A minor storm is brewing in the UK, St. Vincent, and Barbados, as reports surface that Harlequin Property, a luxury investment property developer based in the UK, is under investigation by that country’s Serious Fraud Office after failing to pay interest to investors last month.
As many as 3000 British residents have invested up to £300 million in the company’s projects – Buccument Bay in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as unfinished properties in Barbados and St. Lucia. Much of that money is in the form of personal pension schemes, which leaves investors fearful that they may be left penniless.
Many are now questioning the judgement of government officials in this matter, as more details arise people wonder if in fact, the appropriate due diligence was done. Harlequin Property is also in trouble in Thailand. Emerald Palace condos, a Harlequin Property, was raided by Thai police last month after UK investors found that property they thought had been paid for turned out to have been mortgaged to an indigenous bank instead.
David Ames denies all wrongdoing in this matter. Harlequin Property also owns the recently renovated Blu Hotel in St. Lucia.
A High Court action is scheduled to be lodged today against Harlequin Property and David Ames. Island Scene will be following developments in this case – be sure to stay tuned for details as they happen!