We have a few rich people who are able to facilitate large local transactions and receive offset offshore requires attention from local authorities.
In recent days the blogmaster has had the irresistible urge to ‘mumble’ in words a concern. It is a concern many Barbadians are unaware. It centres around how ‘players’ in Barbados operate to influence decision making by decision makers.
In BU’s early years the late Denis Lowe featured in many blogs when evidence surfaced he was an errand boy for Peter Allard of Graeme Hall Sanctuary fame. The plan was for Allard to fund his campaign, in return he would have no choice but to be compliant. Too many are ignorant to the fact it isn’t elected politicians who call the shots, it is the faceless others that contribute to finance campaigns and hold keys to important gateways.
It is a puzzlement why the previous government – then Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler – redirected funds from the Industrial Credit Fund to ensure Mark Maloney was paid for an obviously overpriced Grotto project. It was a project that attracted unfavourable comment in the Auditor General’s 2016 Special Audit report with predictably no repercussions. This was at a time government owed too many small black business persons. To be compliant the government had to ignore a protrusion at the entrance of Coverley Gardens, a prefab construction next to the flour mill on the renamed Mighty Gryner among two that come to mind.
What about members of the merchant class who from all reports continue to establish companies/storefronts in foreign lands with the purpose of managing the invoicing? If people on the streets are aware why have we never heard about anyone being identified and arrested for the practice? Barbados is a company always on the hunt for foreign exchange, we borrow at a price to future generations. The fact we have a few rich people who are able to facilitate large local transactions and receive offset offshore requires attention from local authorities.
Is this a case of local authorities lacking resources to investigate in order to minimize this level of white collar crime? Is it a case of endemic corruption which is a challenge for all countries in varying degrees? One gets the sense that in Barbados there is no attempt to arrest this type of criminal activity, the result is that we have a band of players who game the system. The result is that millions of dollars in foreign exchange are redirected and secreted away in offshore accounts in Miami, Cayman and elsewhere. It is naive for Barbadians to believe those among us with the ability to earn significant revenue are unprepared to look for opportunities to convert from soft to hard currency. There are also Barbadians who earn foreign exchange overseas who look for ways to keep the funds offshore. The fear of putting all the eggs in one basket is real. The disloyalty to country is real. Greed being a deadly sin will be everlasting.
Isn’t it ironic the government at one level is engaged on an aggressive campaign of borrowing to bolster our foreign reserves, BUT, we have crime being committed by individuals of respectability and high social standing that is undermining the process? Unfortunately given this level of collusion that is bought and paid for, it is unlikely we will ever see any of the players taken down by local authorities in the same way Donville Inniss was successfully snared by US authorities with the help by a foreign corporate citizen.
Unfortunately through the lens of a lowly blogmaster, it is unlikely our weak governance framework, combined with a poor appetite from authorities to pursue the rich and powerful will we have progress to take out players. Instead, the minions will continue to protest against this that and the other while the players continue to laugh all the way to overseas banks.