Submitted by Anthony Davis
“A sweetheart deal between the Chefette chain of restaurants and the previous Owen Arthur administration has led to a fall-off in the revenue intake of Club Caribbean Airport Lounge.”
page 7 of “Barbados Today”, dated 19 November, 2013
My, my, my. The pot doth call the kettle black!
I wonder if the Minister of Tourism was standing in front of a mirror when he stated: “That is not bad policy; that is simply sinful,” and “it is really a low-point, in my view, of how governance is carried out in this country.”
Is that your mirror image, Mr. Minister?
That more applies to the sweetheart deal you and the Minister of Finance gave “Butch” Stewart – with a special waiver for food and beverage which not only set a precedent for the hotel sector in Barbados, but will deprive Barbadian food producers, and manufacturers of much of the money they worked so hard to earn to keep themselves, their families, and their employees from dropping through the cracks that have opened up in these harsh economic times!
I note that the Minister of Tourism is already saying that he and the Minister of Finance will have to return to Parliament for another supplementary to cover the cost of paying out Chefette Restaurants.
However, I do not think that Mr. Haloute – who has several restaurants , and invests in, and sponsors many things in this country – is an unreasonable man who does not know the economic situation in our country, and would not act accordingly.
As for the Minister of Finance’s statement that “this sweetheart deal could not compare to the 40-year tax concessions granted to Sandals International,” I would like him to explain to me – as I did not go to UWI at the tax payers’ expense, and am not seeking to deprive others from so doing – how an 18-year sweetheart deal cannot compare to a 40-year one of such magnitude, and at such a cost to Barbados.
Six years of the Chefette deal have already passed. The project at the Heywoods property has not even started yet, and will not be finished before 2016/17!
How much money, Mr. Minister of Finance, have you pumped into the brand name hotels that were to be opened in St. Philip by now – especially the ones in Merricks, and its second one in Hastings – owned by Dave Ames of Harlequin Property? He conned many Britons out of thousands of dollars in Pattaya, Thailand by getting them to invest in housing lots that were not finished, and sometimes sold the same lots to different persons. How did he get to purchase land in Barbados when it was splashed all over the British newspapers that he was being investigated for fraudulent dealings in Thailand?
I checked Andrew Drummond’s website (w.w.w.andrew-drummond.com) and found this under the headline “Smart, new, blue island hopper for sale?” in a report dated 28 April, 2013:
“Well, as I have been following the Harlequin saga, particularly with regard to the projects it initiated in Pattaya – later taken over by Briton Richard Houghton, former President of the Pattaya-Jontien Rotary Club – I should at least record here that Harlequin Property and Hotels has now gone into administration. So, others will have to sort out the mess.”
“David Ames’ Harlequin of course needs massive cash injections to survive having sold thousands of holiday homes in the Caribbean before they even had planning permission. Dave Ames was a former double-glazing salesman made bankrupt not once, as I reported, but twice according to the BBC.”
It seems as if Barbados could have some sorting out to do when this whole thing is finished – and that could take years. How much of the tax payers’ money was wasted here?
In a special report by Jon Austin, under the headline “BASILDON PROPERTY FIRM SOLD INVESTMENTS ON LAND IT DID NOT OWN – Dave’s Caribbean dream is not all that it seems”, in the “Basildon Echo” in the U.K. it states: “Deposits for the land at Merricks in Barbados, where even the two show homes are not finished, were paid in March 2006.”
“The Serious Fraud Office, Essex Police, and the Financial Services Authority are investigating following complaints.”
In the meantime we have been told that we will soon know who has taken over “All Seasons” for the umpteenth time, and it is becoming monotonous hearing/reading about it!
I would really like to know how much money – except the $60million plundered from the NIS Pensions Funds – has actually been dropped into that bottomless pit!