Ames accuses Eustace of starting probe allegation

Investor Dave Ames. (Internet photo)

Investor Dave Ames. (Internet photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 3, IWN – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace has been accused of being the source of an allegation that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating Harlequin, the company that owns Buccament Bay Resort.

British businessman Dave Ames, chair of Harlequin, levelled the accusation in a Feb. 25 letter to investors and agents, in which he also accused the British publication, Mail on Sunday, of publishing “a grossly misleading and defamatory article about Harlequin Property”.

“Harlequin has not been contacted by the SFO as part of any investigation,” Ames said in the letter, in which he also said his company is seeking advice on legal redress.

“This allegation stems from Mr Eustace, the opposition Leader in St Vincent and appears to be politically motivated,” Ames further said in the letter.

“It is an attempt to embroil Harlequin in local politics and is driven by those seeking to harm Harlequin. As far as Harlequin is concerned, there is no reason why the SFO would or should be looking at the company. However, in the event that the SFO wishes to discuss these matters with Harlequin, Harlequin will be happy to do so,” Ames further said.

Eustace told a press conference on Feb. 20 that the SFO is investigating Harlequin and that he has “a copy of submissions” to that office.

“I shall say more on this at a later date. This is as yet a developing matter,” he said in the wake of the fallout from an encounter in Barbados on Feb. 17 between Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and two BBC journalists who came to the region as part of an investigative programme about Harlequin.

Eustace said he was advised that sometime around Feb. 14, a U.K.-based lawyer from Regulatory Legal Solicitors, acting for a number of U.K. investors in the Buccament Bay Project, had flown to St. Vincent and the Grenadines “for the purpose of ascertaining the situation as it pertains to Harlequin’s Buccament Resort and to further investigate the land title at Buccament as it relates to the resort.

“I am further advised that all options — including an international freezing order the effect of which would be to halt the operation of the Buccament Resort –remain on the table for the U.K. investors he represents,” Eustace said.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (I-Witness News file photo)

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (I-Witness News file photo)

Meanwhile, a British newspaper said on the weekend that efforts are underway in the United Kingdom to freeze Harlequin’s assets.

Ames is accused of taking 300 million pounds from British investors and failing to build thousands of luxury properties.

He has built around 300 properties and can be forced to stop trading this week, Mail Online reported on Saturday.

The publication says legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday “to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors”.

It further said that hundreds of financial advisers, who convinced investors to cash in their pensions, had been given just two days by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to confirm if any of their clients have Self-Invested Personal Pension investments in Harlequin, and a further three days to provide all details”.

Mail Online quoted a source close to the investigation as saying, “This is a frightening situation for hundreds of investors, who could lose everything.”



4 thoughts on “Ames accuses Eustace of starting probe allegation

  1. Let me say this, if Eustace comes out on the wrong side of this bribery saga; he SHOULD RESIGN AS LEADER OF THE NDP…I understand Mitchell reasoning for calling for Eustace head, although, I suspect his reasoning is laced personal animus. But this bribery story seem to be unraveling as the day goes by…did Eustace really instigate this bribery allegation without any substantial evidence to back it up? Such asinine action deserves nothing less than a resignation and of course you know SUE waiting in the corner with a 2×2.

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | March 3, 2013, 20:01
  2. Everything will come out in the wash. Who said what, who did what, who witnessed what, its all coming with the program.

    It will be obvious that Eustace played no part in the investigation.

    Don’t be blinded by the crap.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 3, 2013, 23:41
  3. A thought just crossed my mind, most Vincentians do not believe that Gonsalves ever had Ames properley checked out. Never had a due diligence report on Ames.

    Just wondering if AMES ever did a due diligence test on Gonsalves.
    Did AMES know that Gonsalves once said “I sometimes tell lies” and “show me a liar and I will show you a thief” and “I only work Obeah for the Lord”.

    Who I wonder recommended Sam Commissiong to AMES as a solicitor, and did AMES carry out a due diligence test on Commissiong.
    Did AMES know about the Registry stamp fiasco and subsequent court case?

    I would like to say something about Commissiong denying that Margaret Parsons said she went to him when she had been, allegedly sexually attacked by Gonsalves, Later Commissiong denied such contact, and in doing so the case against Gonsalves was Nol Pros and thrown out. But I am not going to enter into that at the moment, there is much more to it. We will deal with that in detail later.

    Did the blue eyed wonder, know at all about the backgrounds of the people he was getting into bed with in SVG.

    Leave it to me, I will write something interesting.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 4, 2013, 15:38
  4. Perhaps Ames is telling porky pies, the truth according to his very own accountant [ex-accountant] revealed to the court that the Harlequin scheme is a ponzi scheme. He said Harlequin are only finding new investors to take their money to pay to previous investors who are demanding back their money.

    AMES knew of those allegations when he made his statements in this article

    Posted by peterbinose | March 7, 2013, 20:24

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