Corrupt Officials And Politicians

Submitted by BU family member ROK

Former Head of Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission

Former Head of Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission

I see in the news today a call by the USA for Leroy King, The CEO of Antigua and Barbuda’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission, to be held pending an extradition process. The first question that comes to mind is whether we now have to depend on the US to clean up our corruption acts in the Caribbean? Of course, the way I have seen corruption work, there is always a politician in the wings that is shielded when the shit hits the fan.

The best clue is when you see decisions being made that are bizarre. My biggest fear is all the talk about attracting foreign investment. Then we complain of the changing landscape and usually when we attract this kind of foreign investment there is always corruption; for example, to get decision through to facilitate the transfer of money. People in the know buy up properties and get windfall profits; Town Planning or some other department makes a decision to give permission or the OK for something which runs counter to expectation.

Then when these acts are done, we hear speeches in the media, for example, justifying foreign investment or information suddenly becomes available that was not available before but tweaked to justify some seeming irregularity. I think we have to learn to identify corruption, but it is not a question of finding a culprit to prosecute, although this would break the ice, but it is a question of people putting pressure to end arrangements when they run counter to all commonsense.

This is a position that we need to adopt. We need to start a few pickets. First the FTC for the bad decisions it is making in granting C&W a raise; for allowing a RIO that will simply fleece consumers; for allowing a price cap to be introduced with values that allows the monopoly to fleece its customers.

Then we look at the West Coast and the foolishness being allowed in the name of making big money. When I lived on the West Coast I used to drink as much water as possible from town before I got home because I could not take the funny taste of the water. All the chemicals you could ever want. There is a situation in St. Peter which a Barbadian has been trying to fight for years. He was refused permission to build because the land is situated in a Zone one, yet, right next door to him are two properties for which white people were given permission to build.

When I look at the map, it was drawn in such a way, that these two stretches of land, are miraculously skirted like a pocket, giving these white people permission to build and all the black people around them got no permission. Now unless we can find the resources to call in engineers to check that zone 1, we have no case; or if there were engineers who cared enough to check as a matter of civic responsibility.

I am very concerned about corruption. I have seen innocent people get hurt; sometimes whole communities because of corrupt officials… but people are not willing to support one another in these conditions. You see, it is hard to get the evidence and a fellow with a legitimate grouse will be made to seem as a madman or barking up the wrong tree and he will get no support from his fellowmen. If somehow, we can come up with a formula for discouraging corruption, we would be a lot further than we are today as a nation.

Finally, the one grouse I have with the BLP is its ability to grip the population with fear. It renders men spineless and opens the door for rampant corruption. A perfect example is the UDC, right under our noses. All the contractors who worked with UDC can give you their stories but they are/were afraid to come forward and say, lest they got no more work; so the corruption was allowed to continue. Moreso, the question is whether the media would print the story.

As a result of paying kick-backs, many contractors had to resort to using second hand or inferior materials. Many ended up doing shoddy workmanship because of the greed of the officials. They ended up taking the fall for corrupt officials so they could get more work. I know of a case where a contractor was given a house to build, he ended up spending a bit more on the foundation but for the recipient’s sake, he did not mind. All he wanted was part of the last payment to finish off the partitions in the house because the roof was on.

Would you believe that because he did not give somebody a cut-back, they ended up nullifying his contract, condemning the work and issuing a new contract to another contractor for the same amount to build the same house all over again? Enough to say that the house was not demolished, but more like finished which was just a couple thousand dollars. So somebody went home with booty and a genuine contractor was left to lick his wounds.

Not good enough and if they challenge me I could find the contractor and locate the house too; as well as many more contractors who could testify to the corruption. I don’t know why the DLP hiding it up. Now that is another matter for discourse.

0 thoughts on “Corrupt Officials And Politicians

  1. Would you believe that because he did not give somebody a cut-back, they ended up nullifying his contract, condemning the work and issuing a new contract to another contractor for the same amount to build the same house all over again?

    Given the current state of affairs today, I wouldn’t just believe it; I would almost expect it.

    As for this:
    People in the know buy up properties and get windfall profits; Town Planning or some other department makes a decision to give permission or the OK for something which runs counter to expectation.

    That’s probably why the Town and Country Planning office still has only a link to the table of contents of the latest Physical Development Plan on their web site. Even though the link under “Downloads” on the right hand side of their home page reads: “Physical Development Plan – Amended 2003“, if you click on the link, all you get to actually see is the table of contents of said plan, not the plan itself.

    Check it out here:

    To review the plan itself you have to take yourself in person down to their office by the Garrison or go to a local public library. Sure you can take the trouble if you are sufficiently motivated to take the time out of your day to go and look at the plan, but they make sure that they will not do anything to make it simpler for citizens to either (a) verify which lands deemed worthy of protection in previous years has now been cleared for development or (b) check for themselves with a few mouse clicks to see what new development authorised for their neighborhood runs contrary to the plan.

  2. He got trapped in the US net, because America’s interests are involved.

    While CL Financial is lucky, Droopey, Parish, Henry and Thompey should still hold their breath:


    “FORENSIC investigator Robert Lindquist has uncovered what is being described as an elaborate scheme within the CL Financial Group, where annuities, with attractive returns, were being sold by insurance power house CLICO but that customers’ investments were being funnelled for ghost services to the group.

    Reliable sources have disclosed that the scheme, akin to the Ponzi scheme operated by Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff, was launched back in 1997 as CL executives took advantage of a loophole in the existing insurance legislation and excess liquidity in the marketplace.

    In Madoff’s case, the fraud, which US prosecutors say may have totalled nearly US$65 billion, turned him into an overnight global disgrace, as his name became synonymous with the current economic meltdown.

    In his court appearance in March, Madoff pleaded guilty to all 11 counts he was charged with, including fraud, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan and two counts of international money laundering.

    CLICO’s insurance agents, the Sunday Express was told, were rewarded with astronomical commissions to push the annuities which offered a 30 per cent return every year, far exceeding that offered by other insurance companies.

    Financial records under probe have revealed that large deposits were made to the Statutory Fund a month before the deadline, but the scheme began to collapse with the downturn in the economy and the slowdown in the sale of the annuities.

    Lindquist’s preliminary findings have also found that CL Financial purchased Jamaican rum producer Appleton for US$370 million, some US$150 million more than its original selling price.

    These revelations from the preliminary findings of Lindquist and his team of investigators come on the heels of Lawrence Duprey, last Tuesday, signing off on a new agreement that sees him relinquishing all control over the CL Financial Group.

    Sources said that for former CL Financial executive chairman Duprey and his team of his advisers, signing off on the new agreement was an about turn for them as they dropped their objections to several clauses, including the right of the State to pursue criminal investigations in the event wrongdoing was uncovered.

    Sources also reminded that even after Government intervened on January 30 to bail out CL Financial and after he signed a memorandum of understanding and subsequently provided a guarantee to policyholders, Duprey nevertheless went ahead with the sale of the company’s stake in Clico Energy Co Ltd to longtime equity partner Proman AG.

    CL Financial’s attempt to sell its 51 per cent interest in Clico Energy to Proman AG sparked the court action initiated by the Central Bank on Carnival Sunday (February 22), when the Central Bank obtained an injunction preventing Duprey from disposing of any CLICO-owned assets.

    In a previous Sunday Express report, sources claimed that the $300 million sale price was substantially less than the book value of the shares which are owned by CL Financial (34 per cent) and the insurance company, CLICO, 17 per cent.

    Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding on January 30, former attorney general Bridgid Annisette-George, Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira and Duprey met at the Office of the Attorney General for further discussions even as the Central Bank was involved with its High Court matter seeking to get detailed financial information from the CL Financial Group.

    Lawyers for the Central Bank are also seeking to challenge a High Court order which prevents the State from using disclosed information in any future criminal proceedings.

    Reproduced from the Trinidad and Tobago Express, June 7, 2009

  3. Why over the last 15 years we have moved away from financing our development projects through loans from places like the IDB and CDB?

    We preferred loans from the capital markets and BOLT arrangements.

    The reason is that the former PM and his Cabinet could pay fast and lose with loans from the Capital markets and with funding through the BOLT and similar arrangement.

    Had they gone to CDB and IDB the projects would have been better planned and there would have been fewer opportunities for “cost over runs”

    Persons got lots of money for providing nothing by way of goods or services

  4. Well Student X, if that is so that would explain why after seven years the Justice Improvement Programme is so far behind. There seemed to be a reluctance to spend that money provided by IADB.

  5. By the way, one of these days the work of Sir David Simmons will be recognised; as a politician, a servant of the public as Attorney General and now his pioneering effort to modernise the judicial system.

    I say that also because the one part of that IADB loan that is on stream is the part that he has charge of. We look forward to the opening of the new courts; completely computerised.

  6. ROK

    Are the politicians and bureaucrats following the correct procedures and providing the the documents required?

    Have all the planning been done?

    Generally projects funded by such institutions take longer to plan but make up the time during implementation.In Barbados,we usually start without plans and then spend a whole lot of time during implementation trying to plan and correct mistakes.

    We have got accustomed to doing things “our way”.

    Things take long when you try to be smart and cut corners. You cannot cut corners with institutions such as IDB.

  7. @Anonymous

    Well this is a case where we have been dragging our feet on some small but essential details, but I have no doubt that we will meet the 2010 deadline somehow. As you said, there are a lot of arrangements to put in place which takes time.

  8. The previous administration used an approach of using BOLTS etc to avoid certain bureaucratic requirements. We shouldn’t forget that the bureaucracy serves to place certain checks and balances. When we remove those checks and balances we have to compensate dont we?

  9. NO!NO! Never allow the fox to guard the hen house! With all the beams blinding the eyes of the US, it cannot see the mote in its neighbors eyes. The US should never be given such authority over the region but when you wanna run with the ‘big dogs’ you will be bitten. The issue with Stanford just like Madoff is much bigger than one individual. But we will never know the true dirty dealings that went on. So the gullible public is left to feed at the trough of half truths and total lies. They need to expose the Bushes, the Israeli Banks. You little silly black simpletons getting caught up in these games that you don’t understand, they will always take you down.

    The people can’t depend on the government to root out corruption because they are the facilitators of this same corruption who then ram it down their throats under the guise of national development. And the real function of bureaucracy is to place checks and balances on the little people and provide a buffer between them and the ‘big fish.’

    Picketing is all good and well, but there is no revolution more deadly than a quiet revolution. And since the ‘silent treatment’ is a trademark of the bajan character, this would be a very effective way of dealing with corruption that’s eating away at the core of that society. Don’t show your hand to the enemy who is always a step ahead of you and who feeds off your intermittent public outrages which eventually evaporate into thin air. Use soft-kill , that’s deadly force.


  10. Stop the Pork Barrel Politics
    I hear that the Barbados Labour Party is extremely concerned that people who have been working for years, for free as Camp Directors – have been discarded and taken off the list, in order to accommodate DLP members who will now be paid.

    As I understand it, in one instance – even a person, who received glowing praise from a Department of Government for good work as a Camp Director, has been taken off the list.

    Based on such vandalism, the Barbados Labour Party is right to be fearful that Members of Parliament on the DLP side – have been directed to cherry-pick persons to operate as Camp Directors.

    I remember that at an after Cabinet Meeting on January 30, 2008 – Prime Minister assured Barbadians that as his new Government moved to carry out its manifesto promises, there would not be any victimisation or “any night of long knives”.

    People – to whom values and decency mean something – accept that the DLP must not play politics with people’s reputation.

    One minute a reputable Community Based Organization like the Israel Lovell Foundation is selected, then de-selected then re-reselected and now de-selected.

    I too accept that such bad behaviour on the part of the DLP – is totally acceptable.

    Given the casual way in which persons who have served with distinction as Camp Directors for free, for many years – have been discarded to make way for paid DLP operatives – re-enforces my belief that the Camp programme, which was a good idea – has been vulgarised by the DLP and has now been D’ valued into nothing more than “a pork barrel situation,” where the s0-called “squeaky clean” DLP – is of using State resources for partisan purposes.

    What has become of the DLP’s promised of “transparency” and “good governance?” “This is taxpayers’ money! I mean, it is really an appalling scenario that is being presented to the people of this country.

    During the 2009 Budget, Prime Minister Thompson spoke about: “A Team Barbados Approach.”

    However, what is now being presented to the people of this country is a glaring example of: “the DLP fatted calf doctrine.”

    How can it be fair, or just – for the DLP to de-select people who have given of their time for years but now find themselves being replaced them with DLP operatives, who will be paid with taxpayer’s money?

    But it gets much worst! I have every reason to believe that the spending associated with this – “DLP vulgarised camp Programme” – borders on corruption.

    Barbadians must not loose their sense of outrage.

    This is precisely the type of pork barrel politics the BLP cautioned Barbadians will happen, when the DLP pork barrel Constituency Councils, get going.

    This is such a grave situation, which goes against the grain of “good governance,” and every thing that is decent and acceptable, that there should be an urgent forensic audit into the mis-spending and “squandamania” of taxpayer’s money on this DLP “outreach” Camp Programme.

    Also, in light of statements from persons that they have not been paid, will the DLP, which promised: “freedom of information” – say whether the Parliament of Barbados will be called upon to approve funds to pay those persons, as well as DLP operatives, who are now being engaged to execute – what has deteriorated into: “a DLP “slush fund” Camp Programme?

    Why have people not been paid for camps held earlier? Where has the money gone?

    This is a clear example that the DLP has taken the Youth Development Programme and “downgraded” it into a “slush fund” to facilitate its: “pork barrel, fatted calf doctrine.”

    If this Camp Programme was a fair system, I am sure that the BLP would support it.

    But the manner in which it is being administered shows that it is being executed from George Street, as: “an outreach programme of the DLP.”

    It is shameful that people who were not prepared to work for free are now being hand-picked because millions of taxpayer’s money is involved.

    Persons who worked for many years as Camp Directors for free were so organized, that they formed an organization in 2007.

    The BU Family should call on the DLP to immediately stop using this Camp Programme as a slush fund.

    I feel that having promise “good governance” the Prime Minister has a responsibility to all Barbadians to make sure that this happens and that our tax dollars are hereafter spent in a prudent manner.


    What Team Barbados Approach? Stop the Pork!!!!!

  11. @Eye95

    “Stop the Pork Barrel Politics
    I hear that the Barbados Labour Party is extremely concerned that people who have been working for years, for free as Camp Directors – have been discarded and taken off the list, in order to accommodate DLP members who will now be paid.”

    Stop the pork barrel politics is right. Seems like it got to do with who controlling the pork barrel, though.

    Nuff handpicking went on under the BLP too. People who made contributions previously, were hurled against the pavement and left to fall into the gutter.

    Moreso my point is addressing a particular behaviour and that is the demoralising of the population; rendering them spineless.

    The problem with this is that people are afraid to ask questions; people are afraid to give information; people do not speak up for justice; See what happened to the entire media.

    Under these conditions, governance and transparency is a problem, but the real problem is that when you let people bottle up like that, you can someday expect the worse.

    I am sure that all will agree that when there is no process for hearing complaints and grouses and have them dealt with, you open yourself to revolt.

    This is too dangerous to overlook and is therefore of paramount importance that we put in place the legislation and processes that will curtail that kind of domination by Government. Our political culture has to change; including our approach to party politics. The way it is now, we don’t have violence but the rampant victimisation leaves a lot to be desired; it is more painful painful than death because people suffer.

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