We Need To Do More To Punish Perpetrators Of Corruption In Barbados

David Mabey

Our aim is to protect society from extensive, deliberate criminal deception which could threaten public confidence in the financial system.  We investigate fraud and corruption that requires our investigative expertise and special powers to obtain and assess evidence to successfully prosecute fraudsters, freeze assets and compensate victimsSFO Serious Fraud Office


Several events have occurred in the last three decades which exposed flaws in governance structures which have served us well; or so it seemed. One example is the meltdown of Wall Street which precipitated the global recession which has been with us for more than two years.

The post mortem of the disaster has revealed that old fashion greed was the motive driving many in decision making positions.  The challenge for global societies is the need to have robust regulatory systems which are marshalled in a just matter. For too long our systems of justice appear to be better equipped to punish a certain type of crime especially when it affects the ‘small’ man.

There is a view that enacting Freedom of Information (FOIA) laws will not be enough if we are to judge by those countries which have FOIA on the books. BU believes this to be a defeatist view and we are heartened by the recent action of The Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom by securing its first convictions of fraud against individuals accused of breaching UN sanctions. It should be of interest to Barbadians who had the ‘honour’ of being the first ‘scalp’ of the SFO.

The Telegraph reported yesterday that Charles Forsyth and David Mabey, former directors of engineering firm Mabey & Johnson, were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of breaching sanctions and providing kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s government to secure contracts. Richard Gledhill, another senior executive at the company, gave evidence for the prosecution after pleading guilty. In September, 2007 BU reported that Mabey & Johnson was fined for using poor steel in the Philippines,  of interest was the fact Jonathon Danos, CEO of 3S Barbados was a former Sales Executive of Mabey & Johnson. 3S was awarded the contract to build the controversial flyovers along the ABC Highway. The contract with 3S was cancelled by the current government on gaining office and reports are the taxpayers will have to pay a ‘tidy’ sum to 3S in settlement.

There is no evidence to link Jonathon Danos to Mabey & Johnson executives found guilty but in the context of whether watchdog agencies, supported by relevant legislation can be effective, Barbados can take hope by the success of the SFO.  BU notes Mabey & Johnson will be appealing the conviction.

All over the world there is evidence that ordinary people are becoming fed up with politicians, financiers and others in authority positions who have been feeding off the system for personal  aggrandisement. In Barbados despite the assurance by Transparency International there is good reason to suspect that corruption has penetrated significantly.

Do we know who is responsible for supplying illegal drugs to our children? Where do these people deposit monies collected, in our banks and credit unions?

Do we know who is responsible for approving construction in Zone 1 areas and subdivisions, why do they do it? For example construction in Britton Hill which triggered a disaster.

Why have we ignored the exceptions highlighted by the Auditor General over the years? For example all those companies which over invoice the School Meals Department.

Why are work permits issued to certain people when it is obvious locals are equipped to do the job?

Why has Judge Randall Worrell warned about the need for a witness protection program?

For too long we have been too lenient regarding the actions of our public officials.

0 thoughts on “We Need To Do More To Punish Perpetrators Of Corruption In Barbados


  1. What about the CLICO affair where SOME TOP DOGS took their money and their clients were left holding an empty pot. Shouldn’t there be an inquiry? After seeing what had happened on Wall Street, CLICO insiders knew when it was time to break for themselves. Their policy holders were assured that their money was safe and they had nothing to fear. The late DT who had ties to CLICO came on the airwaves to assure Barbadians that it was a sound company. Many retirees have lost their life savings. Who is speaking for these retirees and policy holders? Can’t a lawsuit be brought to take possession of CLICO’s assets? Who has the balls to challenge the establishment and seek justice for these people? Like every thing else will this thing fade away and it become history? Let us get JUSTICE for once!


    • @islandgirl

      CLICO is a perplexing case and not as straight forward as some would make out. Yes mistakes were probably made in handling the matter but there was not a textbook solution. Also it was the contagion effect which through CLICO Barbados in a tail spin. This week’s news conference by Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales is interesting where he suggests it is T&T’s responsibility to assume the CLICO debt in the EC.


  2. David; re your 9.08 pm post above.

    Very Interesting! Given that David Thompson was reported to have taken responsibility for the EC CLICO debt.


  3. “For far too long we have been too lenient regarding the actions of our public officials!”…FACT.
    What are the ‘actions’ available to the people of Barbados?
    Remember this is a TWO PARTY state! you know what I mean.
    We have a population of about 279.000 people and all our representatives come from that figure. Obviously the good, bad, rich, poor can be counted amongst our Representatives.
    Some of the so-called representatives are looking out for themselves, those who assist them and their families.
    As humans we are tempted and sometimes we cannot resist that temptation. We have seen other people get away with it and feel we will too.
    Many of them have good intentions but often the temptation is too great…..It happens all over the world at different levels.
    It’s a legacy of the past and a sign of maturity in a country that can offer transparency and deal with the problem.
    In those countries when it becomes clear that the laws are broken, that person must answer in some way.
    In a country like ours:
    (1) we have no investigatative journalists or for that matter any journalists willing to report on wrong doings.
    (2)If one is from a particular class/position who is going to prosecute?
    (3)Is the prosecution service equipped to deal with matters of corruption?
    (4) Are our Church leaders willing to stand up for what they are happy to preach in the pulpit to their congregation?
    (5)Who has the courage to stand up in court and give eveidence?’
    (6) If a prosecution can be brought, how long will it take?
    (7) Are there anti-corruption laws in place so one can use against the perpetrator?
    On the whole laws must be implemented which make it clear that prosecution will result from breaking the law.
    In the UK, an MP has recently been convicted for fraudulently claiming expenses, he is now serving time in prison. He is not the first to be convicted and spend time in prison.
    In most developed contries no one is above the law; but it takes commitment to ensure honesty.
    The only recourse for the public is to insist on Transparency Laws so that when matters come to light, the perpertrators can be brought to justice.
    On a final note:
    Is Barbados matured enough?


  4. This is one of the issues that help dethroned Mia. She dare to thread where others wouldn’t. Since then no other politician has been in the forefront of this issue. I wonder why? I guess on this issue politicians have drawn.”ALine in the Sand”


  5. “Do we know who is responsible for approving construction in Zone 1 areas and subdivisions, why do they do it? For example construction in Britton Hill which triggered a disaster.”

    Brittons Hill is i a zone 1 area?


  6. Very interesting article. However, I do not think that we are very serious about investigating corruption in Barbados. The laws governing the establishment and functions of the Financial Intelligence Unit are very thorough, and from my information, to be employed in the unit, one must either have a law degree, ACCA, or both. There are no provisions in the organisational structure for persons qualified in Forensic and Fraud Investigation, Forensic auditing and Accounting, or Financial Intelligence Analysis, which are ideal requirements in this field. Such persons are trained to apply accounting techniques to detect fraud, or any other financial impropriety (money laundering, terrorism funding, etc,) and prepare the necessary evidence for the purpose of prosecuting the perpetrator(s). They are also trained in the questioning of suspects, and giving expert testimony, among other things.

    What about the results of the forensic audits undertaken at Hardwood Housing, the Urban Development Commission, and other government agencies that the late PM Thompson spoke so eloquently about? It seems that we are using forensic audit for political grand-standing, and as another term for commission of inquiry.

    @ Paradox

    If you go on the web-site barbadosparliament.com, you will see the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2010, for your perusal.

    This Bill makes provision for the prevention of corruption and the implementation of:

    a) The Inter-American Convention Against Corruption adopted on 29th March, 1996 in Caracas, Venezuela;
    b) Articles 8 and 9 of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime relating to Corruption adopted on 29th September, 2003 in New York; and
    c) The United Nations Convention Against Corruption adopted on 31st October, 2003 in New York, to which Barbados is a signatory and for related matters.


  7. The political clan would want things to remain business as usual. It is evident after 3 years in government that the DLP does not have the appetite to enact either FOI or Integrity legislation. The BLP tried and the same lack of appetite manifested then; ask Henry Forde. Remember in a transcript posted on another BU blog William Duguid MP was quoted as stating politicians do not want integrity legislation.


  8. maybe sometime in the fiture when the people have had enough of the governments they would be protesters in the streets of Barbados . Only when the time is right. Right now they are lots of ripples in the waters. Sooner rather than later they would let their voicesbe known throughout the world.As the older more docile generation make way for the new generation. The new er generation is not going to sit down and be taken advantage of by politicians who say one thing and does another.


  9. @ ac
    “The newer generation is not going to sit down and be taken advantage of by politicians who say one thing and does another.”

    You are correct; many of the youngsters I hear discuss politics say that they will not vote because politicians are unreliable, liars, and care nothing about poor people. A few days ago I heard some youngsters discussing this present administration’s apparent focus on entrepreneurship, and their suggestion that this should be the way forward. However, they were shocked after hearing a news extract about the senate debate on the hospital on CBC TV, in which Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner said that they came to office and found that the hospital’s canteen was closed for over ten years, and they cared so much about the staff that they refurbished it so that the staff would not have to outside and buy food from the vans. Are not these mobile food sales persons categorised as entrepreneurs?


  10. @ac & RD. I have been hearing for years of this newer generation that you referred to. Where are they ? At every General Election, this newer generation and others have proven Sir Grantley Adams absolutely right, we have short memories.


  11. Quoting islandgal “The late DT who had ties to CLICO ”

    David Thompson did not have ties to CLICO.

    David Thompson was until the day he died CLICO’s lawyer.

    David Thompson had to know what was going on at CLICO.

    And when David Thompson had a choice of being CLICO’s lawyer and Barbados’ Prime Minister David Thompson CHOSE CLICO.

    And David Thompson took CLICO’s secrets to the grave with him.

    And now the foolish people of St. John have let themselves be bambozled into voting for his widow.

    Why should politicians change when we let them get away with shite?


  12. In September, 2007 BU reported that Mabey & Johnson was fined for using poor steel in the Philippines, of interest was the fact Jonathon Danos, CEO of 3S Barbados was a former Sales Executive of Mabey & Johnson. 3S was awarded the contract to build the controversial flyovers along the ABC Highway. The contract with 3S was cancelled by the current government on gaining office and reports are the taxpayers will have to pay a ‘tidy’ sum to 3S in settlement.

    There is no evidence to link Jonathon Danos to Mabey & Johnson executives found guilty but in the context of whether watchdog agencies, supported by relevant legislation can be effective, Barbados can take hope by the success of the SFO. BU notes Mabey & Johnson will be appealing the conviction.
    ————————————————–
    Danos was not working for Maybe Johnson and has been exonerated of any connection by the high court in the UK so why not quit the stupid libel BU.
    If Thompson hadn’t indulged in foolish and unnecessary illegal grandstanding the government wouldn’t be running about like a chicken with no head still trying to find a ‘solution’ to the traffic problem.
    Meanwhile all we have is the stupid and dangerous DLP solution – dice with death at Wildey going south – and die of heat and boredom queuing to go north.
    And its all fun and games at Warrens with the high tech visionary solution.
    A ‘lollipop’?
    Must be to keep we all sweet and stupid.


  13. The BLP says it has a proud and enviable record of keeping promises. Whatever happened in the past cannot be changed. . . . The DLP government is guilty of GREED and INCOMPETENCE. Truth is that both parties, the BLP and DLP had a party with greed and corruption.

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