Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2017 Contents A18 letters on sunday
guardian.co.tt Sunday, July 30, 2017
Former MPs during the NAR administration, Arthur
Sanderson, left and Rawle Raphael, right, chat with Fuad
Abu Bakr, son of former insurrectionist Yasin Abu Bakr,
during a wreath laying ceremony commemorating the
27th anniversary of the 1990 attempted coup outside the
Red House, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday. Both men were
hostages. PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
Millions of dollars worth of hard-
ware supplies, furniture and vehicles
went up in flames yesterday, after a
fire destroyed the Jameel Baksh Hard-
ware in Barrackpore.
Nicole Mohammed: Doesn't mat-
ter if they're rich. They lost a business
that was probably started from scratch
and it's hard on anyone to have a loss
like this. Once it's legitimate, I hope
they have insurance.
Nizam Mohammed: And this is
why Barrackpore needs a fire depart-
ment. It takes too long for a truck from
Princes Town or Sando to reach with
them pothole filled and landslip roads.
Annie Sams: Insurance will pay
back. That's all.
Lawyer jailed for 19
years for plotting murder
Attorney Joseph Melville was yes-
terday sentenced to 19 years in prison
for attempting to murder his former
secretary Patricia Cox in 2001.
Josanne Cox: That woman is She-
Rah or what! Still had the presence of
mind to negotiate terms of her cap-
ture and physically strong enough to
escape! She's amazing!
Reginald Hercules: Why does the
wheel of justice turn so slow?
Julia Williams: This is so crazy,
like a movie scene, how everything
happened. I am glad justice is being
Mike Penco: What a shame to
yourself, your relatives and family
and your fraternity. You so foolish as
an attorney to really believe that you
would escape justice? Could you not
have left the incident and walk away?
No! you choose instead to allow your
passion to possess your thoughts of
reason and now society will see you
perhaps on your 81st birthday. Sad
Liquidators to track
Finance Minister Colm Imbert
says approximately $1.108 billion
of Angostura's profits was siphoned
off to Scottish firm CL World Brands
(CLWB) over a period of several years.
Rishi Dass: Very very good dis-
covery, but what next?
Garcia Mary: Why did it go for so
long? Who was monitoring? T&T not
seeing that money again.
Hubert Thode: While he busy tax-
ing the small man for small change.
The big money gone right from under
John W Smith: PNM Government
is going to huff and puff and do noth-
ing about it because they can't do an-
ything about it.
for 20 months
Christopher Julien, the man who
exposed himself to students at a pri-
mary school in San Fernando on two
occasions, was sentenced to a total of
20 months with hard labour when he
appeared in court yesterday.
Frauke Lühning: He should have
to undergo some psychological treat-
ment/ therapy because otherwise he
will repeat his behaviour when he is
Garcia Mary: He is an exhibition-
ist, need chemical castration while in
jail. He will do it again. They need to
collect his DNA to compared with
present and future rape kits.
Krihstuhl Ah Nuh: Clearly this
man needs psychiatric help even if he
was found fit to plead. There should be
a long-term solution coupled with his
sentence to ensure he doesn't repeat
these indecent actions in the future.
Alisha Alisha: Imagine if he was
held with marijuana he would have
gotten a longer sentence. So much for
protecting the future of the nation.
Luxury cars lost in hardware fire
To different minds, the
same world is a hell, and
a heaven. ---J B Priestley
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The Clico Policyholders Group (CPG) has
paid close attention to the media confer-
ence held last Thursday regarding inter alia
the hitherto non-disclosed sale of Clico's
Buccoo Estate in Tobago, popularly known
as No Man's Land (NML) to the Govern-
ment for $174, 806,775 million. The CPG
hastens to add that it is not our intention
to get into any public tiff with the Honour-
able Prime Minister Dr Keith Christopher
Rowley or his Government over this issue.
However, the facts are that sale of this
prime piece of real estate was only pub-
licly disclosed last Thursday in response
to repeated queries by the CPG since July
16, after documentation reaching us stated
that the property had been transferred to
the Government since March 2017.
The NML property, which is held jointly
by two companies, Occidental Investments
Ltd and Oceanic Properties Ltd, previously
owned by Clico, comprises 398.42 acres of
prime real estate. Up to December 31, 2016,
the carrying value of the land on Clico's
balance sheet, as evidenced by its yet-to-be
publicly disclosed 2016 audited financial
statements, was circa $187 million, some
$13 million more than the sale price or a
$13 million loss to Clico.
The valuation report shown to journal-
ists at the media conference stated that the
398.42 acres were assessed at US$65,000
per acre for a total of US$25,897,300. Or a
total was $174,806,775 (TT) as previously
mentioned. And even if one were to com-
pletely disregard the Project Rebirth re-
port prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers
which estimated the fair market value of
the property at approximately $867 mil-
lion or $49 per sq ft, what this means is
that according to the Government's "in-
dependent" valuation, each acre is valued
at $438,750 (US65,000 x TT$6.80). And if
one were to do some further math by divid-
ing $438,750 by 44,000 (the size of an acre
when converted to sq ft) what this means
is that NML was sold for the "princely"
sum of $10 per sq ft.
The CPG understands that the valuation
done by Duff and Phelps was based on an
analysis of 100 per cent of the common
stock of holding companies (Occidental
Investments Ltd and Oceanic Properties
Ltd) and not only on the main underlying
asset which is the land. What this means is
that technically the land can be carried at its
historical cost or book value and still meet
the statutory requirement of the Central
Bank Act, Section 44D 1(c) (vi) which states:
"Where the bank is of the opinion that an
institution is not maintaining high stand-
ards of financial probity or sound business
practices; the bank shall, in addition to any
other powers conferred on it by any other
law, have power--to acquire or sell or oth-
erwise deal with the property, assets and
undertaking of or any shareholding in the
institution, at a price to be determined by
an independent valuer."
It is also noteworthy that the Govern-
ment via its Finance Minister can pursu-
ant to Section 44F (5) of the act: "In the
performance of its functions and in the
exercise of its powers under section 44D
the (Central) Bank shall comply with any
general or special directions of the minister
and shall act only after due consultation
with the minister." What this means is that
the Government would have had the legal
authority to instruct the Central bank to
transfer the lands. In other words "himself"
can transfer assets to "himself" without
any prior consultation with the policy-
holders, shareholders or the approval of
the Central Bank.
And whilst this may be all legal, it does
not make it right, nor does it augur well for
transparency, accountability and fairness.
In the circumstances, the CPG is calling
on the Government and the Central Bank
to have the transaction reversed forthwith
and an appropriate valuation done on the
land by mutually agreed, non-conflicted
valuators. Failing which the lands should
be offered to the nationals of T&T in need
of housing via the Housing Development
Corporation and/or the Tobago House of
Assembly at the same $10 steal-of-a-deal
Chairman, Clico Policyholders Group
Clico's No Man's Land a steal of a deal
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