Tag Archives: Trinidad

Afra Raymond on the Invader’s Bay scandal and High Court ruling

afra raymond CMMB

“The entire process possesses all the ingredients for corruption, I maintain that view.”

Our friend Afra Raymond remains a solid asset to disgusted Trinis and the rest of the Caribbean in the fight against corruption by public officials. Trinidad’s Invader’s Bay scandal is representative of the types of corruption that unfortunately permeates the Caribbean, and Afra has been right on top of the story from the first moment. It is probably accurate to say that Afra’s detailed reporting on the story has the government vexed, and influences the government response and strategies.

Power of the press belongs to those who have one – and Afra has one.

Head over to Afra Raymond’s blog for the latest stories about corruption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Afra Raymond: Reality Check

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Filed under Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond on Invader’s Bay: “A large-scale act of intentional illegality…”

“If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.”

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Since my previous article on this controversial proposal, we have seen that certain legal advice reportedly considered by the government has been featured in another newspaper, The Guardian.  If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.

My main concerns are –

CONSULTATION?

Compare the lack of consultation at Invader’s Bay with what happens elsewhere.  In particular, the large waterfront lands near the city centre of San Fernando at  King’s Wharf, which has been the subject of ongoing public consultations over the years.  The press reports that various design and redevelopment concepts were presented to and discussed with a widely-based audience.

Whatever the criticisms one might make of the King’s Wharf proposals, it is undeniable that views have been sought from the public/stakeholders and various proposals have been made for consideration.

The JCC and its Kindred Associations in Civil Society met with Ministers Tewarie and Cadiz on 26 September 2011 to express our serious concerns.  Yet, when Minister Tewarie was challenged by the JCC and others as to the complete failure to consult with the public, the only example of consultation he could cite was the very meeting we had insisted on, which took place after publication of the Ministry’s Request for Proposals (RFP) and just about one week before the closing-date for proposals.

This Minister obviously does not consider public consultation to be a serious element in real development, notwithstanding the lyrics about innovation, planning and, of course, Sustainability and the Cultural Sector.  Just consider the way in which East Port-of-Spain is being discussed within that same Ministry.  The prospects for sustainable economic development of East POS must be linked with the Invader’s Bay lands, there is no doubt about that.  What is more, to carry-on as though the two parts of the capital can enjoy prosperity in isolation from each other is to trade in dangerous nonsense.

When criticising the large-scale physical development plans of the last administration, ‘dangerous nonsense’ is exactly what I had accused them of dealing in. Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Clico and Barbados: So Many Unanswered Questions, So Many Suspicious Activities By Government And Friends Of Government

“Wife came home last night with the story on how the whole CLICO thing unfolded for them. Seems some one in the Bahamas had 100 million invested with CLICO and needed the money back, because they (Bahamas) were in tights!

CLICO doesn’t have 100 Big Ones sitting around to handle large redemptions, and couldn’t borrow that from any Bank in T&T and so was forced to approach Gov’t.(central Bank) to cover dey ass. Word then got out about this ‘failing’,  and a run started.”

“On another topic – what I “discovered” about CL Financial is that it is a PRIVATE company and evidently does not publish financial statements available to the public! How can a financial institution, particularly one of that size, NOT have to publish its financial reports? Anyone who invested one cent in that group deserves to lose their funds. That situation is a total disaster and should not be allowed to happen again.”

… above taken from some emails making their way around in Barbados.

Barbados Central Bank Bailout – In Exchange For Exactly What?

The story that is being given to the Bajan public is that CLICO’s Barbados interests and subsidiary are entirely independent from the troubled Trinidadian parent company and therefore we Bajans shouldn’t worry. Oh… “they” say that all those millions that the Government of Barbados pledged to CLICO’s benefit are “just in case” and “to show faith” in the company.

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory this morning points out some of the false information that we are being told about CLICO Barbados.

For instance, did you know that CLICO Barbados made loans to the Trinidadian head corporation for US$50 million? That my friends is over 10% of the insurer’s asset base that is probably worth less than nothing now.

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

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

To Whom The Benefit?

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory’s concern with where our bailout money is going is reflected in the email displayed at the top of this article. CLICO parent company CL Financial is a PRIVATE company that publishes no financial records publically.

IF you had control of where your personal tax dollars were invested, wouldn’t you demand full disclosure before you loaned money to a private company? Wouldn’t you want some real and unencumbered collateral to back the loan?

CLICO Barbados owns some rather nice land that just happens to be smack in the middle of the proposed Graeme Hall National Park.

The Barbados Government should not have loaned that money to CLICO – they should have purchased that land for the people of Barbados!

Too bad that Prime Minister Thompson couldn’t exert any pressure on his old pal Leroy Parris. After all, we’d hate to have to give up those free rides to New York and Miami on CLICO’s business jet, wouldn’t we Mr. Thompson?

Further Reading

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory: Is “Weak” CLICO Barbados Subsidiary Bankrolling Trinidad HQ?

BFP: Clico On Life Support – Will Barbados Prime Minister Thompson Favour His Patron Leroy Parris, Or The People Of Barbados?

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