The Great Conspiracy to Defraud the Treasury Vs. the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and the Next Tax
It was always about money. So it will not go away so easily, perhaps not at all. In my last article The New Triangular Trade, the Frustrated Business Man wrote that there was no evidence to support part of my analysis. He then put forward his own statement:
We are was supplying English luxury vehicles in stripped-down form to the Muslim Mafia (Dumbville’s best friends from the bottom of his road who also import chicken wings and other meat without permits etc.). The same Muslim Mafia who have owned the Bridgetown Port and the imported-used car market for the past decade.
Those vehicles entered the country as ‘bodyshells’ and paid 5% duties on fictitious values. Some disappeared from the Port entirely. When Weare demanded money he was owed by the MM he was beaten to death.
It widened the dynamics of the story, introduced another set of players, new motives and broadened the scope of the investigation. The list of sordid players has also increased. We now have a dead Englishman, drug gangs, prominent politicians, civil servants, financial institutions, insurance companies and now under the microscope are members of the Muslim community. To be exact if the allegation of the Frustrated Business Man is correct, we now have the Muslim Mafia who complete the roles of the villains and the script.
Just who are the new entrants in the play? Years ago the Muslims of Barbados were peaceful, law abiding citizens who peddled their goods in the country side. When I was growing up, I knew good decent men like Vadhi, Patel and Mansour who had stores in Bridgetown and came to our neck of the woods to sell. A strange set of dynamics seems to be playing out in my mind that seem to suggest that instead of their next generation assimilating into our culture, these predators have opted for criminalization. The strange case of assimilation vs. criminalization. Perhaps they discovered that the way to become wealthy was not the way it was done in the not too distant past of pedalling but to seek a quick pathway to instant money but yet remain set apart and uncontaminated by the effects that illegal guns and drugs have on the rest of the other communities. Is that the reason why they have built enclaves?
Getting back to the Frustrated Business Man’s story, the Muslims have been importing stripped-down vehicles at the port of entry and they now control the trade. How long was the Englishman importing vehicles for the Muslim Mafia? How long has this conspiracy been going on to defraud the treasury of VAT and other import duties? How long have the customs officers been taking bribes from the Muslim Mafia? Are they also involved in the guns and drug trade? Who exactly make up the Muslim Mafia?
Commissioner does the police only target poor black young men from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and not the communities where the Muslim Mafia live? Has there ever been a crackdown in any of their neighbourhoods for illegal drugs, guns and now vehicles? It is as though they have been hiding in plain site.
The assets of those involved in this great conspiracy to defraud the treasury should be seized. The trail of the money must be followed. No former customs officer in Barbados working on a civil servant’s salary and unrelated to a millionaire can honestly be the owner of 11 apartment buildings? How is it that some Muslims have amassed such great wealth in Barbados when they are not the holders of any government contracts that we know of?
After guilt by involvement, association and complicity, to defraud the treasury this administration has imposed a NSRL on the country to recoup some of the losses from the treasury. In essence, they are robbing Peter (the population) to pay Paul ( the treasury) when Matthew, Mark, Luke and John should have been paying Paul.
The system is so twisted. The poor man pays an arm and a leg for a barrel containing foodstuff and clothes at the Bridgetown port while the illegal trade that defrauds the treasury enter free of duties.
When we hear the Minister of Finance speak in those terms of grandiosity as though he has fulfilled the greatest act ever accomplished on the face of the earth, we can now understand the full extent of his speech of having made $50 Million and boasting of even a higher figure. For the $ 50 Million that was brought in by the NSRL, the Mister surely forgot to mention the real amount that could have been collected if there was not a conspiracy to defraud the treasury at the ports of entry.
Rest assured that the trials and failures of the Minister of Finance to recoup money by burdening the tax payers is not over. The next step will be to tax home based workers and street vendors. The people who make black pudding and souse, who make clothes at home, coconut vendors, the persons who pick up bottles or engage in any hobby that brings in any extra money. The yoke around your necks will be squeezed even tighter. It will literally be trying to get blood from stones if the Democratic Labour Party is elected to a third term after contesting the next general election because the Minister of Finance has another great plan to tax the informal sector.