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Govt: No Reply Yet To Izmirlian’S Plea

A section of the Baha Mar resort.

A section of the Baha Mar resort.

photo

Sarkis Izmirlian

THE government has no official response to former Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s plea for a moratorium on the sale process of the beleaguered resort at this time, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yesterday, adding that the situation is still being evaluated.

Mr Newbold stressed that the sale was a “very complicated situation” still under review by the government, and said he could not confirm reports that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis had met with the former developer or his associates.

“There has been no official reaction to the suggestion because the contracts and the entire situation is still being evaluated,” Mr Newbold said.

“I’m told it’s a very complex situation. Undoubtedly, I will say though, the Bahamian people have a vested interest in the success of that development and we believe that now is the time to ensure that any safeguards that need to be put in place, now is the time to do that in this process.”

The statement from Mr Izmirlian’s BMD Holdings on Sunday called for the investigation undertaken by the Gaming Board to grant Chow Tai Fook Enterprise’s casino licence to be reopened, and its findings made public; and further stated that BMD is now considering legal options against the parties involved in the heads of terms between the Export Import Bank of China (CEXIM), China State Construction and the government.

At yesterday’s press briefing, Mr Newbold was asked whether Mr Izmirlian’s call for the resort’s sale process to be halted was under consideration given Dr Minnis’ pre-election pledge to “execute a real sale” of the property.

In March, Dr Minnis posted on Facebook that his party would “engage and execute a real sale of Baha Mar to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians; a purchaser who will utilise only Bahamian labour to complete the resort, and will put Bahamians back to work with real jobs as quickly as possible.”

To this Mr Newbold said: “(Dr Minnis) he pledged to execute a real sale because nobody knew including the prime minister at that time, it appeared as if there was no sale, nobody knew, and one of the things that we ought to keep sight of is that because nobody knew, everybody wanted to know why are you sealing this deal?

“Let’s see what this deal is about, you don’t know what’s in it, nobody knows what’s in it, nobody even knew if there was a sale for sure. Nobody believed what the former administration told them, bottom line.”

Pressed specifically on Dr Minnis’ pledge for only Bahamian labour, Mr Newbold said: “The prime minister believes in laws, he does not know that there is a way for him to not follow the law, you got to follow the law, that’s part of trying to unseal this deal, eventually unseal the deal, so you know what’s in it.

He continued: “It’s a great idea and as many Bahamians as possible will be hired at Baha Mar, but the law is the law.”

The Christie administration released the heads of agreement—which detailed many concessions given to the property—with Baha Mar and the government at the end of April.

The Free National Movement government released the heads of terms between the Export Import Bank of China (CEXIM), China State Construction and the government last week.

Asked about the documents last Thursday, Attorney General Carl Bethel told The Tribune that “there is nothing that calls for renegotiation. There is nothing particularly unusual in the documents.”

When asked whether those comments were made prematurely, Mr Newbold said: “No official response. I’ve been told, the prime minister has been told, it is a very complicated situation, still being evaluated. You have to evaluate it, it has to be evaluated properly. This government has an obligation to make sure it happens properly and correctly the way it ought to be.”

Asked for an update on the sale process, Mr Newbold said: “It is still the same, there has been no movement with it, the government has done nothing with it. It has to be evaluated properly but the government has done nothing with Baha Mar up to this point.

Mr Newbold added that Dr Minnis had a good meeting with Atlantis President Howard C. Karawan on Monday, and received an update on the property’s efforts to rebrand itself and integrate more Bahamian culture into its offerings.

Comments

TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! Somebody invite Izmirlian sits down in a chair at a 'public town hall meeting' to begin asking him some really serious questions likes - 'How it Baha Mar - all cames about' to a simple done to have begged his way to being deep debt 32-year old peanut farmer's son moving on to increasing his debt by $2.5 Billion and leaving many in the wake of his created debts - did I mentioned along the way the simple peanut farmer's son got two prime ministers to consent to signing over $1.5 Billion of the people's lands and cash and exemptions never extended no other resort developer? Sweet Jesus, even the Bank Nova Scotia got left on the hook for $200 million, got a PM to sign 8100 work permits for Chinese workers and build an entire workers village on site for them - all accomplished by a simple peanut farmer's son?

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screwedbahamian 3 years ago

Apparently the unsealed deal is between CEXIM'S PERFECT LUCK ( fitting name: $1.2 Billion of Bahamian Asset and $800 Million of Izmirtian,s money) CHOW TAI FOOK ENTERPRIZES AND THE BAHAMIAN GOVERNMENT. CHOW TAI FOOK to purchase the property from PERFECT LUCK ( upon the completion of the work on the property estimated to be sometime in 2018). So the property is currently owned by Perfect Luck. In the meantime Chow Tai Fook had been granted a Casino License to operate the Casino at the property. What are the sealed concessions that the Bahamas have given to Chow Tai Fook to purchase the property in 2018?? The people should know before the sale is signed and sealed. The government need to treat the Bahamian people with more respect and stop insulting the peoples intelligence PERIOD. ITS THE PEOPLE.S TIME

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birdiestrachan 3 years ago

They had better have a reply very soon . unless the former deacon, the former police and the wash house man, not to mention roc wit doc will be in deep trouble. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his one soul" ??

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TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! This we knows as a fact. That prior to filing for bankruptcy protection the Baha Mar casino was all up ready to open with all the gambling tables, and the walls lined slot machines - all stocked with chips and loaded with cash at the ready to greet the first rush of gamblers filing through the doors - including ' $3 million in CASH' locked away in the casino's vault. {I did not make this up that the after the casino was up and stocked $3 million in CASH - the PLP government even completed with taxpayers dollars - Baha Mar's Convention center }}. For anyone to suggest before we can even get to the sale of Baha Mar - we needs some serious answers to the old Baha Mar to be forthcoming from both Izmirlian and the Chinese - and not behind closed doors but in an Public Town Hall Forum - sworn under penalty of perjury.

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OldFort2012 3 years ago

LOL. I don't think you have ever seen $300 in cash, let alone $3 million.

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birdiestrachan 3 years ago

The FNM gave the impression that something was diabolic about the Baha Mar Deal and the Chinese. Some Bahamians bought into the idea. They except the FNM Government to give Sarkis his hotel back. The FNM government has to figure out how they will do that. Malcom Strachan in his column looks forward to that also. Go ahead roc wit doc show those who voted for you, your motion..

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DDK 3 years ago

YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT, BIRDIESTRACHAN

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screwedbahamian 3 years ago

If the deal for the purchase of the property between Perfect Luck and Chow Tai Fook is contingent upon the concessions given by the previous government and the current government review and withdraw the concessions including the Casino License, Chow Tai Fook will probably cancel the deal.

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DDK 3 years ago

Might be a good thing!

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Sickened 3 years ago

I want to see ALL the agreements!!!!

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DDK 3 years ago

............. and for some obscure reason our Sunshine Government wants to keep us in the Dark.

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