Tag Archives: Barbuda

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.

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.

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.

Antigua and Barbuda Deposits Legal Instrument Concerning the Trade Facilitation Agreement to the WTO

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has deposited its legal instrument of acceptance inserting the Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of Marrakesh Agreement to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The document which was deposited through the country’s Director of International Trade, Ms. Joy-Marie King on Monday, not only emphasizes Antigua and Barbuda’s full commitment to the WTO and the multilateral trading system but the nation’s eagerness in reaping the benefits to be had from the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Some of which include significantly improving speed and efficiency of border procedures, trade costs reduction and enhancing participation in the global value chain.

According to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the opportunity was also taken to highlight the main trade policy issue for the nation, that is, its unresolved WTO Trade Dispute with the United States concerning online gaming and a desire for a successful upcoming Ministerial Conference dubbed ‘MC11’ outcomes.

In accepting the legal instrument, the Director General of the WTO, Roberto Azevêdo acknowledged the valued cooperation between the institution and Antigua and Barbuda, his pleasure in receiving the document and his support in the realization of the benefits to be had from the implementation of the agreement by members. He also offered words of comfort concerning the recent devastation experienced by Barbuda due to the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Joy-Marie King serves as Antigua and Barbuda’s Director of International Trade and delegate to the WTO within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has the portfolio responsibility for WTO matters.

PM Says Political Propaganda Did Not Hinder Fund Raising Initiative

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on members of the political arena in Barbuda to be responsible and desist from their attempt to hinder the fund raising efforts of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

Earlier this month, the nation’s leader called on members of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) who were reportedly spreading propaganda as it relates to government decisions concerning Barbuda, to desist immediately.

Without being specific, he told state media on Tuesday that he continues to receive calls from concerned international organizations including the World Bank.

He said that although their efforts did not stop the fund raising initiative, they should be more responsible and should seek to adopt a more collective approach to the development of Barbuda.

Prospective Candidate for Rural West says she Knows Exactly What the Constituency Needs

Newly appointed Senator and Prospective Candidate for the St John’s Rural West Constituency Aziza Lake says she knows exactly what is missing from the constituency and how she plans to fill that gap.

Last Week Senator Aziza Lake confirmed that she will be throwing her hat into the ring to contest the next general election to become an elected member on the ticket of the ruling Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).

In an interview this morning on state media Senator Lake outlined exactly how she plans to get the constituents of Rural West to rally behind her.

Lake also sought to address criticisms targeted at young persons who have expressed an interest join the political arena.

The newly appointed Senator made known that she was a huge supporter of young person’s being involved in the decision making process as they are the future decision makers.

Police Investigates Suspected Suicide of 10 year old

The Police are currently investigating a suspected suicide of a 10 year old in Mac Pond All Saints this Friday afternoon.

Police Inspector Frankie Thomas who confirmed the news said that the incident took place at around 3:00pm.Reports are that the 10 year old boy was found hanging at his home.

Details surrounding the incident are still unknown however Inspector Thomas expressed his sympathies to the family of the young child.