Maloney OUT, Bostic IN

A contributing factor to a high level of cynicism by citizens directed at government is the lack of transparency attached to selecting national awardees. The exercise is regarded as an opportunity for the sitting government to reward party faithful. The same with appointments to SOEs. The 2021 National Independence Awards was no different although some deserving Barbadians received recognition.

A few of the awardees caught the eye of the blogmaster.

Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic and the COVID 19 team received the Order of Freedom of Barbados award. On the face of it one would have opined well deserved, BUT a question must be asked. Minister Bostic admitted he was unaware the role his ministry played in the mysterious attempt to purchase AstraZeneca Covid 19 vaccine through a third party at an outrageous price – see Mark Maloney Scammed!. The signature of his [Bostic] Permanent Secretary Janet Phillips is affixed on a ministry letterhead authorizing the transaction – see US Court document . Janet Phillips is also listed as receiving the national award as a member of the COVID 19 team. Should the two have received such high national recognition in the circumstances? The blogmaster’s position is if we are serious about changing trajectory to build a quality society as the newest republic, these are opportunities our leadership must seize to send the right message to the citizens. It is the only way to rebuild trust between actors in civil society.

Barbadians have not received a satisfactory explanation from the government regarding the Mark Maloney Scammed matter. Why a local businessman whose substantive profession is construction, importing cement and racing cars was involved in brokering a deal with a Miami based entertainment company to procure vaccine is beyond the pale. It is unfortunate our government continues to ignore calls from citizens for a satisfactory explanation. Fortunately for Bostic he is one of several Barbados Labour Party (BLP) sitting members of parliament who have decided to quit elective politics and will not have to subject himself to defending the indefensible on the campaign trail. 

Another name of interest is Juanita Thorington-Powlett. She is one of those public servants appointed to the board of directors of Clearwater Bay company – See Four Seasons Project: Public Servants Must Serve Taxpayers NOT Politicians. In light of the unfavourable comment contained in the Auditor General report about a ‘write off’ of $124 million, it begs another question. How do you award someone who has fiduciary responsibility for a company that attracted such a negative note from a key oversight agency?

The treatment of the investment in Clearwater Bay needs to be further explained. The investment in this government-owned company was recorded at a value of $124 million investment in prior years. It represented an investment by Clearwater in the Four Seasons Hotel project. The value of this investment remained unchanged on the books of government for several years even though the property on which the investment was based was significantly impaired.

Leigh Trotman, Auditor General

Finally there is Peter Odle, a BLP faithful. Our national awards will not garner respect if the body of work of awardees is open to question marks – see Foreign Investor Unable to Have Case Heard Against Hotelier Peter Odle

There are many names on the list that would have failed the smell test if proper due diligence was done. The Mark Maloney Scammed matter reminds us due diligence by government is not a prerequisite for informing quality decisions. Good luck to Walter Blackman who is on-air trying to highlight the bigger issue of a failure of our governance system and lack of integrity of players involved. Instead of being unanimously congratulated, he has been attacked daily by the politically motivated and ignorant.




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..

A Pesky Irish International Investor

The following article appears in the Business Section of the the Independent dated 13 September 2020, a newspaper based in Ireland where Prime Minister Mia Mottley was also reported promoting business opportunities between Barbados and Ireland.

Readers will recall two earlier blogs posted to Barbados Underground which highlighted a matter that has reached the Barbados Courts between Irish businessman Alan McIntosh and local businessman Peter Odle which has been in abeyance in the court system since 2008..

See following links:

It makes any sensible person wonder what is the point of expending so much effort and resources to sell Barbados as an international business centre and because of a dysfunctional court system; one that is perceived to be manipulated, potential returns are nullified. Based on the notification from the Supreme Court of Barbados the case is set down to be heard on the 26 January 2021 at 9:30AM. We know this is no guarantee the matter will be heard given the long arm of influence by some in our country.

See article in the Independent newspaper.

Cairn Homes founder warns investors about Barbados

The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown
The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown

September 13 2020 02:30 AMAlan McIntosh, a founder of Cairn Homes and Emerald Investments, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Barbados in which he advised people not to invest in Barbados.

The investor wrote the letter after Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley appeared in a Business Post article looking to increase economic links between Ireland and her country. She also appeared on Irish radio to talk about a “work from Barbados” scheme.

Copies of the letter were sent to others, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

McIntosh made a $2.5m investment in Barbados three years ago. He ended up in a dispute with one of the shareholders in the project, Peter Ogle, starting legal action in 2018.

In the letter, seen by Ergo, McIntosh wrote that he has been waiting “almost three years” for the matter to be heard.

Of investing in Barbados, McIntosh wrote: “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 in a timely manner.”

Later in the letter, he wrote: “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’.”

Barbados didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Peter Principle – The Peter Odle Imbroglio

The William McIntosh Vs Peter Odle (second defendant) – Foreign Investor Unable to Have Case Heard Against Hotelier Peter Odle – raises the question who should be considered fit and proper to carry out duties of state. Peter Odle is a veteran hotelier who was recently appointed to the post of Chairman of the Barbados Port Authority to replace Senator Lisa Cummins. In light of the court matter lodged against him the question taxpayers must ask – is it unreasonable to ask Peter Odle to stand down as Chairman of BPI until the matter is resolved?

The blogmaster is of the view if good governance is to be seen to be practised by the government and other actors in civil society the answer is a resounding YES.

The BU blogmaster has been around long enough to understand how influence is exerted on the system by the prominent and powerful in Barbados. There is the old Bajan saying who the cow likes he licks, who he does not, he kicks. A big part of the reason Barbados and other countries are witnessing significant citizen apathy in the double standards as it pertains to how the directorate is seen to do business in the country. A robust democracy requires its citizenry to be vigilant. It is not nebulous, it required discrete behaviour from citizens.

The first blog referenced above poked at what Barbadians know, the local court system is groaning under its own weight. This is a paraphrase view shared in public by the incumbent Attorney General Dale Marshall. The McIntosh Vs Peter Odle also exposes other actors complicit in a weak governance model being practised in Barbados. Based on the documents related to the contentious matter under review this blogmaster, it is important we discover ways to examined these matters that have traditionally been swept under the carpet.

A few questions for the BU intelligentsia to discuss for 100 marks.

  1. Was Dan Rossen appointed director in Sandy Bay Holdings (2014) Inc without his knowledge? How is this possible under the Companies Act of Barbados?
  2. Did the Attorney General (AG) of Barbados reply to an email from a concerned member of the public on the 10 February 2020 citing Mr. Peter Odle allegedly making claims that the AG was advising him personally on a incident that occurred at The Sands Hotel on Saturday 8th February 2020? The incident is reported to have occurred in the presence of police officers.

The concerns and questions posed suggest our governance model is compromised. It means not only our court officers and political class are engaged in supine behaviour, it extends to other state actors. It is time the citizenry awake and accept its role of holding elected AND paid officials accountable.

The democracy we practice is described as fragile, a key check and balance must come from the citizenry cognizant of its civic responsibilities. A well worn quote from Abraham Lincoln “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”  was to recognized soldiers who sacrificed lives to give truth to the statement. In Barbados citizens are not required to fight wars to defend the cause of democracy – is it asking too much for Barbadians to adopt other forms of sacrifice for the greater good?

Food for thought.

Foreign Investor Unable to Have Case Heard Against Hotelier Peter Odle

Peter Odle

We now know veteran hotelier Peter Odle was recently appointed Chairman of Barbados Port Inc to replace Senator Lisa Cummins who was promote to the Cabinet of Barbados. His first salvo to the media was to sell his private sector experience acquired over many years. We will see Mr. Odle, we will see.

Meanwhile elsewhere it is left to social media players to prosecute a matter where Peter Odle’s name is mentioned. In recent days an unsigned letter addressed to Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been circulating in the Barbados social media space.

In brief, a dispute has arisen between Irish investor Alan McIntosh (Emerald Investment) and newly appointed Chairman Peter Odle. The investor resorted to the Barbados Courts on April 2018 – seeking for matter CV1233 of 2018 to be heard on an urgent basis. Mr. McIntosh has expressed shock that to date the matter is outstanding. See the letter attached which reaffirms an issue promoted regularly in this space, justice delayed is justice denied.

The blogmaster has communicated with our source, reviewed voluminous documents received to understand the details of the dispute. Mr. McIntosh deserves his day in court. The letter confirms a similar filing was made in a Guernsey court – the jurisdiction in which a loan agreement between the parties was consummated – and it was resolved in five months. There are no words to describe how Mr. McIntosh and others gripped in a full nelson by our court system must be feeling. Barbados is a country dependent on tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI). This case does not recommend Barbados as an easy place to do business if our courts are not functioning efficiently to dispense justice in a satisfactory time frame.

It is noteworthy Justice Rajendra Narine is acting Chief Justice now that former Chief Justice Marston Gibson has retired. The vacancy was advertised across the region and the application process will close on 7 September 2020. Successive governments have been unable to wrestle our moribund judicature labouring under the weight of a backlog of cases. Check BU Archives and Lawyer in the News Page for the avoidance of doubt. Prime Minister Mottley was on CNN International assuring all within earshot that Barbados is open for business despite COVID 19. On the flip side our Courts are not equipped to discharge all assigned duties were our guests forced to seek legal remedy.

The blogmaster holds no brief for Peter Odle, therefore this blog is not meant to denigrate the newly appointed Chairman and veteran hotelier. The primary message is to ask why Barbados is unable to deliver timely justice guaranteed under the Constitution to its constituents. William Alan McIntosh deserves for the local Courts to rule on his claim of USD550,000 (with interest and cost) owed by First Defendant Sandy Bay Holdings (2014) Inc and Second Defendant Peter Odle. For an aggrieved party to have to fight the Barbados Courts et al to remedy an injustice is the antithesis to what it should represent.

Emerald Investment Partners (“Emerald”) is the private UK and Irish family investment office of Mr. Alan McIntosh. Our investment record in the UK and Ireland includes co-founding Cairn Homes plc, Ireland’s largest house builder which is quoted on both the Dublin and London stock exchange with a market capitalisation of £800m. Emerald is a significant stakeholder in Interserve plc, a UK outsource provider that employs over 50,000 staff. Mr. McIntosh was co-founder of Punch Taverns in the late 90’s a company he grew to an estate of over 5,000 pubs. Emerald was the lead investor in the acquisition of a portfolio of airport hotels which were being privatised by the Irish Government (Great Southern Hotels) and we acquired and funded Carechoice, a company that has gone on to become one of the largest nursing homes operators in Ireland. Emerald continues to be an active investor in UK & Irish residential and commercial real estate, hotel and leisure assets.

Emerald Investment