CLICO policy holders will never see a dollar for this ‘fire sale’ of assets
submitted by Parris Pauper
The Barbados Government is moving to ‘compulsorily acquire’ the Sam Lord’s Castle ruins and lands. As Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley stated, Sam Lord’s is being acquired “for housing purposes, tourism development and beach access.”
Sam Lord’s Castle has been owned by CLICO for almost ten years (memory fails – if someone has the exact date CLICO purchased Sam Lord’s, speak up please) and is an incredibly valuable piece of property if developed. The hold-up to development approval was always the historic Sam Lord’s Castle building, but just as Barbados Free Press predicted in April 2009 – a fire took care of that little impediment.
If anything, the burning of Sam Lord’s Castle raised the end value of the land because the historic building was totally destroyed and ceased to be a major political obstacle in new development. Only the facia remains and this could be incorporated into any new structure if it doesn’t totally fall down first.
With the collapse of CLICO, the DLP government moved to grab the asset. They didn’t move to protect the public interest in the historic building before the CLICO collapse because Leroy Parris, David Thompson and the DLP were tight as thieves and the idea was to allow Parris to let the building fall to ruin, then maximize the profit from the lands.
And there was also that one little sticking point about the DLP never acting responsibly at the time to protect the interests of Bajans: Prime Minister Thompson and Leroy Parris were godfather to each other’s children. Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer for over a decade when the company failed to file financial statements and broke the law, and CLICO Parris et al were major financial contributors to the DLP.
CLICO was a very messy conflict of interest indeed for Thompson and the DLP.
Fortunately for the DLP though, David Thompson is now conveniently dead and revered instead of being subject to what would have been a tsunami of Opposition attacks over the CLICO cover-up and conflicts of interest.
Now the DLP government is going to take Sam Lord’s and sell it to make some good profits. Or… perhaps sell it to friends at a low price so the friends can make the profits and kickback some contributions to the DLP. That’s how things work around here, you know.
Here is the one truth in my article that you should remember above all else if you are a CLICO policy holder or other victim…
The Barbados Government will never pay CLICO for Sam Lord’s Castle. No matter whether the asset is fairly valued or under-valued, not one dollar of government money will be transferred to the assets of CLICO where the money could benefit the victims.
Instead there will be some finagling with the books and some credit or swap against CLICO’s real or contrived debt to the government coffers.
The pillaging of the good CLICO assets continues to the ultimate detriment of the poor suckers who believed that the Barbados Superintendent of Insurance and the Barbados Government were looking after policyholders’ interests.
Parris and his gang were able to do what they did only because they had the cooperation and friendship of Caribbean governments. Indeed, it could truly be said that in the case of Barbados, CLICO, Parris and Thompson owned the DLP government.
Policyholders: kiss your assets goodbye.
BFP, October 21, 2010: Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris
BFP, April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle