming to suppress vital information, but the decision to revise the bailout terms was a sound one. On that occasion, he also took the steps of introducing relief for Hindu Credit Union depositors, which was a step in the direction of equity. Even those of us who did not support any bailout can concede that point.

• On October 1st, the Prime Minister resisted the temptation to use the PP’s Parliamentary majority to force through a new law to limit the legal rights of CLICO policyholders. The PM chose to set aside that legislative proposal and embark on an act of persuasion. That was a defining moment in our nation’s development of a democratic culture. The announcement of a Commission of Enquiry into the entire financial collapse (CL Financial and HCU) was another high point.

• Nizam Mohammed’s removal as Chairman of the Police Service Commission was overdue in my view, but not because of his ‘last-ditch/red-herring’ attempts to martyr himself. His primary and unpardonable offence, given his position, was his bold-faced abuse of power in that traffic police episode.

• Even Mary King’s removal from office earlier this week was a welcome sign despite the doubts over who knew what and when. That was a good move because it is the first time a Minister has been fired for acting in a manner which causes reasonable suspicion. Up until now in this country the rule followed by the various Ruling Parties has been the ‘wrong and strong’ one, joined-up with the ‘do as I say and not as I do’ one. To have moved away from those immoral practices is a big step in the right direction, despite the ragged edges.

Even when I consider the disastrous Reshmi-gate episode, that list adds up to substantial progress in the right direction. Democracy is a messy affair and coalition politics has particular challenges, so progress will be uneven, with some pauses along the way. But progress we must. Continue reading

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Bahamas Member of Parliament gets it wrong about Barbados election financing

Former Bahamas Attorney General probably believed the lies

Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears is holding up Barbados as an example in his campaign to outlaw secret political contributions.

“Mr. Sears, who was a guest on Love 97’s Sunday talk show, Jones & Company, said in many countries, like Barbados there is legislation against (secret political contributions).”

While we wish Mr. Sears all the success in the world in his quest to bring transparency, integrity and accountability to the political process in the Bahamas, we have to correct his mistaken notion that Barbados is a model to be followed.

  • Barbados has no election financing rules
  • No public disclosure requirements for political donations.
  • No Freedom of Information Act
  • No Integrity Legislation
  • No Conflicts of Interest rules.

Election Financing in Barbados: Anything goes

Barbados politicians are allowed to accept secret donations from any person or company, whether Barbadian or not. There is no limit as to the amount of money they can accept, and no restriction on politicians or their family members from receiving personal gifts or employment from companies that do business with the government or want to do business with the government.

click for large

As an example, if some political supporter wants to give $75,000 to a politician as a “campaign donation”, there is no legal requirement for the politician to reveal the donation publicly or even to place the donation into a designated bank account. ‘Matter a fact, our former Prime Minister Owen $ Arthur was caught out depositing a $75,000 “campaign donation” into his very own personal bank account. (cheque photo above)

Goin’ wid Owen would have gotten away with it except that then Opposition Leader David Thompson got up in Parliament and showed a copy of the cheque. A shamefaced Owen Arthur had to say “oops!” but no laws were broken. And that’s the way Barbados politicians want it!

Opposition MP Dr. William Duguid came right out and said that Barbados politicians would never pass integrity legislation or a Freedom of Information act and he was telling the truth.

Barbados politicians brag about Integrity Legislation and FOI “coming soon” but it never comes.

Bahamas MP Alfred Sears probably went to some conference where some lying Barbados politician told him that we have FOI, Integrity Legislation and Election Financing Laws. It’s happened before to another Caribbean politician as we’ve previously reported. (Clive can you dig up the story please, I’m off to work. M.)

Both the BLP and DLP have promised Integrity Legislation and FOI for decades but they lied. A few bills were proposed but always die before they pass into law. Then the government calls an election and says “We tried but those rotters in the opposition spoiled our efforts! Elect us again and we’ll finish it this time!”

Although Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation are talked about, NOBODY TALKS ABOUT ELECTION FINANCING LAWS! Oh no… noooooooo way Barbados politicians will even talk about Election Financing limitations and disclosure rules. You mek sport!

So our best wishes to Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears, and he shouldn’t worry that the Barbados politicians fooled him. Those lying bastards have been fooling Bajans for four decades and we keep believing them – so you can hardly blame Mr. Sears for believing them too.

Further Reading

The Bahama Journal: Outlaw Secret Contributions says MP

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A Barbados politician arrived in Heaven…

UPDATED: July 22, 2012

In honour of the Jersey politicians about to visit Barbados to consult with and take advice from Bajan politicians (Yeah. No kidding!), Barbados Free Press revisits this wonderful tale of a Bajan politician choosing between Heaven and Hell…

Original story first published August 30, 2011…

‘Integrity Legislation? That’s a good one!’ laughs the devil as he slaps his knee and pours the drinks…

While staggering down the side of the road one afternoon near Grape Hall, a well known Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a garbage truck and dies.

After a short stop in Bridgetown to pick up a cheap bottle of E.S.A.F. rum, his soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St. Peter. ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a BLP or DLP politician around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’ Continue reading

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Freedom of Information, Integrity Legislation “Died with David Thompson. It was his promise…”

“Integrity Legislation? Freedom of Information? All that died with David Thompson. It was his promise and his agenda. The economy must be the priority…”

… said at a DLP gathering as reported by NeverMind Kurt

DLP Strategy: Everything must stand aside for the economy

Nation Newspaper layoffs directly related to politics!

by Nevermind Kurt

The promised Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation is dead, dead, dead. The Democratic Labour Party’s only problem is how to delay the legislation until the next election without being seen to delay the legislation.

The answer is to elevate the economy to the number one priority and to convince Bajans that there is no time and no room right now to work on the promised Integrity Legislation and FOI. It’s all about the economy, you see. We’re in a crisis that is worldwide. “All hands on deck for the economy” is the strategy to delay FOI and Integrity Legislation until after the next election.

It almost sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Another strategy being talked about by DLP folks is to delay the FOI and Integrity Legislation until very close to the election, and then when the BLP Opposition says one word against it, call the election over the Integrity Legislation and FOI. Harley Henry and his friends are devious but no fools.

Continue reading

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Whither the promised Integrity Legislation?

Or should that be “Wither the promised Integrity Legislation” ?

… from a reader who didn’t let us know if we could use their name

The Democratic Labour Party  in its 2008 Manifesto promised to “immediately introduce Integrity Legislation requiring a declaration of assets by public officials and a code of conduct for Ministers”. Indeed, the DLP made the absence of such legislation after thirteen years of governance by the Owen Arthur administration one of the major issues during the last general election campaign, as it sought to link some members of the Barbados Labour Party government with lack of transparency and accountability and with corrupt practices in public office.

The Prevention of Corruption Bill is however still to be  debated in Parliament after three years of DLP governance. Serious doubt now exists as to whether integrity legislation will indeed be enacted by this particular Parliament, considering the utterances by some Government Members of Parliament since the general election as to their individual willingness to declare their assets. Continue reading

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Arch Cot Disaster: Links to Mia Mottley & family discovered

Updated May 14, 2011

Canadian geologist Professor Hans Machel testified the week of May 9, 2011 at the Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of the Codrington family at Arch Cot. We’ll be putting up a new Arch Cot story, but for now have a read or re-read of our March 13, 2011 piece about the Mottley family connection and the unanswered questions about how a powerful Barbados family received land permissions when others were denied…

Powerful Mottley family obtained Arch Cot land use permissions denied to previous owner!

Will the Arch Cot Inquest follow up on our story?

“The Mottley family bought Arch Cot scrub land that couldn’t be built on and then got planning permission when the previous owner couldn’t. They made some quick and easy money.”

“Look at these documents I’ve attached. The people of Barbados deserve an explanation from the Mottley family and from the government officials who granted the land use permissions to the Mottleys that they refused to give the previous owner.”

The following was received via an anonymous emailer. Once again we remind all readers to keep an open mind and to keep asking the questions that need to be asked. Just because somebody says so, doesn’t make it true, but this story should be simple enough that the coroner could find the truth if she wants to. Continue reading

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Leroy Parris’ defence of Prime Minister David Thompson rings hollow now

We know now that on May 15, 2005 while acting as CLICO’s lawyer, David Thompson signed a secret contract between CLICO and Leroy Parris’ private company that in effect deceived shareholders into believing that Parris was being paid less than he really was.

After the CLICO house of cards fell, CLICO told the government Oversight Committee – a toothless creation of Prime Minister David Thompson – that the company had no record or knowledge of the Clico’s contracts with Leroy Parris.

Prime Minster David Thompson kept silent although he knew the truth.

Those who say that Thompson had to keep silent about a matter that happened when he was CLICO’s lawyer only emphasize how unethical it was for Prime Minister Thompson to be hands-on during the CLICO meltdown as he was. It was fine for David Thompson to maintain the client confidentiality of something he did when he was a lawyer. It was unethical for him to insert himself into the workings of the CLICO oversight while he was still protecting CLICO and Parris.

I am sorry to say that David Thompson – the man who promised us transparency, ethical government, Freedom of Information legislation, Conflict of Interest standards and integrity legislation – betrayed us in his words and in his deeds.

David Thompson chose to protect CLICO and his friend Leroy over the interests of the people of Barbados and other CLICO shareholders and victims.

Clico ad - click for large

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Arthur again attempted to politicize the CLICO issue last Sunday by suggesting that Prime Minister David Thompson is to blame and should be made to account for the company’s present situation. It is public knowledge that Mr. Thompson served as a lawyer for CLICO before he became prime minister. He was not the only one and several other lawyers also did work for the company. Mr. Thompson was not involved in any way in the management of CLICO’s affairs. He only provided legal advice which management was free to accept or reject, as was the case with any other attorney.”

… from an advert published by Leroy Parris on Friday March 26, 2010.

 

Dear Mr. Parris,

I read your spirited March 26, 2010 advert where you say that Owen Arthur wanted CLICO to serve as “cash cow for the BLP” in the 2007/2008 Barbados election campaign.

From the little information that has appeared in the media, we know that CLICO and CL Financial gave big money to politicians in the Caribbean, but we don’t know how much you, your family, CLICO or associated companies gave in Barbados over the last, say, 10 years.

Well, Mr. Parris? How much money did CLICO and its associated companies channel to David Thompson and the DLP over the last 10 years?

This is our formal invitation to you Mr. Parris: If anything we’ve said is incorrect, write us from an email address that we can confirm is yours and we’ll publish what you have to say without change or comment, and allow you to communicate with the same audience that read this article.

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British anti-corruption team may refuse to deal with certain Turks and Caicos lawyers

<- click to visit TCI Post

“In her letter, Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick emphasised “close family” connections between attorney and accused. Garlick therefore concluded that the investigations may be “prejudiced” or otherwise put at risk. Continue reading

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Two Barbados political parties argue over who is most corrupt

The author of this hit piece calls himself “Dave U. Random” and he’s obviously a DLP supporter. The style is vaguely familiar but the tactics are undoubtedly inspired by DLP backroom manipulator Hartley Henry.

That’s okay. We’ll further the discussion by printing one sided pieces from the BLP too!

But we haven’t forgotten, and we want Bajans to remember, that there’s not a lick ‘o difference between the two large political parties in Barbados. Not a lick ‘o difference in philosophy or practice – only a different bunch of piggies fighting over the public trough.

As Member of Parliament Dr. Duguid said, there’s no way any Barbados politician will vote for Integrity Legislation.

So relax, sit back and enjoy the show as the DLP and BLP try to convince Bajans that THIS TIME it’s gonna be different. Honest, Honey, I’ll never hurt you again. Trust me. I promise…

Corruption and corrupt people now rule the BLP

by Dave U. Random

The Barbados Labour Party is becoming a war zone with the ‘gang of five’ now trying desperate measures to destroy “the decent four.”  They cannot get Mia Mottley or William Duguid because they have pedigree so the soft targets in that mix are Rawle Eastman and Cynthia Forde.  We have already told you that Clyde Mascoll will be the BLP’s candidate in St. Thomas, while Douglas Skeete (George Payne’s cousin) will replace Rawle Eastman in St. James North., hence a scheme had to be hatched and carefully executed, to discredit Forde and Eastman. Continue reading

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Commission of Enquiry into the failure of CL Financial Limited, et al

“It is my submission that the means by which our political parties are financed is at the very heart of this affair.”

“…the very purpose of the Enquiry will be frustrated unless the Terms of Reference are robustly interpreted.”

“Political Party financing is at the centre of the fiasco.”

Afra Raymond’s second submission to the Commission

by Afra Raymond

Afra Raymond’s second submission to the Commission of Enquiry into the failure of CL Financial Limited, Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited, Clico Investment Bank Limited, Caribbean Money Market Brokers Limited, and The Hindu Credit Union Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited

My name is Afra Martin Raymond and I am a Chartered Surveyor, being a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.  I am Managing Director of Raymond & Pierre Limited – Chartered Valuation Surveyors, Real Estate Agents and Property Consultants.  I am also the President of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC), an umbrella organisation which represents the interests of Engineers, Surveyors, Architects, Town Planners and Contractors in this Republic.

This submission is being made in my personal capacity and does not represent the position of either Raymond & Pierre Limited or the JCC.

My work on this vital issue has all been based on the public record and can be seen at www.afraraymond.com. I am willing to give oral evidence before the Commission.

My areas for focus in this submission are –

Fiduciary Duty of Directors and Officers

The burning question is – When did the Directors and Officers of CL Financial (CLF) know that the group was heading to collapse?  When did the Directors and Officers of the failed subsidiaries know?

What did they know and when did they know it?

How much warning did their management controls give them?  The question is pertinent and the time-line is instructive – Continue reading

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What happened to the DLP’s stories of BLP corruption?

Lance is a woodworker with something to say. This is his first post from his new blog. Welcome to the blogosphere, Lance!

Corruption, the biggest hindrance to progress in Barbados!

What has happened to all the corruption the Democratic Labour Party alluded to during their 2007 political campaign? Have they since turned a blind eye to the said, while ultimately embracing it all? And what has happened to checks and balances and accountability in government, and the declaring of assets so one will understand how certain ministers can gets so rich after coming to office. Barbados is rapidly slipping to the edge of the abyss due to the subtle corruption which permeates the society, and while I’m well aware that these issues might not be very comfortable to discuss… we however, can’t bury our heads in the sand any longer and pretend they don’t exist here in Barbados, and therefore continue to naively believe we’re living in a paradise, where all’s well in the country.

What has happened to the monies stolen from certain government institutions, including the Psychiatric hospital and the post office. I haven’t heard if anyone has even been reprimanded in the least, let alone convicted for such thieveries. Is it because it wasn’t a hungry, poor person stealing a tin of corn beef and a pack of biscuits to eat, who no doubt would have been brought swiftly to justice for such acts once caught?

Why is it so difficult here in Barbados to go after and convict perpetrators of white collar crimes? Are they above the law?

It’s no wonder why many Barbadians are now of the view and rightfully so, that the rule of law is healthily designed to shield certain persons of elite status in our society. Is that the reason why it took police four days to finally gain access to a property in one of our gated communities some three years ago when they were called in relation to a domestic dispute? And what has every happened to the lawyer and son who’ve allegedly beaten the 15 year old boy black and blue in the upscale gated community of Highgate Gardens, while taking a short cut to his Britton’s Hill home four year ago?

…continue reading this editorial at Lance Global blog

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Barbados DLP and BLP must return proceeds of crime to Allen Stanford’s victims

Barbados politicians received Stanford money – stolen money.

The same anonymous insider who accurately tipped us off to the 3S scandal now reports that Allen Stanford gave political donations to both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party.

Our source says that both US and UK Authorities contacted the current Government of Barbados about various Stanford financial transactions that occurred in or through Barbados. A small part of the information received, (almost as an afterthought, according to the source) contains details of Standford companies’ political donations and expenditures in Barbados.

With this in mind, the question must be asked: Continue reading

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What happened to the duty-free Cricket World Cup BMWs?

Sweetheart deals and no public auctions to dispose of government BMWs

A few weeks ago The Nation published the above photo of former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur apparently about to enter a BMW 4×4. Nice wheels, Owen!

As you will recall, the Arthur/Mottley BLP Government allowed an unknown (read ‘secret’) number of new BMW autos to be imported duty free into Barbados for the Cricket World Cup. After Barbados Free Press raised a fuss and questioned who would end up owning them for cheap, the public was told that no big-wigs would end up with the duty-free autos after CWC. Continue reading

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Children, poor people to fill empty seats at Commonwealth Games

Barbados vs England Net Ball – 58 spectators including players’ families

A quick thought before bed about the Delhi Commonwealth Games. In a country of a billion people, 58 spectators showed up to watch Barbados and England play net ball. 20 people occupied 5000 seats for the first tennis match and on Tuesday no more than 100 people sat in the 19,000 seat MDC field hockey stadium.

Lately these mega events are missing the mark in many areas. As we saw ourselves in Barbados with Cricket World Cup, the organisers always wildly over-estimate the spectators, economic and social benefits that the mega-events will bring. They always grossly exaggerate their capabilities and resources available to bring it off successfully.

The host country’s taxpayers end up paying for the mistakes – sometimes for decades. Always the same. In Barbados the hundred million dollars plus that could have been used for a new hospital instead sits in our Cricket Palace. Even former Tourism Minister Noel Lynch after a rum or two would have to admit that Cricket World Cup would have been just fine at the old Kensington just the way it was, wouldn’t it?

Where is our new hospital? Continue reading

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Noel Lynch and The Nation newspaper – Partners in hypocrisy

Nation Newspaper selective in quest for morality and justice

Adrian Loveridge writes…

“I must admit that I find the editorial in the NATION today (Monday 23rd August) rather hypocritical.

Where was the same indig(nation) when the then Minister of Tourism refused to share a radio studio with me?

Imagine for one second if it was the other way around. Continue reading

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Barbados Labour Party wants answers from Barbados Free Press

Official Opposition asks Barbados Free Press to reconsider an earlier article

The Barbados Labour Party is requesting that we provide statements on a number of issues raised in BFP’s September 22, 2007 article Drunken Sailor Spending By Barbados Government Will Result In Increased VAT And Other Taxes.

In a story carried today on the official Barbados Labour Party Blog, the Opposition party asks where BFP now stands on a then-predicted increase in VAT and other taxes as well as our accusations of wrong doing against the BLP’s Owen Arthur government.

The Barbados Labour Party also asks if Barbados Free Press is “really for the people or just another DLP mouth piece trying to fool people that you are independent.” Continue reading

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