Peter Odle Under the Gun

A dispute involving Irish investor Alan McIntosh and other parties with local hotelier Peter Odle continues to be a source of embarrassment for Barbadians and makes public what ordinary Barbadians have been complaining about for many years. We have a court system that is broken and a ‘buddy system’ that protects the favoured in society. In local parlance, two Barbadoses.

The two political parties come and the two political parties go and the problem remains.

See other blogs posted on a dispute which continues to expose our moribund court system and to dent our reputation as a domicile fit and proper to conduct international business. This imbroglio is occurring as Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been promoting the Barbados Welcome Stamp – Work Remotely in Barbados initiative in the international media. It should not be forgotten that attracting foreign direct investment is important to the economic planners to ensure we can honour foreign commitments.

Alan McIntosh dubbed by Barbados Underground as that pesky Irish investor has written a second letter to the Prime Minister of Barbados which encapsulates in summary detail the dysfunctional governance setup and toxic business ethos prevailing in Barbados. The letter separates the issues for the Prime Minister’s under the headings – Court Delay Tactics, Corporate Governance and Abuse of Personal Relationships to Circumvent Creditors.

It is clear from reading the letter that Attorney General Dale Marshall is also aware of the ongoing dispute that threatens to compromise Barbados’ economic recovery effort. In an Affidavit filed with the Barbados court, Abagi Ekoku who is a shareholder in Sandy Bay Holdings Inc (SBHI) named as First Defendant in the pending court matter, explains how a repurchase agreement with Richard Bradford and Peter Odle has gone south and precipitated litigious action.

Clause 23 extracted from the Affidavit sworn by Agagi Ekoku:

On Monday the 10th day of February, 2020, pursuant legal advice which I received from my Attorney-at-Law, I wrote to the Attorney General of Barbados, the Hon. D. Marshall, Q.C., MP. I requested acknowledgement of my aforementioned letter from the office of the Attorney General and received the acknowledgement on the same date from Hazel Mederick, the executive secretary to the Attorney General. To date, I have not received a response to my letter. True copies of the email/letter dated 10th day of February, 2020 and the acknowledgment of the same date are hereto attached and marked “AE3”.

Extracted from the Affidavit of Abagi Ekoku

It pains the blogmaster no end each time a blog of this type is posted which shines a light at the underbelly of Barbados. The upside is that it is being done with the aim of making Barbados a better country for ALL.

Barbadians should be reminded of an Irish saying – May the enemies of Ireland never meet a friend..

186 thoughts on “Peter Odle Under the Gun

  1. That may well be the case Blogmaster and EXACTLY why court redress should not be delayed or denied.

    Mr Jordan can pick who he serves; GOD or MAMMON.
    If struggling, his sense of duty to country should make decision easier. Not too difficult for a serving Cabinet Member with crucial Govt. portfolio.

  2. Heather,

    I will look out for the video. I assume you will post it here. When the time comes I will do the necessary.

    Going back out to my garden now.

  3. as more and more BLP get implicated in this matter the shouts of lost decade will get louder and louder. we will focus on the past whilst closing our eyes to the present

  4. So wait if half of what i reading about this man is true how the hell Mia could make he chairman of anything? You mean party faithfuls could do as they like and still be rewarded? This gone past a joke now.

  5. Since the church is not reaching out to the wider community,there is a case for ethics to be a compulsory course at primary and secondary levels . Imagine a commenter suggesting that the Minister of Labour get involved in a civil dispute that is sub judice. Lol!!! Wuh Loss!!

    • @Vincent

      The blogmaster suspects the comment should be taken as an appreciation for how decisions are made covertly in smoke filled rooms.

  6. @ John A

    We cannot have trial by the mob. What should happen in this case is that the responsible minister should call in Mr Odle and ask him if these reports are true. This gossip cannot be allowed to continue.
    If they are not, then he should be asked to take action against his accuser in order to protect the reputation of the Port Authority. If they are, then he should be asked to resign. Whether he is innocent or guilty should be left to the courts.

    • @John A

      What the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR should do is call in Vonda Pile again to ask why she would not pay over clients money. Once she repeats that the client owed her money and this is why she withheld the man’s money, the gossip about her coming from the Pine should stop and a class suit be brought against all who cast aspersions on the Barbados Courts.


  7. Going to wish all a happy day

    @John A
    I read your contribution above.
    I saw how you referred to Mia.
    I saw how you objected to the appointment even if the charges are true.
    I saw how you objected to the distribution of scratch grain
    I gun send Lorenzo fuh you.
    Mi belly
    John A – Have a great day

  8. DavidSeptember 20, 2020 10:15 AM

    @John A

    What the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR should do is call in Vonda Pile again to ask why she would not pay over clients money. Once she repeats that the client owed her money and this is why she withheld the man’s money, the gossip about her coming from the Pine should stop and a class suit be brought against all who cast aspersions on the Barbados Courts.


    Repeating is not good.

    Invoices for fees and incidentals need to be produced.

    Should be an account for the money in the client account.

    She has a conviction from the court.

    Not sure what good the BAR could do.

    How long has the accusation stood?

  9. For those with relatoves in US. We all know that mental illness and homelessness can cost lives. So far there were only injuries.

    “Manhattan subway train derails after laughing saboteur puts metal clamps on tracks: police sources



    SEP 20, 2020 AT 11:19 AM

    A Manhattan subway train derailed Sunday morning. The uptown A train was entering the 14th St./Eighth Ave. station in the West Village at 8:17 a.m. when it ran into debris, officials said. (@DayDayLavine)

    A Manhattan subway train derailed Sunday morning after a laughing homeless saboteur put metal clamps on the roadbed, police sources said.

    The uptown A train was entering the 14th St./Eighth Ave. station in the West Village at 8:17 a.m. when it ran into the metal tie plates, which are normally used to secure tracks to the roadbed, officials said.

    Three of the subway cars derailed, with at least one wheel leaving the tracks, and sideswiped several stanchions separating the track beds.

    Closed subway entrance at 14th St. after derailment. (Clayton Guse)

    The homeless man found the tie plates on a pile of construction materials at the 14th St. station, police sources said. He took the plates and put them on the tracks before the train came into the station.

    Commuters saw the 30-year-old suspect laughing at his accomplishment, sources said. Good Samaritans held him at the station until cops took him into custody and brought him to Transit District 2 headquarters for questioning. No charges were immediately filed.

    The train ended up stuck about 100 feet into the Eighth Ave. tunnel. First responders evacuated about 30 people from the train.

    Manhattan subway train derails after laughing saboteur clamps planks onto tracks: police sources

    Actually, we’re in deep trouble: Work is changing profoundly, and NYC will not be able to adapt

    ‘That ’70s Show’ star Danny Masterson, charged with raping 3 women, appears in court

    Three passengers suffered minor injuries. One refused medical attention. Another was treated at the scene while the third was taken to Bellevue Hospital for further treatment, officials said.”

  10. @ Hal

    Yes I agree with you that under this cloud the appointment is definately in need of review. I also see a second minister mentioned now in Mr Jordan, who the PM can call as a “character witness”in terms of gaining a bit more background shall we say, on ones business practices seeing the work affiliation between those involved.

    To be fair to the PM we can not assume that she could know everything about the indvidual’s business practices. After all no one can know things not in the public domain can they? Now that she has access to Minister Jordan who she can call to Ilaro Court for a fire side chat and enlightenment, I am sure based on the cloud over this matter, that she will recall the appointment to that board or any future ones, until the matter is heard by the courts. After all lets be honest, a minister’s oath to serve the state would far outweigh their personal friendship with anyone wouldnt it?

    It happens all over the world in developed countries and maybe even other republics. You will hear Mr X has been asked to step down, or Mr Y has stepped down due to a matter involving a pretty young thing. Why even here I recall a Mr H stepped down from chairmanship of a company when charged with the importation of ” vegetable matter ,” only returning to the post once the charges were dismissed and he was not involved in future court proceedings.

    I say dont blame the PM for the appointment to the gentleman of chairman. All that happened is that she was not aware of the cloud surrounding him. I am sure after she calls Minister Jordan to the big house for de fire side chat, she will see things differently. After all remember she ran on a ticket of transparency and accountability, surely that must trump ( no pun intended) the need to reward party loyalty?

    Could dear Hal if the boss lady didnt know about other practices prior to the party reward, you cant fault her for giving the faithful a little pick can you? Thing is now that she can have “a fire side chat of enlightenment” with a fellow minister we will have to see what happens next.

    Wunna just remember dem got nuff young people looking on. The same one we preach to about there being no reward unless you do the right thing. Dont educate them and then treat them like fools.

    • @Donna

      You should have attached a caveat to your comment. Ministers in the Cabinet who are lawyers by trade are known to support private practices (offline). Same for sitting judges. This is a general comment and not meant to besmirch the character of Minister Jordan.

  11. @ JohnA

    The charges against Charles Herbert were dropped by the DPP, in the public interest. The president must know now t here is controversy surrounding Mr Odle, if her public relations people are doing their work.

  12. @David

    What i found most interesting was that i read one of the attorneys that was out on bail had apparently gone back practicing law! I noticed the Bar Association said when contacted that they were looking into it

  13. @ Hal

    I would imagine by now the PM would know of the buzz around Odle. Its a topic of many discussions in the business circles right now at all levels.

  14. @ David

    Well i asked an attorney friend of mine how that could happen and his reply was ” you know how many Zr drivers out there with cases pending and past convictions that still driving?”

    His view was that the legal system as it stands is to blame.

  15. Question for debate:

    If a surgeon has been convicted of malpractice in his profession, should he be allowed to operate pending the results of his appeal?

  16. John A

    It is our democratic system, innocent until proven guilty. Guilt includes exhausting the appeal system. In some jobs people are suspended on full pay, or, in the case of the police, sent on so-called administrative leave.

  17. SargeantSeptember 20, 2020 12:50 PM

    Question for debate:

    If a surgeon has been convicted of malpractice in his profession, should he be allowed to operate pending the results of his appeal?


    I reckon his license to practice medicine would be revoked and if he did practice medicine he would have a second charge to answer … driving without a license.

    Who licenses lawyers to practice?

    In the case of engineers, a fee is paid in January of every year to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and a license is issued and signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

    I would guess the same process is followed for doctors and lawyers so it would be the Registrar of the Supreme Court who issues the licenses to doctors and lawyers.

    There will be an act regulating the practice of law and medicine.

    Since I am only half a lawyer, I do not pay anything to practice my half of law.

    There is no act regulating the practice of a half a lawyer.

  18. Hal AustinSeptember 20, 2020 12:45 PM

    @ John A

    Vonda is appealing and has a right to represent her clients.


    She can only practice law if the Registrar of the Supreme Court licenses her to practice.

    She was convicted in June 2019, her license for 2019 would have had to be renewed in January 2020.

    Once the Registrar of the Supreme Court licenses her she can practice.

  19. Sarge’s point above opens this up for interesting discussion. So where does moral obligation stop and the law start for example? Is it a case that in the past someone involved in a court case over money would not even consider accepting a seat on a board to begin with? Is it a case now where we need more guidelines written about serving on Gov boards because today as we say ” nobody dont have no shame?”

    So where does doing the right thing morally and legally meet?

  20. We are constantly bombarded with accusations of being something of a pariah in the legal and financial world and yet there are others far, far worse than us and when they do their dastardly deeds, a tap on the wrist is sufficient.
    FinCEN Files: HSBC moved Ponzi scheme millions despite warning

    Can you imagine this taking place in Barbados …and the repercussions.

  21. … and if the Registrar of the Supreme Court has not licensed her .. well … she may have a second charge to answer.

    But you would need to read the act regulating lawyers.

  22. @ Fearplay

    I think this is where being small helps. Yes we been hit with Clico and a few other schemes but we knew what was going and and could of stopped it. Had the supervisor of insurance chained clicos door when they continued to write policies after the cease order was given, some damage could of been avoided.

    The Usa market is so dam big that by time a Ponzi is recognised it has already stolen several million from the gulables.

  23. “Practising Certificate” means a certificate issued pursuant to section 11,
    and “valid Practising Certificate” means a Practising Certificate
    which is in force;

    (5) The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Official Gazette

    (a) in the month of February in every year, an alphabetical
    list of persons who have at the 31st January in that year
    obtained a Practising Certificate;

    (b) as soon as practicable after he obtains a Practising
    Certificate, the name of any person obtaining a PractisingCertificateafterthe31stJanuaryinanyyear.

    (6) A copy of the Officiaial Gazette containing the list referred
    to in paragraph (a) of subsection (5) or the name of any person
    published pursuant to paragraph (b) of that subsection shall be
    prima facie evidence in any court of the registration on the Roll of
    the name of, and the holding of a valid Practising Certificate by,
    any person mentioned in paragraph (a) or(b) of that subsection.

  24. @David September 20, 2020 6:34 AM “…loyal to his former employer…”

    There is no need to be loyal to a FORMER employer.

    Employers pay employees for X amount of work.

    Once the work is done, and the wages are in hand, and you have left that person/organization’s employ, then you owe that former employer ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

    Since they have already got EXACTLY what they paid you for.

    To give or to profess some lifelong loyalty is simply foolish.

  25. Quaker John

    A few weeks ago there was an almighty row at the QEH and a doctor was meant to be disciplined. Whatever happened to the case? The Barbados media are so strange that one never knows the outcome of high-profiled stories.

    • @Simple Simon

      What happens if Jordan loses his seat next time around? People try not to burn bridges in the real world.

  26. @John A September 20, 2020 9:15 AM “…party faithfuls could do as they like? This gone past a joke now.”

    Have you seen the front page of today’s Sunday Sun?

    Word on the street is that Wu’k fah Wu’k coming wunna northern way.

    Don’t thank me.

    Thank auntie.

  27. I have no doubt based on what i have heard about Mr Jordan, that IF he is asked to meet with the PM he will speak open and honestly. Of course he would need to be asked first!

    Remember every politician has taken an oath to serve us the people first. They basically are employed by us, although they seem to forget that after a year or 2 in power.

  28. @Hal Austin September 20, 2020 10:09 AM “We cannot have trial by the mob.”

    i don’t see why not.

    Juries are ALWAYS chosen from the people you refer to as “the mob”

    I prefer to call them “we the people”

  29. Cuhdear BajanSeptember 20, 2020 2:17 PM

    Agreed. Employers’ loyalty begins and ends the day you start and the day you leave. Sometimes, they are not even loyal while you are there, just want to get as much out of you that they can. Seen that, been that.

    Only a truly exceptional employer would I stick my neck out for. Had just one of those.

  30. In nearly 70 years Never yet experienced a mob in Barbados.

    But on my first visit to England, 1978 I was walking down the street with my Bajan English friend and I heard shouting and cursing, so I asked “what is happening?” then I was told that a football match had just finished and the fans of the losing team were on their way to the train station. Police armed with boots, batons, German shepherd dogs and what not had to escort the fans of the losing team to the airport before they ripped the high street apart.

    A real-real English mob. Scary as hell.

    Familiar to Hal the Englishman, I am sure.

  31. “Familiar to Hal the Englishman, I am sure.”

    bunch of hooligans, but Ha, Ha would have to run for HIS LIFE…if he saw them coming before they saw him……..😂🤣

  32. @David September 20, 2020 2:26 PM “S David, what happens to a politico, male or female, if he or she loses his or her seat BECAUSE his or her constituents are unhappy with him or her.”

    Sure party leaders have authority.

    But we the people have the POWER of the vote.

    • By your reasoning it seems we have a win win with each party getting a turn to feed at the trough and the electorate expressing themselves at the polling booth.


  33. But surely the English are all civilised! They are not savages are they??? Are you certain you did not infect them with the Bajan Condition?

  34. Ah guess Whitehoax will now have to register their little outfit so they can be monitored for money laundering just like everyone else…and don’t talk about the little social climbing crooks in the government and minority community, they love to hobnob with world class criminals, let’s wait and see if their names fall out of bank reports….

    “Why is this leak different?
    There have been a number of big leaks of financial information in recent years, including:

    2017 Paradise Papers – A huge batch of leaked documents from an offshore legal service provider Appleby and corporate services provider Estera. The two operated together under the Appleby name until Estera became independent in 2016. They revealed the offshore financial dealings of politicians, celebrities and business leaders

    2016 Panama Papers – Leaked documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca showed more about how wealthy people were using offshore tax regimes to their benefit

    2015 Swiss Leaks – Documents from HSBC’s Swiss private bank showed how it was using the country’s banking secrecy laws to help clients avoid paying tax

    2014 LuxLeaks contained documents from the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that big companies were using tax deals in Luxembourg to reduce the amount they were having to pay

    The FinCEN papers are different because they are not just documents from one or two companies – they come from a number of banks.

    They highlight a range of potentially suspicious activity involving companies and individuals and also raise questions about why the banks which had noticed this activity did not always act on their concerns.

    FinCEN said the leak could impact on US national security, compromise investigations, and threaten the safety of institutions and individuals who file the reports.

    But last week it announced proposals to overhaul its anti-money laundering programmes.

    The UK has also unveiled plans to reform its register of company information to clamp down on fraud and money laundering.”

  35. @Donna September 20, 2020 3:30 PM “But surely the English are all civilised! They are not savages are they??? Are you certain you did not infect them with the Bajan Condition?”

    There was no Bajan Condition in 1978. The Bajan Condition was invented by Hal just recently.

    The English mob was very real though.

    Scary as hell.

  36. Cuhdear Bajan, so you observed some Brits carrying on over a soccer match and you thought to yourself, not in our little Barbados, we don’t behave like that. Can you imagine if we did our court/legal system wouldn’t treat us like fools?

  37. Blogmaster, I expected the trials and woes of Mr Odle to diminish and die over time. But we must keeep the fight for an efficient and fair justice system loud. More than ever before.
    BU rightly exposes the miscarriage of justice and Mr McIntosh raised SERIOUS questions.
    Has he received a response from the PM? I suspect not.
    I still await comment from our PM. Barbados was tarnished. The matter involved a public board appointee and implicated a cabinet minister. Silence might be a good strategy, but it breeds suspicion and mistrust in public office. Surely this isn’t good when many of us are facing a harsh winter. A statement would be refreshing and reassuring.

  38. Too often I see these things happening various companies and businesses , I’ve had my own negative experiences , for example Blades courier services , run by Alex Blades is a fraudulent operation , I am highly dissatisfied with the service . My requests for service are usually met with sexual harassment amongst other profanities .

  39. Irish tale of two sides of Barbados
    Barbados means different things to different people from Ireland.
    To one man, the island comes close to being a slice of vacation paradise, a place of beauty, so much so that when COVID -19 struck and Barbados set about to deal with the crisis, he considered it a stroke of luck being here during the pandemic’s first wave which triggered a global economic downturn and cost more than a million people around the world their lives, including seven here, hundreds across Ireland and 223 000 in America.
    “Barbados is such a beautiful place to spend any time,” he said a few days ago to the Irish Times, a leading daily newspaper in Dublin. “Growing up in Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, hearing someone had gone to Barbados on holiday was shorthand for being very wealthy. I could never have guessed that I would visit, let alone spend a year living here (in Barbados).
    But to another Irishman, a businessman, Barbados is not the place to invest your money because of its slow pace of justice. And if you become embroiled in a business dispute you may be forced to wait years for it to be resolved.
    “My advice to anyone contemplating investing in Barbados is do not do it,” he wrote to Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister, who has gone on Irish television and radio extolling the investment virtues of her birthplace.
    Those two competing images of Barbados were painted in recent months by Dave McInerney, a helicopter pilot who has flown heads of state, pop stars and royalty in different parts of the world, and by Alan McIntosh, the founder of Cairn Homes and Emerald Investments, who went so far as to write to Barbados’ Prime Minister complaining about the length of time it has taken the courts to hear the case.
    And both Irishmen have aired their feelings to the almost five million people in Ireland.
    Take the case of McInerny, a former Irish Army helicopter pilot who has served with the United Nations in Lebanon, flown across the North Sea and has held pilot licenses from the United States, Lebanon, Europe, Qatar, Malaysia, Bermuda and the United Arab Emirates.
    “I have spent the last ten years working as a VVIP helicopter pilot for very, very important people,” he wrote.
    “I have been fortunate enough to fly all over the world and my passengers have been heads of state, royalty, rock stars and everything in between.”
    Stranded in Barbados
    McInerney, who is married to a Trinidadian, Captain Sofia Hosein, also a VVIP helicopter pilot, left their jobs in the UAE at the end of last year and planned to spend time in Barbados “before moving on” to something else. That was when COVID-19 struck, and the couple found themselves unemployed on the island.
    “Suddenly, all of the jobs we had been offered were no longer available. The aviation sector has been hit hard and many friends and colleagues are furloughed or unemployed,” he explained.
    But considering the circumstances, it was among the best things that could have happened to them, he suggested.
    “We were extremely fortunate to be in Barbados for the pandemic,” he said. “The country has a population of about 287 000. Since COVID-19 hit there have only been 189 confirmed cases of whom seven have lost their lives. Barbados had its first recorded cases on March 17 and by March 26 there were 24 cases and the Prime Minister Mia Mottley had decided
    a national emergency and curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. You still cannot go into any stores or on transport without a mask, hand sanitiser is at the door of each store along with temperature checks.”
    McInerney explained “there is a long history of Irish people in the island” and when one heard the Bajan accent and its sing-song tone, it reminds people a “little like the Cork accent” that’s heard in an Irish county.
    Little wonder he said he was enjoying life in Barbados.
    “I swim each day at the beach, free diving or scuba diving,” he wrote. “It is a small island, but there are caves to discover, wrecks to dive and reefs to explore. For a tiny rock there is a lot to see,” he said.
    But while the pilot and his wife think the world of Barbados, Mcintosh does not share that view. The businessman, who made an investment of $2.5 million in Barbados three years ago and “ended up in a dispute with one of the shareholders”, a Bajan hotelier. But the case has not been heard.
    “I am an Irish investor who invested in Barbados and I wish I had never done so,” he told Mottley. “Unless changes are made to the legal system in Barbados, I would urge no one to invest in Barbados, either commercially or to buy a condo, holiday home or even take a holiday there. Why? The legal system is not fit for foreign investment or even to settle minor disputes in a timely manner.”
    He went further: “My advice to anyone contemplating investing in Barbados is do not do it.” (TB)

    Source: Nation

  40. What became of Odle?
    What became of CXC?
    There was something else that should happen 6 minutes ago.
    Escaped 5 minutes memory.

    • The question you have to ask is to what extent does the government listen to the people.

      It (political class) will judge the fallout and act in the interest of protecting the status quo.

    • CXC exams concerns remain
      By Stacey N. Russell
      Students and parents are still outraged over reviewed Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) grades that have been left largely the same as preliminary results released ten weeks ago.
      Paula-Anne Moore, spokesperson for the Concerned Parents of Barbados Group agitating for upward revision of 2020 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination grades, spoke to the Weekend Nation
      about the trend of final decisions being slowly released, and leaving students no better off.
      ‘Not happy’
      “We are not happy with the communication thus far by CXC, and certainly the trickle of results that have come in so far. Reviews? Most of them are unchanged,” she said in an exclusive interview. Thousands of Caribbean students, including hundreds in Barbados, who felt shortchanged by CXC with preliminary 2020 results agitated for regrades and this was supported by recommendations of the Independent Review Team (IRT) that CXC chairman, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles convened to investigate complaints.
      The IRT found that although the 2020 grading model was acceptable, compared to data from previous years, there were “limitations of the model, namely shifting in the distribution of grades – reduction in Grades I to IV”, and recommended that CXC “revert to the pre-January 2018 position and practice where a review included a remark”.
      “We are no worse off, I guess we should be happy
      for that. But justice still has not been provided for the children that got grades that they know are not theirs. To leave the grades unchanged is not acceptable either,” Moore said.
      She said many families were “deeply concerned and disillusioned” over the perceived injustice from the very educational authority they said had the power to remedy the situation, and negative comments from sections of the public, who thinks we’re only representing “spoilt, selfish, bougie, privileged” children.
      Earlier on Wednesday, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw said things had “settled down” among disgruntled students and parents.
      Before she took her seat on the panel of the National NGO Impact Consultation Seminar Barbados Resort, Needhams Point, St Michael, Bradshaw said: “Truthfully, recently things have, for the most part settled down. In the early stages where, obviously, there was a lot of anxiety, we were receiving a lot more calls, I was getting a lot more emails, but I cannot say that within the last few weeks since we would’ve taken a position to cover the cost of the review that we’ve really had any complaints or concerns expressed.”
      She said dialogue with CXC was ongoing and talks with school principals and teachers were expected.
      ‘Talks ongoing’
      “I know the discussions are still ongoing. They also met with us in relation to the way forward for CXC and those discussions are taking place with the local registrars as well. I know they were supposed to also have a meeting with the principals and I believe the teachers as well at some point in time because those were some of the recommendations
      we made that the consultation needed to be wider than just ministry. It needed to be inclusive of all of the stakeholders, who should be allowed to weigh in on what has happened, but also the way forward,” the minister said.

  41. @The OGazearts
    “What became of Odle?”

    I have pondered on this too.
    Was Mr McIntosh paid what he was owed by Mr Odle?
    Did the PM or her office ever respond to the allegations made?

    • No, as expected public questioning was ignored. The political class closed ranks not even the regular opposition voices asked questions.

  42. @ David
    I was embarrassed and deflated by your certainty. Undoubtedly and disappointingly true. Frustration turned to anger and I couldn’t respond. Thankfully reason and research has prevailed and allowed me to find this brilliant piece

    The Real Economic Costs of Inefficient Institutions,
    Political Systems, in the Caribbean

    The Inclusive Agenda January 19, 2021

    In mid-2020, Alan McIntosh, founder of Emerald Investments, sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Barbados in which he advised people not to invest in Barbados. The letter appeared soon after the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley appeared in a Business Post article, and on TV promoting increasing economic links between Ireland and her country. Mottley also appeared on Irish radio and numerous other forms of media to talk about her “work from Barbados” scheme.

    Copies of the letter were also sent to multiple media outlets in the UK, “The Times”, “The Independent”, “Sunday Independent Ireland” and more, and of course, the story made its way onto social media: Twitter and Facebook, building all kinds of narratives along the way.

    Therefore, what could possibly motivate a wealthy European investor, and highly respected businessman, to write such a letter?

    From what the letter says, McIntosh made a US$2.5M investment in a Barbados hotel project about four years ago. He then ended up filing an action against Hotelier Peter Odle, for breach of contract, the individual he loaned the money to. The investment was in relation to “The Sands Barbados” hotel, led by Mr. Odle. Emerald Investments started formal legal action in 2018 against Odle, who had signed a personal guarantee.

    This letter clearly reflects McIntosh’s exacerbation with the situation: “I am an Irish investor who invested in Barbados, and I wish I’d never done so. Unless changes are made to the legal system in Barbados, I would urge no one to invest in Barbados, either commercially or to buy a condo, holiday home or even take a holiday there. Why? The legal system is not fit for foreign investment or even to settle minor disputes promptly.”

    McIntosh went on to say: “I have waited for the court system to allow me due process, and after almost three years have seen no progress in the courts whatsoever.”

    “My advice to anyone contemplating investing in Barbados is: “Do not Do It.”

    Now, imagine for a moment, that you are a potential investor in the UK or elsewhere in the world, or even a potential vacationer to Barbados, other Caribbean islands, with thoughts of making a business investment, purchasing a vacation home, or condo?

    After hearing that “the legal system is not fit for foreign investment,” and said by a multi-millionaire businessman, co-founder of Irelands biggest home builder, Cairn Homes, owner of the Radisson Hotel at Dublin Airport, the Fleet Hotel in Dublin City centre, and numerous other property holdings. It would defy logic or common sense for one not to heed such a dire warning, and from such a credible source. You might ask yourself, how am I supposed to stand a chance as a small investor, if this powerful and sophisticated businessman can’t even get a day in court to settle a basic commercial dispute?

    The story reached Canada, the US, Europe, even Asia and Africa. In the digital age, all stories are global.

    Of particular note, the story was also published on “AfricaBrief”, a digital business and investment news platform in Africa. It so happens that Mottley is trying to court wealthy African’s to invest in Barbados. This story is a blow to her efforts because wealthy African investors traditionally look to move their capital out of the inefficient, corrupt home jurisdictions, into safe and reliable ones. The reason why countries like Canada and the UK continue to experience robust property investment markets, via wealthy Asian, African, and Indian investors particularly, is because these destinations are seen as safe, stable counties with transparent and effective governing and legal institutions. Country-specific risk scenarios are a primary factor in investment decisioning; perception, real or imagined, about corruption or lacking legal institutions, drive negative investment narratives.

    Potential investors take in that information subconsciously through media then make really consequential decisions, consciously, based on the subconscious information they’ve processed. This is how bias is formed and opportunity lost if no counter-narrative is actively applied in the information age.

    Negative stories in the digital era often take on a life of their own, permeating exponentially, killing opportunity and economic growth without anyone being the wiser. If governments in the Caribbean are not mindful of the economic impacts of the information/misinformation age, they risk the long-term prosperity of their nations.

    The future of growth and prosperity of the region must be underpinned by efficient, well-functioning, transparent institutions. Strong and inclusive institutions are the hallmarks of prosperous societies in the promotion of global trade and commerce. Gaining foreign investor confidence is something all societies must do, both the developed and developing ones.

    According to the World Bank, weak political, economic and legal institutions lead to countries operating with high levels of inefficiencies, unable to function, or prosper, which causes suffering for its society foremost. For emerging market economies, inefficiencies drive corruption and can lead to an uneven distribution of wealth as small businesses face unfair competition from larger companies or business people, with established yet dubious connections with government officials. Resources are inefficiently allocated to friends/companies that otherwise would not be qualified to win government contracts, opportunities, or business facilitation, had it not been for relationships with officials. This crony capitalism holds back innovation and entrepreneurship and stifles younger, more educated and talented entrepreneurs from coming up. Wealth then tends to concentrate with the very few and much older “elites” in the society, and the nation remains stuck in a perpetual economic loop of underdevelopment, never reaching its full economic potential.

    In 2018, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Corruption is poisonous, corrosive, vicious and an enemy of sustainable development. It destroys people’s confidence in their leaders, their politicians and their country.” However, currently, five Caribbean countries – the Bahamas, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Lucia – rank amongst the 50 least corrupt countries in the world (out of 180), according to Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. So, the news is not bad.

    Therefore, without a coordinated response from the government, its leaders are essentially leaving the reputation and economic growth of their countries, not to fact, but to narratives on the internet.

    One of the main reasons, Mr. McIntosh has gone to such lengths, is his dismay with the system, not being able to get his case heard in a reasonable time in the Barbados court system. This then fuels his perception that the Barbados political system is inherently corrupt and that Barbadian hotelier, Peter Odle, is being purposefully protected by friends in high places. Odle’s personal friend does happen to be Prime Minister Mottley. So, it is merely a logical connect-the-dots mental process for McIntosh, and other investors watching from afar. We really don’t know if these perceptions are true or not; however, that does not matter. If not countered, perception becomes the prevailing reality! Furthermore, it exacerbates the problem when we learn that in September 2020, Mottley appointed Odle as Chairman of the Barbados Port Authority, (BPI)—a clear patronage appointment, for a friend who helped her in the election.

    McIntosh has also made it clear in the letters he’s written to PM Mottley, that he is not asking Mottley to use her influence towards a favourable outcome for him. He simply seeks to advocate for himself in bringing to the PM’s attention, the state of her legal system, and how it is a negative factor for those considering Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Barbados. Mottley not responding simply hurts Barbados and the broader CARICOM region’s FDI climate.

    In 2019, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Caribbean, declined 7.8%, which represents a precipitous decline from its highest historical value reached in 2012. Furthermore, the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis has caused a profound reduction in FDI in 2020 and is expected to continue to fall further by at least another 10%, in 2021. Therefore, it is not helpful when these types of stories get out and are not countered. These stories only reinforce bias, preconceived notions, perceptions, and stereotypes of Black people and the region as corrupt and backwards.

    To help sustain and stimulate FDI in Caribbean markets, as a base, strong, efficient, active, and transparent institutions must bolster the recovery and future growth agendas. Research shows that FDI is the most critical factor in economic expansion for any society, particularly for developing Small Island States (SIS). SIS without mature, robust, localized global capital markets—building investor confidence becomes even more paramount to a viable future growth existence. If negative public discourse around foreign investors’ losing money, due to local business people hiding behind systems of corruption, or inefficient institutions, and an indolent legal system, this then becomes the prevailing narrative, which investors make decisions off of.

    Programs like Citizenship by Investment (CBI,) for example, a program Grenada and other Caribbean states currently operate, have been plagued with an abundance of shady characters over the many years.

    Major media outlets have produced non-flattering documentaries about CBI programs throughout the region, a blow to the reputations of these SIS. According to the Economist, the “defenders of the schemes insist that criminals seeking a bolthole are the exception and that they are making great strides in imposing stricter due diligence standards. The vast majority of their customers, they argue, are honest, respectable people with a legitimate hankering.”

    Nevertheless, after looking into it, we couldn’t find any reasonably positive CBI story online.

    Therefore, the big risk, and future priority towards a positive growth curve trajectory for the region, is the un-branding of the region away from the narrative as a haven for illegal, unscrupulous, criminals. We must control our own narrative, write our own stories, otherwise, others will write them for us. The well-written story that needs to be told going forward should be about well-intentioned, legit investors like Allan McIntosh, Emerald Investments, honestly investing in the region, finding the place efficient, well managed, with strong public institutions that build investor confidence. The story should also go on to say, that McIntosh makes good money on his investments, and creates meaningful amounts of jobs, the enterprise becomes a responsible corporate citizen, contributing to climate change mitigation, specific to the region, and investing in education and skills training programs to prepare the next generation for the future-of-work.

    In an era of digital transformation, the world is increasingly competing for limited global investment dollars. Unless the region can become savvier at controlling information and communication narratives, in its favour, valuable investment dollars will end up elsewhere.

    Leadership, from islands like Barbados, about public occurrences like the McIntosh/Odle saga, which finds itself closely associated with the Prime Minister, cannot go unaddressed. For example, on social media or in public discourse in the investor community abroad, the story/narrative going around is that Peter Odle is notorious for using political relationships to protect himself from numerous lawsuits. We, of course, do not know if these narratives are true or not, nor can they be substantiated in real-time, but that’s the nature of social media, and if you don’t have your own media strategy in place or story to tell, your image becomes whatever narrative emerges online. Salacious, headline-grabbing stories get more attention and go on to create further unwanted narratives.

    This fundamentally works against the efforts of the PM, for example, who is whole-heartedly trying to sell Barbados to the world, with her “work from Barbados” scheme.

    However, in the end, while the big boys fight it out publicly, the little guys bear the economic brunt.

    I would think it critical and responsible for government to understand precisely, how the new digital playing field works, and that everything comes back to economics in the end. Digital message control and business image strategies are now an essential discipline in order to carve out your place in the digital universe. To have a long-term sustainable economy for the benefit of the people, you must adapt to globalization, and promote your country to the world, this is how the wealth of nations grow.

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.