Tenant ‘owed airport’ $3m

photo

Glenys Hanna Martin

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

A TENANT who operated five stores at the Lynden Pindling International Airport racked up a rental debt over five years of more than $3m under the Christie administration and was allowed to remain delinquent due to “direct intervention by the political directorate,” Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed in the House of Assembly last night.

Even worse, he said, the tenant approached the Nassau Airport Development Company’s (NAD) board of directors two months before the general election and was allowed to enter into an agreement to “write off” $1.2m of this debt on the condition that she give up one store and pay her balance.

While outlining what he suggested was a personal favour extended to the tenant because she was well-connected politically, Mr D’Aguilar questioned why the woman was not evicted from the airport despite five years of not paying rent.

He explained that this was the reason NAD’s board was dismissed shortly after the Free National Movement won the May 10 general election.

His remarks drew rebuke from Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin and Leader of the Official Opposition Philip “Brave” Davis.

“In addition, Mr Deputy Speaker, you would have read in a local daily that this government upon assuming office sought fit to summarily dismiss the board at NAD because of its treatment of the amounts owed by a tenant in the LPIA,” the Free Town MP said. “Mr Deputy Speaker there is a large tenant who operated five stores in LPIA. How she got five stores in the first place is mind-boggling to me and reeks of an all for me baby policy adopted by someone, sometime ago.

“Anyway, Mr Deputy Speaker, as soon as the government changed in 2012, this tenant stopped paying rent and by the end of December 2016 owed NAD $3.3 million. I am told that every effort that was made by NAD to collect this money was rebuffed by direct intervention by the political directorate telling NAD to back off and stand down.”

Objection

This led Mrs Hanna Martin, who served as minister of transport and aviation in the last administration, to rise on a point of order.

“Free Town is going to learn that five years is a long time,” Mrs Hanna Martin said. “The point of order is, I want the member, because I was the minister, I want him to tell this Parliament who he is speaking about when he says directives were given, I want him to say in this Parliament, he is saying the political directorate gave directions.”

Mr D’Aguilar said he was not referring to Mrs Hanna Martin.

“You make sure, you indicate to this Parliament what you are saying,” Mrs Hanna Martin continued. “The member must indicate to this Parliament who he is talking about. I want him to put on the record and to prove and to establish who he is referring to.”

Mr D’Aguilar continued with his contribution, saying: “Maybe someone can explain why this receivable was allowed to grow to such an enormous amount without this tenant. . . “

However, he was interrupted by shouting from the Englerston MP.

Mrs Hanna Martin then stood and asked: “What is going on in this Parliament man? Throwing as much mud, innuendo and slack talk as you want against Bahamians in this place or outside this place. I’m asking the member if he can be specific, he is saying that there was political directives, I was the minister responsible and I am not going to allow that to stay on the record of this Parliament.”

However, Deputy Speaker Don Saunders allowed the remarks to stay on the record.

“The chair sees nothing wrong, no breach made by Free Town, the chair is going to allow Free Town to continue his contribution,” Mr Saunders said.

Mr Davis also rose to his feet to object to scurrilous statements being made in the House that cast aspersions on people.

However, the deputy speaker did not change his ruling, telling the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP that he was just repeating what was said by Mrs Hanna Martin.

‘Favours’

“Maybe someone can explain why this receivable was allowed to grow to such an enormous amount without this tenant being evicted,” Mr D’Aguilar continued. “I fear this is another case of connected people being granted special favours. Anyway, Mr (Deputy) Speaker, the story gets worse. The tenant fearing that the government may be changing, decided to approach the board of NAD and negotiated a deal where NAD would write off $1.2m of her receivables and allow her to pay the remaining balance over time if she would simply give up one store. The deal was signed on March 3, 2017, a mere two months before the general election and she is currently abiding by the terms of that agreement.

“However, the $3.3m, they wrote off $1.2m, however this FNM government takes grave exception to this tenant because of well-known connections being allowed to not pay her rent for five years and then having $1.2m of her outstanding rent simply written off by the board for no apparent reason. This board, in the view of this government, acted improperly, conveying and condoning special favours for persons who were not deserving of such and therefore they were summarily dismissed.”

Mr D’Aguilar said the Minnis administration will investigate the agreement’s legality with the view of having it cancelled. He warned the tenant in question to stay current with her rent in the meantime.

Mr D’Aguilar also spoke about concerns in the Ministry of Tourism, noting that one person was being paid $400,000 a year for “consulting services as it relates to cultural tourism.”

“There is a contract with this individual drawn up, although I have yet to see a signed copy, in October 2014 and that persons is being paid over $1m under that contract to consult on cultural tourism,” he said.

Adding that this “smells fishy,” he said when asked what this person did for the $1m spent, senior tourism officials all agreed “that whatever he did produce, it was not in their professional opinion worth $1m.”

He said the officials also agreed that the amount was “outrageous” and should not continue.

“When asked to shed some light on who ordered that these payments be made, they either had no knowledge of the terms of the contract and those that did said the instructions to pay the outrageous amount came from the very top of the former administration,” Mr D’Aguilar said.

Comments

watcher says...

This is an outrage, pure and simple, and is typical of the last administration. Mrs Martin may give pat answers to the accusations, and argue all she likes. But she must have been involved, as she was one of the ones involved in giving the delinquent person basically a pat on the back, and carry on business as usual. The PLP have all their outrage down pat now, since the criminal activities are coming to the fore, and all they can do is deflect their crimes back onto the new ministers who are letting us, The People, know just what was going on.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:35 a.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

Glenys pretending that she is goody two-shoes and her corruption don't stink.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:40 a.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

You notice that too? She rising on so many points of order she thinks it will delay the Government members from gettin' round to her. She going to put her foot in that mout of hers sooner or later!

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:56 a.m. Suggest removal

EasternGate says...

True!

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:02 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrades! the outrage so far with media hungry red cabinet ministers is that they never call out the names of the individuals they are accusing of corruption and bad dealings with the government or with government financed/controlled entities? Time finger pointing cabinet ministers to grow some transparency by sharpshooter directly to name the damaged people cause - It's the People's time" to know the names.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:44 a.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

That's cuz they gats more broughtuptsy than Mad Brad the rapist. They een naming names until dems make da gala appearance at Bank Lane.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:46 a.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrade Banker, BPL will keep the rights on and Bar Mar will have a 90% guest occupancy - before any 'big shots" will be Bank Lane paraded. You move out the old crew politicians and the politically connected and the empty pockets moves in new sets.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:49 a.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

That's what happens to ya when you be baptized PLP. The corruption devil takes over your soul, and because you do it, you think that everyone else does it. Minnis een corrupt. Dionisio een corrupt. Most of them een corrupt ... people with initial CB (including Ova da Hill preachers) -- I een so sure.

I will heal you ..... (holds hand on Tal's head ) ... Thou foul and corrupt sperrit .... COME OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:56 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

How do you fuckers continually support, or try to cast doubt on the PLP's past corrupt government contracts????? WTF

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:28 p.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

They have had their cognitive dissonance glands shot off a long time ago. When you live in crap, you don't notice the smell anymore and you start to like it and defend it. Look at birdie. She praises the PLP up and down, not caring that they took the county away from Bahamians, but she sang for her supper (and perhaps did more) so she praises them now, not noticing the stench emanating from her and them.

Posted 16 June 2017, 2:43 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

I know, I know @banker, however I will still cuss them out everytime I see some dumbass comment praising the PLP on here... Some of the comments are so rediculous I don't even bother..

Posted 16 June 2017, 8:34 p.m. Suggest removal

proudloudandfnm says...

NAME THE DAMNED TENANT!!

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:47 a.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

Should be a matter of public record, should it not?

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:03 p.m. Suggest removal

jackbnimble says...

It is if you've been following the rag sheets of late. This story has been out for weeks with the lady's name being printed in black and white with the amount above stated for the unpaid rent and her PLP connections that granted her the favour and another PLP money source that purportedly paid a lump sum to help her out.

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:10 p.m. Suggest removal

themessenger says...

Da Punch done named da tenant as one Pat Mortimer, claims da past PM intervened/interfered on her behalf wid NAD.

Posted 16 June 2017, 2 p.m. Suggest removal

ohdrap4 says...

you need to buy the punch dude.

they name and shame and never get sued, i wonder why.

Posted 16 June 2017, 2:56 p.m. Suggest removal

Alex_Charles says...

This is the Bahamas. Standard operating procedure lol.

Posted 16 June 2017, 11:55 a.m. Suggest removal

DonAnthony says...

Can we now just say " protocol having been established" ( that the PLP were crooked, incompetent and raped taxpayers through cronyism )? And move now to name names and most importantly what CONCRETE steps are now being taken to prosecute these bastards, cancel these fraudulent contracts, and measures to prevent this occurring again.

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:06 p.m. Suggest removal

jackbnimble says...

These headlines continue to baffle me. But like I said in previous post, we can name and shame all day and continue to show how neck deep in sh**t and corruption the PLP was.

What I would feel better about is when we can finally get someone - anyone - who has stolen our money to do the Bank Lane shuffle. Only then will I believe that the Minnis administration is serious about tackling corruption.

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:15 p.m. Suggest removal

OMG says...

Great keep exposing these crooks, but name and shame them and those involved should be prosecuted. The public needs to know names.

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:28 p.m. Suggest removal

Well_mudda_take_sic says...

The dead beat tenant that owes NAD a fortune in back-rent for several shops at Nassau International Airport is none other than a company controlled and beneficially owned by PLP business woman Patricia Mortimer and her best friend and business partner Lady Marguerite Pindling. Both Mortimer and Pindling are well known cronies of Crooked Christie and the grossly incompetent despot Glenys Hanna-Martin. Mortimer & Pindling also owe Bank of The Bahamas (BoB) a fortune in unsecured advances (well in excess of $6 million) that they have failed to repay and which the past corrupt management of BoB (Paul McWeeney, Richard Demerit, Wayde Christie et al.) may have wrongfully written-off.

As for the outrageous $400,000 per annum cultural tourism contract, Paul Major never thought he would be blessed so richly by Crooked Christie!

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:33 p.m. Suggest removal

Reality_Check says...

And to think Marguerite Pindling as a disgraceful tax dodger, dead beat tenant and delinquent borrower, one who has effectively spent much of her life stiffing and sticking it to honest hard working Bahamian taxpayers, is being paid by the government lavishly generous pension, health and other benefits and allowances, all at the expense of Bahamian taxpayers. Talk about adding insult to injury! Something must be done to rectify the wrongful harm caused and still being caused by this most disgraceful woman!!

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:42 p.m. Suggest removal

Well_mudda_take_sic says...

Lady P has enough very expensive jewelry and other high end goods to her name (not to mention her ill-gotten unjust wealth socked away in financial institutions at home and abroad) to sink a big sturdy pirates' galleon!

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:53 p.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

Ummm there are bank accounts (Swiss + Panamanian) that if Bahamians knew about, "Lady" Swindling would be tarred and feathered and hog-tied to a pole and put on the slow boat to China. Staggering staggering amounts.

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:58 p.m. Suggest removal

baldbeardedbahamian says...

totally agree with you, reality check. however politics comes into play on this one. because the plp did not retire Arthur Foulkes as GG when they assumed power so the FNM is doing the same. Of course Arthur always paid his taxes, worked for a living and contributed to building this nation. On the other hand the one we have now is a freeloader who has contributed little or nothing and I can not remember her ever working a real job unless it was when she was much younger amd not on the political stage.

Posted 16 June 2017, 4:22 p.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

Well Mudda-take-sic!! It IS a matter of public record!!! Now I see why the 'Lady' needs to vacate her current residence without further ado! Should have known there would be much more than unpaid electrical bills. She is, after all, her late husband's wife!

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:43 p.m. Suggest removal

screwedbahamian says...

The Names of the Directors should also be a part of the HOA records for future reference, since not one of them resigned because of the unethical directives and I am sure will be on the Board of Directors of other government agencies where similar deals were made. Name and shame all civil servants and other persons who have economically raped the Bahamians. ITS THE PEOPLES TIME!!!!

Posted 16 June 2017, 12:43 p.m. Suggest removal

EasternGate says...

True!

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:02 p.m. Suggest removal

banker says...

Here is the list:

Anthony McKinney

Manita Wisdom

George Casey

Dr. Gregory Carey

Douglas Hanna

Rev. Lloyd Smith

Deepak Bhatnagar

Michael Foster

Annischka Holmes-Moncur

Guess who the corrupt one are.

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:05 p.m. Suggest removal

EasternGate says...

Knock Suckers, all!

Posted 16 June 2017, 1:07 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

WELL, WELL, WELL ............... The shit is hitting the fan ....... When will Lady SLOP submit her letter of resignation to DocMinnis????? ......... After all, he has been very gracious to her

As for the fired NAD Board ........ each one owes an equal portion of that Pat Mortimer "write-off rent" that they authorized illegally (against Board/MOF policy) to the Public Treasury ........ Firing them does not help The People to get back their money .......... It is called "collective responsibility" (huhhh???)

Posted 16 June 2017, 2:36 p.m. Suggest removal

The_Oracle says...

Ain't the lady got one hell of a mansion in Eleuthera?
Auction off the one on Prospect ridge too!
Auction them off, put them in Bankruptcy court!
Ancient as that law is it is still on the books.

Posted 16 June 2017, 4:42 p.m. Suggest removal

BahamaPundit says...

A radio host said today the PLP were punished by losing the election on May 10; time to move on. I say HELL NO!!!! If PLPs did the crime, they should now do the time. If someone steels from you, do you just let them keep the money???!!!!

Posted 16 June 2017, 4:55 p.m. Suggest removal

ScullyUFO says...

Anyone had a look at the airport's financial statements lately?

Posted 16 June 2017, 5:56 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrade ScullyUFO, now why would "KP" do that when he admits to not having read the Budget (the one formulated by PLP's minster finance) until he stood to read it on the floor House.
That entire Budget is useless and needs be tossed into former minister Jerome's rubbish basket.

Posted 16 June 2017, 6:28 p.m. Suggest removal

killemwitdakno says...

And only 5 stores in the airport.

Posted 18 June 2017, 12:23 a.m. Suggest removal

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