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Beaches Resort makes bombshell reveal; lawsuit against TCI Gov’t still in court

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Beaches Turks & Caicos, Caribbean Village - From Trip Advisor

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – September 13, 2020 — Beaches Turks and Caicos, on Friday September 11, made a bombshell reveal; that its lawsuit against the Turks and Caicos Islands Government – filed in January 2019 – remains unresolved.

“The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as the other defendants, were legally due to file their defence in June 2019 – well over a year ago. They did not. We have patiently waited upon the Government to file its defence but to no avail.”

A Magnetic Media article, published on March 14, 2019 reported this:

An unprecedented interest rate of 213 percent, an audit which exonerated the family all-inclusive resort of fiscal misbehavior, a surprise bill of reported back taxes, breach of government’s own agreement and deviation from its own written assurances plus over-payment of taxes by Beaches are among the reasons, Sandals Resorts International says it is forced to move forward with the lawsuit against TCIG.

“It is indeed most unfortunate that we had to litigate against our host country, but given the injustice we had no alternative. Based on the number of communications that our organization has been receiving, it is clear that the investment and banking community together with the travel trade including the airlines are all paying close attention to see whether the Government will honor its commitments.”

Beaches T&C has not changed its stance and in the Friday media statement claims the resort was compelled to file to take the matter to court and could not withdraw the lawsuit due to a string of alleged injustices perpetrated against them.

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The pending litigation had also threatened Beaches operations in Providenciales; still government is accused of inaction.

“Our numerous meetings, conference calls and letters have led to no positive action on the part of TCIG. We remain anxious to resolve the matter in a lawful and principled manner but we cannot do so in an environment where our correspondence go unanswered, our law suit un-defended and our good faith overtures to engage in steps toward resolution are not reciprocated and have led nowhere despite assurances,” informed the statement issued by Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos.

The charge against TCIG is becoming a common refrain.  Magnetic Media continues to be on the receiving end of complaints about the lack of response from Government Ministers and Officials. 

The reoccurring reports by members of the public fuelled an article on September 6, 2020 by Deandrea Hamilton, Magnetic Media owner, headlined:  PDM Administration, the “NO REPLY” Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Beaches Resort adds to the growing list of frustrated stakeholders and candidly expressed its disappointment about the lack of progress in the legal matter. 

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“No investor, and in particular Beaches, wants to be involved in court proceedings with a host Country. However, given the gravity of certain fundamental breaches of our Development Agreement(s), such as provisions relating to the payment of the Customs Processing Fee, Beaches had no choice but to protect our legal and constitutional rights by filing a lawsuit against the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is available to the public. This occurred in May 2019.”

The family all-inclusive, resort village has been operating in Turks and Caicos since 1995.  While negotiations in 2019 did result in a Revenue Control Department amnesty that exempted Beaches and others from past due payments and penalties, Beaches Resort informed our news organisation that the gesture fell short.   

“Since 1995 when we commenced operation in the TCI we have consistently and faithfully paid taxes in accordance with our Development Agreement(s) and the laws of the TCI. In 2017 TCIG unilaterally breached our Development Agreement(s) and other written governmental commitments which over the years formed the basis of our substantial investment in the TCI. 

We have over-performed on all our obligations to TCIG and the Government have virtually “torn up” legally binding commitments given in writing as a basis for our investment. As a foreign investor, international law assures us of fair and equitable treatment by our host country, and one should expect no less from TCIG.”                

Magnetic Media has reached out to the Minister of Finance, who is Premier Sharlene Robinson about the statement from Beaches.

Hon Sharlene Robinson, TCI Premier & Minister of Finance

Beaches Resort, in the media release, said they have no further comment.

The general public worries that this looming lawsuit could impact a planned reopening of Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos on October 14.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

TCI News

FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates

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FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates. The request was submitted to Her Excellency the Governor today. The Company’s submission proposed a 6% rate increase across service territories.
The appointment of an inquirer forms part of the rate review process outlined in the Electricity Ordinance. Interested persons can make representation during the inquiry. Once completed, the inquirer provides a report to FortisTCI as the public supplier and to Her Excellency the Governor with its recommendations.

The Company’s proposal for revised electric rates was submitted to the Governor on February 14, 2024, and was supported by substantial information. As part of the rate review process, Her Excellency, the Governor, requested additional information through the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, and the Company met all additional requests.

FortisTCI understands the difficulties that customers can face with electricity bills. For this reason, the Company works hard to ensure that electric rates have remained as stable as possible. The Company invests responsibly and maintains an efficient operation, providing customers with one of the most reliable electricity services in the Caribbean.

FortisTCI maintains that revised electric rates are necessary at this time to expand the electricity system and maintain reliable service to customers, amid rising energy demand as the Turks and Caicos Islands economy continues to grow. Like other businesses, external pressures such as persistent high inflation and high interest costs have also impacted the operation. These are the primary reasons for the electric rates review.

Before the current submission of revised rates, FortisTCI had requested one general rate review in twenty years. This was to help recover significant investments made after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The rate increase was granted after the appointment of an Inquirer, who determined that the Company’s request was necessary and reasonable. The inquirer’s report also highlighted that FortisTCI had prudently managed its costs and operation.

Similarly, the Company welcomes an open and independent examination of its current request for revised electric rates. FortisTCI will hold information meetings across the islands to discuss its proposed revised rates, providing customers with opportunities to have their questions answered. The schedule of meetings will be published on the Company’s social media pages.

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13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023

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#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.

 

CONTACT: Desmond Williams, desmond@winecellar.tc, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

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TCI News

Swearing-In Ceremony, six added to TCI Police Force

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Six police constables were today sworn into the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Four experienced officers- Germaine Scott, Sandenia Francis, Tyrone Cox and Blake Hooker, along with Special Constables Rashaunda Cooke and Raymond Clare took their oaths during a brief ceremony at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The officers pledged to uphold justice, protect the community, and diligently serve their duties with pride and integrity.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Christopher Eyre addressed the constables, applauding the efforts of those currently serving and indicating that they are now part of dealing with the challenges facing the Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly that of illegal migration.

Mr Eyre said: “In this region, we face the humanitarian tragedy affecting Haiti, and our hearts go out to those affected on that island. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of Haiti’s government, we have seen the prisons being overrun and over 5000 prisoners escaping.

“We also face challenges from illegal migration to our shores. Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams and I have been working feverishly to coordinate with other law enforcement colleagues to secure the TCI borders.

“I am proud of this Force and how we have stepped up to the challenges. I look forward to seeing you and also seeing you excel as part of the team”.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kendall Grant, Human Resource Officer Sgt. Tashauna Wilson, and Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor were also at the swearing-in.

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