Categorized | National News

Turnquest Calls Baha Mar Pay-outs “Irregular”

Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest yesterday called the Baha Mar Claims Committee’s Process a form of “political expediency”.

After the committee on Tuesday officially outlined the process of payout to the 2,000 laid off Baha Mar workers and Bahamian creditors, Mr. Turnquest said the process seems “irregular”.

 “That is borne out of the fact that the chairman of the committee didn’t even know that he was appointed until the news broke the story. But be that as it may, there are some significant concerns I believe that its creditors will have and I think Bahamian people will have in respect to the makeup of that committee. The fact that there is no representative from the creditors on the committee itself to evaluate the claims – how these claims will be adjudicated,” Mr. Turnquest said.

 “But they’re considering the fact that most of them would have already logged their claims as well as Baha Mar would know what is due to the employees. So I’m not so sure what this whole claims process is all about,” he added.

 Mr. Turnquest added that he finds it “interesting” that the committee appears to be segregating foreign contractors or debts versus local debts.

 “How does that play out in the long term in respect to relationships and how contracts are written,” he said.

 Additionally, the deputy leader pointed out that although the multi- billion dollar project should be in the hands of receivers, he finds it interesting that the receivers have no part in the process.

 “In some respects it is under provisional liquidation and the liquidators don’t seem to be involved in it,” he continued.

 Meanwhile, Mr. Turnquest said that although the process seems to be “a bit irregular”, it is his party’s hope that all affected workers and Bahamian creditors will be satisfied and paid in full; including those owed by the China Construction America (CCA).

 “We will find that there are significant claims against the contractor, China Construction America, and those are not to be brushed aside and ignored. They too deserve to be compensated for the work that they have performed,” Mr. Turnquest said.


Construction at the Cable Beach Resort came to a halt last June when developer Sarkis Izmirlian filed bankruptcy in a US Court.


However, after the Bahamian government successfully contested that move, the resort has been in the hands of receivers ever since.

Subsequently, in October, over 2,000 employees were laid off from the resort.


Just recently, Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that that the government had struck a deal with China Exim Bank to remobilise the multi-billion dollar resort.


However, the government came under much criticism after its decision to seal the details behind the deal.


Since then the claims committee has been formed to regulate the payout of the thousands of employees and creditors who were laid off last year.


Claimants have until the end of September for submittal.











Written by Jones Bahamas

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