Friday, August 4, 2017



From the Hurricane David of 1979 up until the year 2012 the Prince Rupert Bay in the town of Portsmouth had been littered with wrecked ships. The accumulation of these wrecked ships began with Hurricane David and progressed with the passage of several other storms and or hurricane events. These neglected wrecks had indeed become a disfigurement in the Prince Rupert Bay area up until 2012.

Certainly an issue such as the unsightly derelict vessels would have triggered a multitude of discussions, to include legal liability for the wrecked vessels; was there protection and indemnity insurance? There were many political finger pointing contests as well; the Freedom Party sharing 15 years of culpability, the UWP 4 years and the Dominica Labor Party 12 years before these monstrosities were finally extracted from the beautiful Prince Rupert Bay.

Our interest in this matter even after all these years is based on more recent events that are directly tied to the 2012 “Site Specific Waste Disposal Agreement” ( SSWDA) between Venezuela and Dominica for the removal of the derelict ships in Portsmouth. Stick a pin into this SSWDA for a while.

After 31 years of neglect, an Antigua based firm voluntarily offered its services to remove all the wrecked vessels  and in return the company would keep the scrap metal for commercial recycling. After consultation and an agreement with the Portsmouth Town council, the Antigua based company came to Dominica in 2010 with its equipment and man power and began extracting the vessels. After a few days of operation Mr. Baduille rolled up as Dominica Sea and Port Authority (DASPA) and asked the company to cease their operation. According to Mr. Baduille  The company had to be stopped but they were informed that in order for them to continue they would have to get the necessary legal mandate to continue operation.” Many years have gone by and we are still trying to figure out what was that legal mandate and why the company was never allowed to continue.

In a country where in so many instances, the law applies only when it is convenient or applicable for special interest circumstances, one would think that the “free of charge” removal of these  eyesore/mosquito breeding wrecked vessels in a Labor Party fiefdom would be met with a red fanfare and laba ka twavaille celebration. Instead there were legal shenanigans.
Wrecked Ship reduced During extraction
The truth is, the Parliamentary Representative Hon. Ian Douglas welcomed the effort by the Antiguan based company but as usual Ian Douglas is out of the circle of trust. It appears that Douglas had no idea  that Mr. Baduille, Reginald Austrie and others had their eyes set on a US$6 Million venture with Venezuela to remove the very same wrecked vessels that the Antiguan based firm had already started doing for free!!! If your stomach starts churning, it should.

Lets Go Back To that Site Specific Waste Disposal Agreement
Two years after the Antiguan based company was asked to stop their operation, the US $6 Million SSWDA between Venezuela and Dominica came into operation. We learn from our investigation that within the two year period,  2010-2102, Reginald Austrie was able to conveniently complete another one of his Buildings, one built for rental purposes. We also found out that several people in the Portsmouth area with rental property were interviewed and promises were made that the ensuing SSWDA would create opportunities for property rental within the Portsmouth area. Some people even went ahead and prepared their properties in anticipation that the Venezuelans were coming.

 Under the SSWDA  a Venezuelan company was brought in with all its resources to perform the extraction of the wrecked vessels. As part of the arrangement the Venezuelan company would bring in all the equipment on a duty free arrangement and at the end of the project the said equipment would be given to the Public Works Corporation(PWC). Stick another Pin here.

The project was successfully completed the ships were removed and the scrap metal was hauled away for commercial recycling. Some promises were not fulfilled.We  know that the people in the Portsmouth area who were promised property rental opportunities never received any tenants and instead Reginald Austrie got himself the property rental agreement allegedly for US $10,000 per month.That new building that  Reginald Austrie built was fully occupied by all the Venezuelan workers.. Do the math.
The people of Portsmouth know what happened but they are way too “Red Shoe” loyal or simply to gullible  to speak out against corruption much less to act against political oppression. Some of them have sent the tale of their experiences to our In Box.

Let Us Remove Pin #2
Before the Labor Party, many foreign companies came into Dominica to perform major capital projects. Some of us will remember companies like Sintra, Nelotair, Rush and Thompkins, Misner Marine and much more. These companies came in, fulfilled their contracts and left. Some of these companies also genuinely left some equipment to public works as part of their contractual arrangement with the past government administration.

Was this Venezuelan company formed specifically for the SSWDA?
 The Venezuelan company and its operation have remained on the island for many years after completing the Disposal contract. We see the very same company (is it ??)operating in Dominica but under a slightly rearranged name. It is alleged that a special company was formed in Dominica to take over the Venezuelan company. The questions that we  want to ask is- who is now running this assimilated company in Dominica for the last 5 years? This company that has it's equipment stored next to the Purple Turtle Beach.

The assimilated company has been seen performing other government contract works including a Port Repair job in Portsmouth. The company has been using the same equipment that was legally assigned to PWC. The company operation and equipment storage area is at the very same Venezuelan company location in the Purple Turtle area.

Our research has shown us that the assimilated company has proxy handlers and one of the proxies handling the company money movement is a business place on Bay Street in Portsmouth. We also found out that the security person at the Purple Turtle company site is Reginald Austrie’s brother-in-law.

PWC A Victim of Greed and Wickedness
Let’s Remove that Pin Now: In addition to denying the PWC the ownership of the duty free equipment that was brought in by the “Venezuelan Company“ the new asphalt paving equipment that was purchased by the PWC and its asphalt production site in Colihuat had been taken away and assigned to the assimilated company. The PWC multimillion dollar asphalt paving equipment was controlled and exclusively operated by some Venezuelans. We understand that the PWC chairman Titus Francis had no idea of what was going on and in order to pacify him he was promised a job to coordinate the procurement of a proposed government Building in Portsmouth. Titus Francis have no such experience. Just like the two boats for the farmers the talk of the government building in Portsmouth has disappeared. Gone like the Diplomatic Passport Dollars.

With the “hostile takeover” of the PWC paving operation, the PWC site in Colihuat was blessed with two different security firms conducting security monitoring at the same time – the security employed by the PWC and a separate security outfit hired by the Venezuelans. It is common knowledge that the Colihuat site had conflicting and overlapping security issues.

You hear “Magee”, corruption and wickedness??? While the PWCis struggling to pay employee salaries and other commitments including the hefty loan on the brand new asphalt paving equipment, the assimilated/Venezuelan company had been using the same asphalt paving equipment on their private contracts. PWC have also been struggling to get work or payment for work done. We wonder why the last Public Works Corporation manager pwen kowir?

The Petro Caribe Factor
As we continued to dig into the suspicious Venezuelan company we can’t help but to wonder what role the Petro Caribe operation plays in facilitating these seemingly nefarious business arrangements with Venezuelan companies. US $6 Million to remove 6 derelict ships at the Prince Rupert Bay? hmmm.  We are also exploring the possible influence of the Petro Caribe tentacles in the affairs of the VENIDOM Corporation, a coffee venture that we have reported on. We have heard of incidents of massive cash movement in and out of the airport during the construction of the US $12 Million coffee factory. Has anyone seen the nonfunctional facility?

It is also no secret that the Petro Caribe operation had been responsible for sponsoring many of what the DLP call “empowerment” program. These programs are nothing else but vote buying schemes and acts of political tribalism. It is alleged that Reginald Austrie would write to the Chairman of Petro Caribe requesting assistance for certain projects. For example, as Parliamentary Representative of the Cottage Constituency – Reggie would solicit funds for his village feast by writing to the chair person of Petro Caribe. But guess who is the perpetual chairman of Petro Caribe? Ay Ay Reginald Austrie!!! Essentially Reginald ca ekwir koiy. You go pit bull write letters to yourself.

It must be stated though that over the last few months most of the Venezuelans who were assimilated into the suspicious company have left the island. We also understand that the Petro Caribe operation is not what it use to be- the money is dwindling. In fact a proposal was issued to lay off a number of workers primarily from Reginald Austrie’s constituency and Reggie intervened to say no way. We hope that $13000 salaries will be cut to save jobs and to Mr Reginald Austrie - if you are getting a separate compensation as chairman of Petro Caribe we ask that you stop grabbing and eating all. Sakwais Vowass.

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