Harbour Holdings vs. St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd., Grenada – MORE ON CASINO GAMBLING
As always with the volatile and militant crew out Grenada-side, any views they express in this dissection of certain legal procedures do not necessarily reflect the views of the disseminator of this Web-Magazine, any opinions expressed are Sandra AC Ferguson and her group Citizens’ in Defence, etc.
(Personally? I favour Casinos in the Caribbean, it earns fast foreign exchange – just reduce crime aspect by allowing only foreigners or expatriates to play games of chance; it then provides funding to boost infrastructure for recpective territories)
MORE ON CASINO GAMBLING
Harbour Holdings vs. St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd., Grenada – Claim No.: GDAHCV2007/0585
Citizens in Defence of Grenada?s Lands and Heritage
Citizens in Defence of Grenada?s Lands and Heritage has realized the need for we the people to be vigilant. Experience has taught us that we should not simply leave the important decisions in respect of the future of country up to a government but as citizens we must let our voices be heard. At every opportunity, our Hon. Prime Minister has made the call for citizens? engagement and participation, essential to the role in the good governance of this land that we hold dear.
While it seems that we may be just be ?knocking our heads against a wall?, it is within this context that the Citizens? group continue to voice our concerns about a number of so-called development projects in Grenada, among them Zublin Grenada?s proposed St. George?s Renaissance Project of which casino gambling is an integral component (leverage is how Dick Van Dijk described it). In a letter of February 16th, 2009, the group wrote to the Hon. Prime Minister congratulating his public opposition to casino gambling and expressing the hope that this would soon be official government policy. In its letter the group noted the following:
?It is well known that casino gambling is linked to organized crime ? the mafia, money laundering, drugs and prostitution. Grenada already has significant law and order challenges. We do not need to add to its burden at this time. We are confident that together the Grenadian people can come up with more appropriate sustainable solutions to the country?s economic challenges. Our country is depending on you, Hon. Prime Minister, to provide the leadership and moral guidance in this regard and our group pledges its unwavering support to your position on this issue.?
Recently, we have noted that the Chief Executive of Zublin Grenada, Dick Van Dijk, have been making very loud noises in the press, as if trying to pressure the Government of Grenada into giving the nod for casino gambling. It seems to us that there is an urgency, even desperation, on the part of Zublin to get the nod on the construction of a casino. We wonder if the above-referenced claim has anything to do with that urgency. A judgment on that claim was delivered in January 2008. We are pleased to share the following information with those who are interested.
1. St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd.
The St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd. appears to be the property development company associated with Zublin Grenada. Its Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Winston Whyte, also a director of Zublin Grenada. The 99-year lease for the reclaimed property, (reclamation paid for by the people of Grenada), is vested in this company. It is the respondent/defendant in the above-referenced claim.
2. Harbour Holdings Ltd.:
According to information obtained from the judgment, Harbour Holdings Ltd. is a limited liability company incorporated under the Companies Act of Grenada with a registered office situated in River Road, St. George?s(??!!). It is an offshore company. It is instructive to note that David Marchant?s website Know Your Client has listed this company as one on which he has reported.
The Directors of the company are named as:
– Alton V.Smart
– Artley M. Skenandaore
– Peter Paul Viater
3. Harbour Holdings Ltd. vs. St. George?s Newport Property Dev. Co.:
The claimants, Harbour Holdings Ltd., filed a claim against St. George?s Newport Property Dev. Co. on December 13th, 2007. The judgment provides the following information in relation to the claim filed by Harbour Holdings:
- By Memorandum of 9th March, 2007, Harbour Holdings Ltd. expressed an interest in purchasing the leasehold interest of St. George?s Newport Property Development Company in a parcel of land containing approximately 5,449.2 sq. metres, identified on the Master Plan of the area as Site No. 8.
- Harbour Holdings paid an initial deposit of US$100,000 as an expression of that interest.
- Following the payment of this deposit, the parties, Harbour Holdings Ltd. and St. George?s Newport Development, entered into a written agreement for the purchase of Lot 8 at an agreed purchase price of US$4,359,360.
- The sole purpose for the purchase of the said Lot No. 8 was for the establishment of world class casino gaming facility.
- The completion of the agreement was to take place no later than August 20th, 2007.
- The agreement provided for the rescinding of the agreement by the Vendor, St. George?s Newport, if for any reason (save and except for any cause that was the responsibility of the vendor)the Purchaser, Harbour Holdings Ltd. failed to complete the purchase of the leasehold interest on or before the completion date.
- The completion of the agreement was subject to Purchaser, Harbour Holdings Ltd., obtaining an Alien Land Holding Licence. The purchaser was responsible for the application of the Alien Land Holding Licence.
- It appeared that the application for the Alien Land Holding Licence was made in the name of the directors rather than in the name of the company.
- On about 18th May, 2007 the sum of US$320,000 was paid to the Vendor, being the balance of the deposit payable under the agreement.
- It appears that by an addendum to the agreement of May 18th, 2007, the defendant, St. George?s Newport Property Dev. Co., covenanted with the claimant that, should the claimant purchase Lot 8 and construct a casino building, the defendant would obtain from the Government of Grenada, a casino gaming licence which would be assigned to the claimants.
- The completion date of 20thAugust, 2007 was extended as follows to permit the claimant, Harbour Holdings more time to obtain the Alien Land Holding Licence:
– first to 17th September, 2007
– 18th October , 2007, upon the payment of US$84, 352.80
– 31st October, 2007 upon the payment of US$100,000
- By letter of November 2nd, 2007, the defendants, St. George?s Newport Dev. Co. notified the claimant, Harbour Holdings Ltd. that it had withdrawn and rescinded the agreement to sell Lot No. 8 and that the sum of US$520,000 was forfeited in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
- As a result of the vendor, St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd., rescinding the agreement to sell, the Purchaser filed a claim seeking among other things:
(i) a declaration that the defendant was not entitled to rescind the agreement
(ii) an injunction restraining the defendant from selling or otherwise disposing of the leasehold interest in Lot 8 or in alternate damages for breach of contract.
4. The Judgment:
Following claims by Harbour Holdings Ltd. and an initial injunction granted in favour of Harbour Holdings to prevent the disposal of Lot 8 by the vendor, and a counter claim by St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd., judgment was delivered by Justice Francis Cumberbatch in January 2008 as follows:
- Injunction to remain in force: The judgment ordered that the injunction restricting St. Geo. Newport Property Development Co. Ltd. from disposing of Lot 8 continue until the hearing and determination of the case.
- Referral to case management ? The judgment referred the matter to case management, ? not unaware of the urgency of matters herein and the considerable sums of money already expended and intended to be expended at the conclusion of the hearing of the substantive action. The court also bears in mind the consequential loss to all parties in the event of undue delay in having this matter speedily determined?
5. Questions to be asked by we the people:
- How is it that in 2007, St. George?s Newport Property Development Co. Ltd. could have given an undertaking to Harbour Holdings Ltd. to obtain a casino gaming licence?
- Who and what is Harbour Holdings Ltd.? Where in River Road is/was its office located?
We strongly advise that our decision makers and advisors visit the David Marchant?s website, www.offshorebusiness.com/story-index and get the necessary information on this company and its directors. From experience we know that any person(s) and/or company that is listed on Marchant?s website is NOT good news.
- Why is it that the company directors applied for Alien Land Holding Licenses in their names rather than in the name of the company?
- Is this dispute the reason why Zublin appears desperate to force the hand of the government re a decision on casino gambling?
- Would getting ?the nod? from the government facilitate an out of court settlement of this dispute?
- Would getting ?the nod? from the government facilitate the execution of this agreement ? a tidy sum of US$4.35m (?) for St Geo. Newport?
- Would this be BY ANY CHANCE the leverage to which Dick van Dijk was referring?
Citizens in Defence of Grenada?s Lands and Heritage reiterates:
- its support for the Hon. Prime Minister on his opposition to casino gambling and
- its opposition to Zublin?s proposed St. George?s Renaissance Project.
We call on our decision makers to stop the sell-out of Grenada?s natural assets and to protect the interests and good name of the people of Grenada. Our people are resourceful and creative. We call on our leaders to tap into that resourcefulness to help identify sustainable and appropriate solutions to our development challenges.
YES, WE CAN!!