Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
Barbadians were treated recently to the news that the enigmatic Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Leroy Parris who was deposed when the bottom fell out of the CLICO parent company in Trinidad has filed a legal action against the Nation, Barbados Advocate and Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Parris would not have made the top 200,000th popular person list in Barbados prior to his recent court action. Now that he has filed the action his position is likely to slide to 250,000th.
Posted in Barbados Labour Party, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados Media, Barbados News, Barbados Press, Blogging, Caribbean News, Justice
Tagged Barbados Advocate, George Payne, Leroy Parris, Nation Newspaper
Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica – photo credit: Dominica News
On 27 April 2013 Barbados Underground (BU) posted the blog Who Are the Local Partners in Cost-U-Less?. Although the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit has denied the word making the rounds that he is a local shareholder, BU defends our right to ask questions of Skerrit or anyone in the interest of providing clarification.
In the interest of providing further clarification it should be noted that the Companies Act Cap 308 places sole responsibility of managing the company in the hands of the Directors. What this means is that unless a shareholder choses to be a Director the public is left to speculate who are the shareholders. The Act is drafted to protect the Shareholder who – if not a Director – has no say in the conduct of the company.
BU reiterates our position taken in the original blog, in the interest of transparency the other names mentioned (Hartley Henry, the Estate of David Thompson and Leroy Parris) should state publicly whether they have an interest in Cost U Less (CUL). The government has approved significant concessions to CUL and given the names mentioned the public has a right to know. It should be noted that Pricesmart has since denied receiving similar concessions. Also at the time of launch it was widely reported that David Staples represented local shareholder interest. Perhaps in the interest of protecting its goodwill CUL should make a public statement stating who are the local shareholders.
Late Prime Minister David Thompson (l) disgraced former Chairman of CLICO Holdings B’dos Ltd rumoured to be local partners in Cost-U-Less
We do not charge membership fees and believe we can offer low prices to Barbados shoppers, just as we have in our most recent store opening in the Cayman Islands, which was also a partnership with local business people
It has been almost five years from the time of the announcement Cost U Less Maybe Coming To Barbados that it launched in Barbados. However, based on consumer feedback the wait has been in vain. It has been two months since launch and Barbadians continue to wait for the low prices promised. Before the coming of Cost-U-Less the Trinidadians, who now have a vice grip on our food retail and distribution channels, had promised Barbadian consumers the same, that is, we would benefit from economies of scale created by a larger T&T market.
Barbados now finds itself in a situation where we have a new entrant to an already competitive retail food sector. And it has not demonstrated any appreciable price differentiation in its offering. Sad to say the inevitable must follow. We created 200 jobs with the coming of Cost-U-Less but SuperCentre and DacostaMannings, owned by the Trinidadians, continue to send home employees.
Prime Minster Stuart being congratulated after the DLP was the declared the winner
There are some things the BU household has surrendered to by saying, we just do not understand.
There is a healthy interest by Barbadians in the CLICO Affair as in unfolds in the T&T parent market. A catastrophic failure of local and regional regulatory and political systems. Listen to searching interview by Fazeer Mohammed (known more in Barbados as a cricket commentator) and Afra Raymond, a vocal Trinidadian commentator leading the effort for transparency in the CLICO matter.
Posted in Barbados News, Blogging, Caribbean News
Tagged Afra Raymond, CL Financial, CLICO, Colman Commission, Fazeer Mohammed, Lawrence Duprey, Leroy Parris, Trinidad, Trinidad News
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/ Watchdog Group
Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley MP, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
The so-called silly season is upon us. Once more, sooner or later, Barbadians will elect a new BLP/DLP government. Or a new DLP/BLP government. It’s six of one and half dozen of the other.
We can predict that none of the manifestos will contain any of the following:
(a) Radical reform of the educational system and the abolishment of the elitist Eleven Plus Exam, which continues to condemn our children to the equivalent of social and economic gas chambers.
(b) Neither will contain the slightest reference to genuine worker/employee participation in company profits. We have mega businesses that either giving the workers peanuts or nothing at all in terms of real ownership.
(c) Neither will touch land reform that will guarantee perpetual state ownership by the citizens of Barbados. The BLP/DLP has sold our prime land to the highest bidders. On the other hand a few rich locals control most if not all arable land.
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Government, Barbados Labour Party, Blogging, Democratic Labour Party, Fruendel Stuart, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Politics
Tagged Jeff Broomes, Leroy Parris, Power
Sir Richard Cheltenham (l) Leroy Parris (c) Larry Tatem (r)
A response to BU’s earlier blog – The Everton Cumberbatch Versus Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem And Breakers Investment Inc Matterwas a cry to have sight of the documents for the defendants. We are pleased to post additional documents which shine light on the other side of this matter. We highly recommend that the BU family read these documents which give insight into how the prominent and ‘deep pockets’ in our society operate. The affidavit of Leroy Parris is of particular interest and instructive in this regard.
This matter is before the courts and, BU understands will be decided shortly. Therefore BU will tread lightly by sounding off within the bounds of fair comment.
Sir Richard Cheltenham (l) Leroy Parris (c) Larry Tatem (c)
On March 16, 2012, BU posted the Leroy Parris The Litigant blog. BU has now had sight of the Plaintiff (Everton Cumberbatch’s) Affidavit in support of his action. While not in any way taking a position on the affidavit, BU found it to be a fascinating read and highly recommend it to the BU family.
BU also post the Judgement of the High Court in a motion by the Defendants (Leroy Parris, Larry Tatem, The Breakers Investment Inc) to have the matter discontinued and struck out, in which the Defendants failed.
The action refers to, in the main, the Companies Act Cap. 308 of the Laws of Barbados, Section 228. This section specifically deals with Oppression of the rights of members and officers and charge-holders of a company. We quote one small portion of Section 228:
Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation Newspaper
The following was submitted by a concerned Barbadian who prefers to remain anonymous – Barbados Underground
It really is about time that every effort is made to bring some sanity back into the operations of the Nation Newspaper and deflect it from the path it has embarked upon. In its present state the newspaper is no more than a scandal sheet whose main agenda seems to be doing no more than creating sensation, much of which is anti government, and in the process breaking all the rules of propriety.
Some time recently one of the lawyers for Mr Leroy Parris of CLICO upon whom they have been waging a personal vendetta, went on national television to complain about two articles which the newspaper published . The first suggested that his client had gone ” MISSING ” in an effort to avoid being served process by a Marshall of the Supreme Court; the second “SERVED” referred to the first article and suggested that his client had gone overseas and also imputed that this was in his attempt to avoid being brought before the court on a CRIMINAL charge. Mr Parris’ lawyer made it very clear that he was informed that the CHIEF MARSHALL had no record of any failure by any Marshall to serve Mr Parris. In addition, the marshal for the area had confirmed that he had neither tried nor failed to execute service on Mr Parris. He also informed that his client had refuted any claim that he had left the island; in fact he had not left the island for months .
Finance Minister, Christopher Sinckler with Board members of the Financial Services Commission. Others, from left, are: Felton Burton, Professor Frank Alleyne, Lawson Yearwood, Virginia Mapp, Sir Neville Nicholls and Jefferson Cumberbatch - Photo Credit: Advocate
The unravelling CLICO Mess has the potential to reshape how business is done in Barbados and possibly the Caribbean. For the transformation to occur the Fourth and Fifth Estates must play a lead role. The facts of the this case must be presented to the public in an unbiased manner.
The political class in Barbados is in cover-your-ass-mode but here is some of what we know about the CLICO Mess so far:
If the Late David Thompson was alive he would have to answer a few ‘hard’ questions, for example, why did Thompson & Associates generate an invoice for 3.3 million dollars which a forensic report suggests Leroy Parris was the beneficiary?
Both political parties have contributed to the weak regulatory framework which governed the insurance industry in the pre-CLICO British American collapse period
Submitted by Hamilton Hill
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
As a boy at secondary school my love for the arts drew me in an astounding way to the Masterpiece called “A Psalm Of Life” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today from that Masterpiece I borrow the excerpt “Things are not always what they seem.” Is there any other way to digest the disgusting display of dishonesty, magnified by the simple fact that thousands of us in this person reposed our trust? This CLICO mess is shameful. It is scandalous. God knows that it is also felonious.
For too long the poor folk in our little country have taken it up the wazoo from persons who view their participation in politics as a path to riches. We as a people have always acceded to their ways for in times past, issues like this CLICO master con were raging fires on the political platform, the embers of which were quenched by the thrill of victory by one or the other.
Augusto Pinochet (l) Leroy Parris (r)
If we are to judge from the back and forth in recent days there is the suggestion that a window of opportunity supported by the Pinochet Case (I,II) favours Leroy Parris. Is the claim that Leroy Parris and company had full knowledge of Patrick Toppin’s role as Receiver for Plantations Holdings – a subsidiary of CL Financial – and failed to challenge when along with Oliver Jordan they were appointed Judicial Managers to unravel The CLICO Mess? Did the onus of such disclosure rest with Patrick Toppin as a professional bonded to uphold the ethics of the accounting profession? Bear in mind lawyers for Toppin have subsequently confirmed he disclosed his role to the Supervisor of Insurance and Minister of Finance. It is unclear if similar disclosure was made to the Courts which have jurisdiction in the matter.
For the benefit of BU family who have demonstrated a healthily interest in the legal component of the argument. Here is the Pinochet Case dissected:
Pinochet time lines:
Senator Peter Gilkes (l) with the late Prime Minister David Thompson
BU received the following communication where the author seeks to warn about the CLICO chess matched being played in the game which BU has labelled The CLICO Mess. We take this opportunity to advise BU will continue to guard the identity of our many sources.
Barbadians need to look at substance over form: Is Mr Toppin not of adequate skill and competence to perform in the role of Judicial Manager? Kindly note that it was Deloitte Consulting that was appointed as Judicial Manager with Oliver Jordan and Patrick Toppin as representatives. Ironically, of the two representatives it is Mr Jordan who has been the person leading these efforts thus far.
The Court approved of Deloitte Consulting as Judicial Managers in Barbados, The courts in the majority of the OECS territories were CLICO International Life operated appointed Deloitte Consulting as well. Does this tell you that the courts in all these territories were also deficient/negligent in their duties in appointing Deloitte Consulting as Judicial Manager??? I do not believe this to be the case.