Tag Archives: Antigua

No Decision on Scotia Acquisition

A meeting between government officials, officials from Scotia Bank and Republic Financial Holdings Friday, January 18th 2019 only left the parties wanting another meeting.

Government Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst told ZDK Newsroom that no decision was made that day and only preliminary discussions concerning the acquisition of Scotia’s assets took place.

He says another meeting is expected to take place, although a date and time has not yet been set.

The government here wants local banks to be the first consortium of financial institutions to be offered the Scotia deal but the directors of the Canadian Bank have already promised it to Trinidad and Tobago’s Republic Financial Holdings.


PS of Passport Office Dismisses Online Blank Passports Allegations

Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister which is inclusive of the passport office has responded to online allegations which place at least one Antiguan and Barbudan Minister in possession of blank valid Antiguan and Barbudan passports.

Two days ago, an online article was posted by “WantedSA” entitled “BLANK CARIBBEAN PASSPORTS IN BULK REMAIN A PROBLEM FOR COMPLIANCE”.

The article made a daring allegation that former Minister of Tourism & Investment, Asot Michael, after being detained in London for questioning about allegations that he accepted bribes from a UK national, was found with a number of blank valid Antigua and Barbuda passports.

The news brings unwanted attention to the country’s passport as it complicate the tasks of compliance officers charged with identifying, and rejecting, bogus methods of identification at account opening, not to omit increasing serious terrorist financing threats.

During an interview with state media the Ministry’s PS Jocelyn Greene, completely dismissed the allegations.

Greene said that there is no such thing as a blank yet valid passport. She says a passport is only valid unless it is personalized and is given validation in terms of issuance and expirations dates.

When asked of the possibility of fraudulent information being inserted into a blank passport to be used by the fraudster, the Permanent Secretary says it would still not be valid in Antigua and Barbuda’s jurisdiction.

Greene said while she was concerned after hearing of the article, she did not take it seriously because she knows that the allegations was highly unlikely. She noted that there is strict security process after the book is printed and brought into the country to when it is issued to eligible individuals.

She assured Antigua and Barbuda’s international partner’s that the issuance of the nation’s passport is without corruption.

Meantime, Attorney-at-Law Anthony Astaphan QC also dismissed the allegations and further expressed his disappointment in the opposition the United Progressive Party (UPP) for posting the allegations on social media.

Antigua Voted Innovative Destination of the Year

Antigua has again been awarded another prestigious title.

This time, the twin island has been named the Innovative Destination of the Year; in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean travel Awards.

The country is being praised for its ability to create continuous investment projects for the country’s tourism sector; and is further being lauded for being the only Caribbean destination to have demonstrated such ability, in light of a challenging year.

The award said “If there is a new capital of tourism investment in the Caribbean, it is most certainly Antigua and Barbuda, which has been attracting more new hotel deals and projects per capita than any other destination in the Caribbean, both major brands and new luxury developments.”

The country was also commended for its innovative, rapid response to Hurricane Irma.

It said that even as Barbuda was still reeling from Irma, Antigua’s tourism officials quickly plotted their response to the storm, immediately jumping back into business, emphasizing its activity and showing the world just how resilient the Caribbean is.

The award was further quoted as saying, “It’s the kind of innovation that doesn’t just build hotels — it rebuilds islands.”

China Grants Antigua & Barbuda EC$41 Million

The government of Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China on Thursday signed an EC$41 million agreement to expand a school and build two community centres here in the country.

The Honourable Prime Minister Gaston Browne joined with the Ambassador of China to sign an Economic & Technology Cooperation Agreement worth 100 million Remnimbis or EC 41 million.

According to Lionel Hurst, the Government’s Chief of Staff 27 million of the 41 will be allocated to expand the University Campusin Five Island by constructing additional classrooms, dorms and a lecture theatre.

Hurst told ZDK News that an indoor basketball court has also been targeted.

He said that the government also intends to utilize funds create approximately 12 acres of new land to expand the port.

Disgruntled Resident Lands Noise Pollution Complaint

The issue of noise pollution in residential communities has been a major concern for quite some time now. This is normally associated with businesses such as bars playing loud music in residential areas sometimes especially in the late hours of the night.

The issue again came to the forefront with a disgruntled citizen residing in the Jennings community who journeyed to our newsroom to vent her displeasure with a situation which she says has been ongoing for several years.

She said that after making several complaints to the Police, there was an improvement; however this did not last for too long as the situation continued and intensified after couple months.

The individual, who preferred to remain unknown, further called on the necessary authorities to put measures in place to clamp down on these individuals.

Four Caribbean Countries Included in EU Adopted Black List

Four Caribbean countries have been included in a recently released blacklist which was adopted by the European Union on Tuesday.

The blacklist of tax havens includes 17 extra-EU jurisdictions seen as not cooperative on tax matters.

The Caribbean countries added to the countries listed are Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Saint Lucia. Other international jurisdictions include American Samoa, Bahrain, , Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Samoa, , Tunisia and United Arab Emirates

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mairesaid that other 47 jurisdictions are included in a public “gray” list of countries that are currently not compliant with EU standards but have committed to change their tax rules.

Following multiple disclosures of offshore tax avoidance schemes by companies and wealthy individuals, EU states launched a process in February to list tax havens in a bid to discourage setting up shell structures abroad which are themselves in many cases legal but could hide illicit activities.

Blacklisted countries could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in coming weeks, Le Maire said.

Browne’s Avenue Man Remanded on Arson Charge

Forty-one year old Everette Jerome Spencer, who was on Tuesday charged with attempted arson, has been remanded.
The Browne’s Avenue was remanded after appearing before Magistrate Conliffe Clarke in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court.

He is accused of attempting to set fire to a generator room at Everyday Service Station located on Independence Drive, on 29th November.

Firefighters at St. Johns Fire Station received a call from the said service station; where it was reported that someone set fire to two five gallon buckets, next to a generator room.

The blaze caused damage to a nearby water tank, but was eventually put out by the firefighters.
His committal proceeding has been set for March 21, 2018.

Murder Accused Remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison

Keneca Ryan, the fourth suspect in the murder of Campbell Jackson has been remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP).

On Monday, the 19-year-old appeared Magistrate Concliffe Clarke and was not granted bail due to the crime committed being a capital offence. This means that the magistrate does not have the authority to grant bail.

Last Friday, he was charged for the murder of Campbell Jackson, who was shot and killed on his verandahin May.

He is also accused of attempting to murder Jari Jackson and Tevin George, both of Green Bay.

His committal proceedswas set for March 2018.

Alexis Mussington, Arthur James and Kennecha Marcel are the three other murder accused. They have since been remanded to prison.

On May 25, Campbell, along with his son Jari and their long-time friend Tevin George were sitting in front of his house, when they were allegedly fired upon by one or more individuals. Campbell was shot in his back and was pronounced dead on the spot.

Both Jari and Tevin were treated at the hospital for gunshot wounds.

Family of Sir Rupert King Swallow Philo Calls on Supporters Not to Donate to GoFundMePage

The family of the legendary Antiguan calypsonian Sir Rupert King Swallow Philo says they have no knowledge of a GoFundMe account set up on Sir Rupert’s behalf.

Last week, ZDK News received word that relatives of the calypsonian had appealed to his supporters for assistance to cover his medical expenses after he was hospitalised in New York in August for what has been described as several “serious health issues.”

We also understand that Franklyn T Grant Jr, a friend of the calypsonian had set up an online donation account on the popular GoFundMe website with a goal to raise US$111,700 on behalf of Philo.
However Derry Philo, daughter of the calypsonian told ZDK News that the family has no knowledge of the GoFundMe Account.

Shooting Victim in Piggots is Identified

The man who was shot in his head and killed on Sunday in the Pigotts area has been identified.
He is Sean Joseph of Bendals, a father of two.

Residents reported hearing three gunshots shortly before 7 p.m. and had reported the matter to the police.
Joseph was found lying face down in a pool of blood in the middle of the street and raised the alarm.

He was said to be wearing a pair of long jeans with a white vest and a pair of slippers.
The body was pronounced dead at approximately 9 p.m. by Dr Delrose Christian.

Police Inspector Frankie Thomas said that investigations are ongoing into the matter. This is the 19th homicide recorded in Antigua and Barbuda so far.