#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.
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.
“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.
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.
TWO SEXUAL Assault Cases begin in Providenciales Supreme Court
Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – On Monday 25th September 2023 in the Providenciales Supreme Court before her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson and a seven member Jury to be empaneled, there are TWO sexual assault/rape cases are listed to commence.
TRIAL 1: NICHOLL PRUDHOMME allegation date is on January 17th, 2022. The defendant is represented by Ms. Sheena Mair, who is also on bail.
The reported virtual complainant in this case is an adult in her 20’s.
TRIAL 2: DARROL FORBES allegations totaling six counts linked to alleged sexual abuse of one of his underage daughters.
The incidents, for which Forbes is being tried, range in dates from June 1st to August 31st in 2020.
Forbes is represented by Keith James and is on bail.
Finance minister not worried about Q1 negative growth
#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – E Jay Saunders, TCI Finance Minister, isn’t worried about an economic downturn following a quarter of negative growth in Q1 of 2023.
Speaking to Magnetic Media on Tuesday September 19th, the country’s Deputy Premier said: “Revenues don’t grow forever— you will have declines— but I am not nervous.”
During the recent Throne Speech, it was revealed that revenues were down and spending, too had decreased for the first quarter of TCIG’s fiscal year.
Saunders explained that with any country or even business, there were quarterly dips and spikes in economic performance but what mattered was the overall picture, which for the Turks and Caicos keeps climbing.
He also explained what could have caused the dip.
Saunders said that over the past two years the sale of luxury condominiums from places like the Ritz Carlton and post pandemic traveling boom, had rocketed the country’s income pumping up the cash brought in from stamp duties and other related taxes.
With less travel predicted and the country in a sort of in-between stage of construction with major buildings in the process of being finished but not as much new inventory on the market, Saunders said a drop in profits was not far-fetched.
He stressed though that this was not a reflection on ‘Brand TCI,’ rather the expected rise and fall of the economy. With the introduction of new real estate and the prime tourism season, revenues are expected to rebound.
The dip does however highlight an issue in the Turks and Caicos, that is its heavy dependence on tourism to buoy the economy and how quickly that can turn, as evidenced by the recent pandemic.
The Government says it has clocked the issue and is working to diversify the economy to isolate residents from economic shocks. The question is whether those reported efforts to build other significant revenue streams for the TCI happening quickly enough.
Royal TCI Police Briefs
#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 –
A 30-year-old male suspect remains in police custody assisting detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force with investigations, after the seizure of an AR15 Assault Rifle and several rounds of ammunition.
Preliminary reports state, that around 1.37 a.m. today, information was obtained regarding a suspicious vehicle that was intercepted by Police Officers.
This led to the arrest of the suspect, who was in the vehicle when officers intercepted it in the vicinity of Rock Plaza, Millennium Highway. A search of the vehicle resulted in the assault rifle and ammunition being found.
In a separate incident today at 8.25 a.m., Marine Branch officers acting on information proceeded to an area off Sapodilla Bay, South Dock, and noticed several packages floating in the sea. Eighteen packages were retrieved from the sea.
Upon inspection, the packages contained cocaine with an estimated street value of $250,000. Both incidents remain under active police investigations.
Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said today, “This arrest and drug find was a result of information obtained from members of the public and great teamwork between different sections of the Force on the land and at sea. We remain grateful for your assistance and trust in the Police Force as we continue our partnership to ensure the TCI remains a safe place to live work and visit.
“This is the second assault rifle seized within the last two weeks and these successes are the result of hard work and commitment by my officers to pushing back on criminals intent on causing harm to our communities.
“I wish to again thank and encourage the public to continue working alongside us, if you see something, say something, there are options available for sharing information with us”.
The public is being asked to contact 911, the closest police station, the RTCIPF Serious Crime Unit at 232-8752, or call TCI Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and give any information on illegal activities.
Additionally, persons are encouraged to contact the Miami-Dade & Florida Keys Crime Stoppers at 1-305-471-8477 and give any information anonymously.
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