The VECO Saga Continues~Where Does Barbados Fit Into The Puzzle?

It has all the ingredients of a John Le Carre thriller.

Corruption, extortion, conspiracy, a company chief executive pleading guilty to bribing state legislators, another employee appointed to oversee the firm’s project in Barbados committing suicide, one Senator being investigated by the FBI and others being pressured to resign. At least 7 persons have so far been charged with serious criminal offences in connection with a corporation called VECO.

VECO and its wholly owned subsidiary, Commonwealth Construction are the companies contracted by the Government of Barbados to build both the Oil Terminal and new prison facility at Dodds. While, various construction costs have been aired in the media, the two projects are estimated to co the taxpayer around $400 million.

Two aspects of this scenario puzzle me!

First VECO has absolutely no previous proven experience in constructing prisons and secondly the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating VECO for at least seven years. According to a media report published 29 June 2005*, the two tendering bid proposals to construct the prison ‘were evaluated by a technical committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Finance, which unanimously recommended VECO for the job’.Visit the FBI website and you will see that they have a presence in Barbados, through what they call the Legal Attache’ based at the US Embassy in Bridgetown. We are left to wonder then, whether any due diligence checks were made on VECO prior to awarding the contracts?

Adrian Loveridge

10 June 2007

* Source Daily Nation 29 June 2005 ‘US firm to build new jail at Dodds

The letter to the BU has been published without edit.

BU must confess that we have not been following this story as closely as our friends over at the Barbados Free Press. We feel obligated however to remain interested in this story if only because if VECO has shown a corrupt tendency in other places where they have done business, there is a healthy chance that they would have done the same in Barbados with current projects given the character of our barefoot politicians. We sincerely hope that this is not the case because it would forever tarnish the solid reputation which Barbados has enjoyed over many years.

We have published in a previous story that the tendering process on the development of the Pier Head project was aborted because VECO submitted a tender. The government agency responsible obviously thought it prudent to rescind the bid effort to avoid the political fall-out. Remember that Minister Lynch has responsibility for the agency which would have overseen the tendering process.

The point which we are making is that politics touches almost everything we have to do in our country. It means that our politicians as servants of the people must ensure the process is transparent!

Related Stories

Attorney General Dale Marshall Needs To Clear The Air About The VECO Barbados Relationship

VECO and The Barbados Connection ~Barbados Free Press Is On Your Scent

7 thoughts on “The VECO Saga Continues~Where Does Barbados Fit Into The Puzzle?

  1. Thank goodness at least david thompson in today’s sunday sun is talking about his party introducing integrity legislation and his members of parliament declaring their assets yearly.

    Hope that would stop some of the mealy-mouth critics who keep trying to equate him with the blp crooks.

    However I would like him to go further and let us know that he is going to hire forensic accountants to do audits in all of these large government projects and some private/public sector ones too.

    We want corrupt politicians in jail,not drinking champagne and whiskey and collecting their hefty pensions.

    Almost all the current Blp politicians,bar probably 2 are in line for pensions because they have served at least 2 terms already,so they don’t care if they lose their seats now,they set up for life what with the money they done tief and stash away and the large pension cheques which will be coming in.

  2. The commitment of the DLP on the issue of integrity and Transparency is an unfolding process. The commitment is there and will not flounder in the policy wasteland.

  3. At BU we are aware that the derivative of the word politician has its root in the Latin meaning “to promise”. Forgive us if we appear skeptical to think that David if elected would lock-up Dale Marshall, Clyde Mascoll or Cupid Gill who are all Combermerians. We do not even talk about the power of brotherhood.
    We use the names above as examples only.

    For there to be change it must require a new way of politicking and governance in Barbados.

  4. Thank You BU.

    We want an undertaking from the Dlp for quick investigation,prosecution and lock -up.

    We don’t want long drawn out wasteful commisions of inquiries,nor do we want a lotta long talk.

    We want new politics bout here.

  5. In regard to the BLP as we already have them and know fully well how corrupt they are remember the cheque that Owing deposited to his account for the tidy sum of $ 750,000.00???
    Remember the jail starting at $ 120 million but was $ 25 million to high and was awarded to these overseas clowns but is now costing us in excess of $ 300 million???
    Remember the freedom or lack thereof of the press???
    Remember Glyne Clarke living on Gov’t lands???
    Remember Liz Thompson wasting away the millions against all the best advice in the world on
    Remember the same Liz Thompson Giving that changing facility to her husband to build you remember how much is was over inflated by??? we could have built a dozen for the price of her husbands???
    Remember the fiasco of CWC the Visa spectacle ask Mottley about that???
    Remember the Lynch saying he knew nothing about the loan for the tiny sum of US $ 15 million or that we were having 90,000 visitors in 700 yachts of which 75,000 where accomodated on cruise ships???
    Remember the same Lynch not wanting to sit in the same studio with Adrian Loveridge ( in other situations that would be said to be racism but not this time because the white man is the one slighted) but more importantly remember the question asked of him where as public servant where this mammoth turn around in his wealth come from and he stormed out of the studio???
    These are some of the issues of a more recent vintage that you need to reply to, these are current and live and doing continued damage to our society, your comments are eagerly awaited especially your clarification on this cheque of $ 750,000.00 we need to hear all about this one is it still in Owings bank account or has it now moved to Julie’s????


    “We need him elected.”
    Posted by Alaska_Politics

    Posted: September 12, 2007 – 10:40 am

    From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –

    I’m blogging from the federal courthouse downtown, where I’ve been sitting through the corruption trial of former state reprentative Pete Kott. This morning’s action has so far consisted of jurors hearing FBI tapes of then-Veco executives Bill Allen and Rick Smith’s tapped cell phones.

    “I’ve got some more checks for you,” Smith tells Allen in a conversation on July 22, 2006. “I got eight grand for you right now.”

    “You had ten the other day,” Kott objects. “You spend two?”

    They also talked about when Veco was going to put together a fundraiser for Kott at the Petroleum Club in Anchorage. Jurors then heard a tapped conversation between Allen and Smith from July 30,2006.
    The scamp must be singing like a bird, Owing , Nicholls and Bannister hope you are listening because I am sure that the FBI are.
    Time is longer than twine !!!!

    And another page

    Wonder when we will hear how much was paid to Owing, Nicholls and Bannister for the prison contract?

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