Harlequin Hotels, the company that owns Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent has won a fraudulent misappropriation case against a former contractor at the resort.
Harlequin Hotels and Resorts said in a release last week that it had won the case against Padraig “Paudie” O’Halloran.
The High Court in Ireland heard that the contractor fraudulently misappropriated more than US$13 million from US$50 million sent to his firm for the resort’s construction.
“During the 31-day trial, Harlequin provided evidence and witness testimonies detailing how O’Halloran fraudulently misappropriated in excess of US$13m from US$50m that was sent to the ICE Group for the resort’s construction. Of the $13m that was diverted, more than $2m was sent to Ireland to pay for items including a lavish wedding. The Court also heard that sums were used to fund luxury purchases, such as a US$1.5m private jet, a racecourse in St Lucia, a car franchise business and renovations to a rented property on the Sandy Lane estate,” Harlequin said in a release.
Harlequin also stated that while the funds were being misappropriated, very little of the promised construction work was actually carried out at Buccament Bay Resort, resulting in the resort opening later than originally planned and on a smaller scale.
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Pat Cash, John Barnes and Rob Howley are amongst the sports stars still to coach on the 5* Buccament Bay resort in 2013
Pat Cash, John Barnes, Teddy Sheringham and Lewis Moody are just some of the legends from a range of sports who will be providing master class coaching to guests for the second half of 2013 at the luxury, all-inclusive Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines.
It's been an amazing first six months of 2013 for sports fans at the award-winning Caribbean hotel, with big names like Liverpool FC legend David Fairclough, Grand Slam tennis star Lee Childs, ex-England cricketer Ronnie Irani, and Wales’ rugby team coach Rob Howley already delighting guests; however, the next six months promise to be even better, so scroll down for a full list of the sporting legends who will be visiting Buccament Bay between July and December 2013!
Liverpool FC International Football Academy Soccer School
John Barnes: 14th – 18th July 2013
Liverpool FC & England international legend
Ronnie Whelan: 11th – 25th August 2013
Liverpool FC and Republic of Ireland legend
Teddy Sheringham: 23rd October – 2nd November 2013
Tottenham Hotspur FC, Manchester Utd FC & England legend
Pat Cash Tennis Club
Chris Wilkinson: 4th – 18th August 2013
Former British no.1 and Grand Slam player
Pat Cash: 18th August – 1st September 2013
Former Wimbledon Champion & tennis legend
Lewis Moody: 28th July – 11th August 2013
England legend, World Cup winner & former Bath RFC and Leicester RFC star
Rob Howley: 28th December – 6th June 2013/2014
Current Lions assistant coach; Wales & Cardiff RFC legend
Buccament Bay Resort Cricket Academy
Martin Bicknell: 26th December – 6th January 2013/2014
Former Surrey and England cricketer
Follow the link to reserve a room at Buccament Bay - BUCCAMENT BAY
Kay Wilson, who runs Indigo Dive at Buccament Bay Resort, has been honoured with the St Vincent & The Grenadines 2012 Tourism Award for Outstanding Service in the Tourism/Hospitality Industry!
This fantastic achievement comes a year after Indigo Dive was awarded PADI 5 Star status for its excellent standards of dive tuition, and in the same month that Kay, along with the Buccament Bay Resort team, hosted a very successful Kids Sea Camp by Family Dive Adventures for a special thanks giving event that saw dozens of children attend.
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Buccament Bay Resort on the island of St Vincent wins three places in Travel Weekly’s “Best Hotels in the World”
The Water Front Village at Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines.
Buccament Bay Resort is extremely proud to receive even more honours to add to the collection; this time, the luxury, all-inclusive resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines has been voted in the top ten best hotels in the world in THREE categories, courtesy of Travel Weekly.
The polls, voted for by travel industry professionals, ranked Harlequin Hotels & Resort’s flagship Caribbean resort in the top 3 for Best New Hotel, as well as top ten places in Best Family Hotel and Best All-Inclusive Hotel.
This comes after Buccament Bay Resort won two World Travel Awards for
Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel and St Vincent & The Grenadines’ Leading Spa Resort.
Such fantastic industry recognition for Buccament Bay Resort and Harlequin
Hotels & Resorts is testament to the great work of the resort team, the strides that the resort has taken since opening.
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Buccament Bay Resort wins “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel” and “St Vincent & The Grenadines’ Leading Spa Resort” 2012
The WTA awards programme, hailed as “the Oscars of the travel industry” by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.
In winning “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel” for 2012, Buccament Bay Resort beat the likes of Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (Dominican Republic) and The Hotel Chocolat (St Lucia), whilst the St Vincent & The Grenadines “Leading Spa Resort” honour was awarded over competitors like Palm Island Resort, Petit St Vincent Resort and Young Island Resort.
About the World Travel Awards
WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive.
A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media traveled from more than 30 nations to attend WTA’s Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony 2012, which was supported by Turks & Caicos Tourist Board and Scotiabank.
CARIBBEAN’S LEADING NEW HOTEL 2012
• Winner Buccament Bay Resort
• Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort Dominican Republic
• Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro Dominican Republic
• The Hotel Chocolat St Lucia
• The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort Tobago
ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES’ LEADING SPA RESORT 2012
• Winner Buccament Bay Resort
• Canouan Resort Grenadines
• Palm Island Resort
• Petit St. Vincent Resort
• The Cotton House
• Young Island Resort
To find out more, please follow the link - BUCCAMENT BAY
Chat show host invests in the 5* Buccament Bay resort on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean.
Link to the information page - HOTEL RESORT SALES
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Argyle International Airport is on target to open in late 2013.
This has been confirmed by the developer responsible for constructing the new St Vincent and the Grenadines international air gateway.
According to the International Airport Development Company (IADC), work has been completed on close to three-quarters of the earthworks for required for the airport’s runway, apron and taxiways. Earthworks on the airport commenced in August 2008 and since then the work team, comprising Vincentians and Cubans, have been have been hard at work, clearing and grubbing the area, demolishing the abandoned structures on the site, and removing the top soil.
The IADC affirmed that “work on the terminal building continues apace”, ensuring that it is on schedule to be completed by the contracted date of December 2013, in time for the tourism high season in the Caribbean.
The Argyle International Airport is being built on about 290 acres of land, with a paved runway 2,743 metres (9,000 feet) long, and 45 metres (150 feet) wide. Its runway length will allow for direct flights to St Vincent and the Grenadines from USA, Canada, Europe and Central and South America. The airport is designed to accommodate jets as large as the Boeing 747-400s.
The US$216 million airport is expected to boast a single 1.5 million capacity per annum terminal built over three-storeys on 145,000sq ft with dedicated areas for ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ passengers. The terminal building will have about 8,700 square metres of floor space, to handle about 1.4 million passengers per year.
As of May 2012, the contractor, Overseas Engineering Construction Company (OECC), had completed 23 percent of the work on the building.
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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Construction of the EC$652 million Argyle International Airport is on track to meet the 2013 completion schedule, a progress report from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves this week suggested.
“I just don’t understand some people when they say that ‘nutten happening out dey’ despite every time you go you see such phenomenal changes,” he said at a press briefing Tuesday as he detailed the work that has been done since the project commence in August 2008.
“You know, sometimes, when I hear some people talk, I wonder if they eat something at night and they lie down and it ride their stomach and they dream that nothing [is] going on. Because it is talking place before your eyes,” he said, employing part of an analogy that landed him much criticism some years ago when some citizens accused him of mocking of Spiritual Baptists.
Gonsalves told reporters and radio audiences that as of May 12, 75 per cent of earthworks on the runway, apron and taxiway were completed and the International Airport Development Company (IADC) — charged with oversight of the project — plans to complete 90 per cent by yearend.
All earthworks will be completed by the middle of next year, he said, noting that EC$4.4 million has been spent on blasting and 300,000 kilogrammes (0.66 million lbs) of explosives have been used since work began in August 2008.
“When we say we had to move three mountains and fill three valleys, span a river and so on and so forth, it is not an easy business you know,” Gonsalves said, adding partly in dialect, “Unless you have a vision and you have the fortitude to go ahead with this lot ah man wudda done fall down.”
The base-laying and pavement will begin later this year, hopefully by September, he said, explaining that there have been some delays because of equipment procurement.
The IADC therefore decided to redo its work plan and will continue with earthworks rather than pavement, doing both simultaneously when paving begins.
The state-owned firm is assembling the equipment needed for pavement works, some of which is being provided by an US$4.2 million (EC$11.34 million) grant and loan to the government by the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Development Fund.
The IADC has awarded the equipment procurement contracts to three international firms.
NSG West Indies Ltd. won the US$1.06 million contract to provide the stone crushing plant.
The US$2.3 million quarry and base-laying equipment deal was awarded to RIMCO
GECI Española has been awarded the US$1 million contract for airfield lighting equipment and generators.
The project has already received some of the quarry and base-laying equipment and expects to get the stone crushing plant by the end of June.
The IADC intends to do the pavement works in house and to set up its own industrial complex, complete with stone crusher, asphalt and concrete batching plants and supporting equipment, Gonsalves said.
A 70-member team, including 32 Cubans who will arrive next month, will be involved in this aspect of the project.
Sea defences, trucks, wind study
The construction of sea defences will start later this year at the northeastern end of the runway and the IADC is negotiating the purchase of the ARMCO system for preparing culverts to divert the Yambou River under the runway.
The company is also trying to acquire new trucks even as it tries to keep a fleet in working order, Gonsalves said, noting that vehicles at the project have been used 12-hours a day, seven days a week for the last 45 months.
“That’s not easy work you know. And if you think that is cheap, these equip consume almost EC$10 million worth of fuel so far — 1.5 million gallons. It’s a lot of work and you notice we are keeping a track as to the quantity and everything else that we use …”
Wind studies are continuing and the data collected over the last three and a half years suggest that a crosswind runway might not be needed. But even if one is needed, it will only be 1.5 per cent of the cost of the project, Gonsalves noted.
The Taiwanese firm Overseas Engineering Construction Company (OECC), as of May 11, had completed 23 per cent of the terminal building and had received US$12.2 million of the US$26.5 million contract.
Of that sum, the IADC contributed about US$2.3 million while the government of Taiwan paid the remainder.
And while the size of the mezzanine floor has been doubled to 10,000 square feet to accommodate two executive lounges instead of one, Gonsalves said this adjustment was not expected to affect the cost of the building “in any significant way”.
The control tower, fire and rescue station, and cargo terminal building — expected to cost US$5 million — will be bundled in three distinct packages for tender.
The fire and rescue station is to start later this year even as the IADC tries to have a private firm to finance and operate the cargo building and hopes that construction can begin no later than May 2012.
Meanwhile, talks are underway with a private sector entity interested in operating the aircraft refuelling facility.
Access roads, land use plan
Construction of the Argyle Gardens access road will resume later this year while works on the Rawacou access road, suspended because of the effect of blasting, will recommence when the blasting is completed.
Gonsalves said that Cabinet has received some broad conceptual outlines for a land use plan even as a final copy will have to be approved by the Cabinet.
Environmental monitoring and preservation of national heritage, and promotion of the airport are on-going.
Financing is on target, said Gonsalves, who is Minister of Finance. He said monies come from land sales, the central government, the sale of government shares in the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and PetroCaribe.
He further said that businessman Denzil Bacchus has donation the second EC$20,000 tranche of an EC$100,000 pledge to the airport.
At end of April, OECC’s workforce was 196 skilled and unskilled Vincentians and 26 foreigners while the total workforce at the project was almost 400, Gonsalves said.
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In spite of the recent recession, Harlequin has had a truly amazing year: the first luxury destination, Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent and The Grenadines, has, according to holiday operators, enjoyed record levels of bookings for the region, along with great feedback, reviews and press coverage; several hotels and resorts are currently being developed in the Caribbean by Harlequin Developments; in fact, the company continues to grow in every way, always chasing its Chairman’s indefatigable ambition.
Growth, however, is meaningless if it doesn’t contribute to improvement (and there is always room for improvement). As successful as Buccament Bay Resort has been in its first year, we at Harlequin have listened and identified a key area for investment: transport. Connecting flights to St Vincent are short but the waiting times can be disproportionately long if left to commercial airlines. Consequently, Harlequin has taken the initiative and will soon be literally flying high via its own airline, Harlequin Air, which is expected to be operating by early 2012.
Based in St Lucia, Harlequin Air will provide an exclusive service for guests at Harlequin’s Caribbean hotels and resorts; but the service won’t stop at delivering swift and seamless transfers between islands for transatlantic flights. Guests will also be able to utilise the fleet for excursions and visits to other hotels and resorts. Additionally, there are plans to establish a scheduled service between St Lucia and Puerto Rico for Harlequin’s growing number of US-based guests.
Here are the flight times guests can expect:
St Vincent to Barbados: 45 minutes
St Vincent to St Lucia: 20 minutes
St Vincent to Puerto Rico: 160 minutes
Barbados to St Lucia: 45 minutes
Puerto Rico to Barbados: 170 minutes
Puerto Rico to St Lucia: 145 minutes
The first plane is currently having the “Harlequin treatment”, which involves being: liveried with full Harlequin colours; decorated with ”Harlequin blue” carpet; and fitted with cream leather seats with the Harlequin logo emblazoned in the headrests.
Official photos are on the way, but in the meantime, here are some candid ones taken
For Harlequin, the sky isn’t the limit, it’s just another step forward.
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