Saturday, January 12, 2013

UK investors claim London-led THA reneged on land deal; seeking $200M compensation

Culloden Estate - offered for sale for US$25M
A group of investors from the United Kingdom is seeking damages and compensation of more than US$30 million (TT$200 million) from the Tobago House of Assembly for an alleged unlawful and illegal action in a failed land deal.

According to local media reports the investors are claiming that they had initiated a deal with the THA to acquire the Culloden Estate in northwest Tobago to build a hotel resort. 

However, they say the THA reneged on the deal after giving the group the impression everything was going smoothly with respect to acquiring the land and investing significantly in the planned development.

They say Tobago would have had such spin-off benefits like employment, development of the island and foreign investment from the UK and Europe. The   reports say attorneys for the investors are expected to arrive in Tobago on Monday to try to resolve the matter quickly.

The State has also given the THA a deadline of next Monday to respond. 

The investors have sent Atorney General Anand Ramlogan a letter of intent to recover the lost money. Ramlogan subsequently hired senior attorney Donna Prowell as lead counsel in the matter.

She wrote the THA Thursday seeking a report on the matter.

The media reports say legal documents name the investors as the owners of the Culloden Reef, who were seeking to purchase the Culloden Estate in Tobago to develop a five-star hotel. However, they never received the licences or any explanation from the THA on why their application for licences did not receive consideration.

The letter to Chief Secretary Orville London noted that the investors are  making the claim against the Government arising from “alleged and unlawful and illegal actions of the THA.” 

It also stated that the THA frustrated the investors in their bid to acquire the estate. It said, "They allege further that the THA has made a ten per cent deposit for the acquisition of the Culloden Estate, the closure of the sale to the THA has been delayed by a pending high court action." 

Prowell's letter added, "The investors concluded that the THA’s failure to consider the application was deliberate and motivated by self-interest. The investors have expressed the view they may be victims of a policy to block the acquisition of Tobago land by foreigners.” 

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai