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Measures put in place to prevent further looting at Buccament Bay Resort

Measures put in place to prevent further looting at Buccament Bay Resort

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Extra security is now in place at the Buccament Bay Resort to ensure no further looting takes place at the property.

Brian Glasgow, the interim receiver of Harlequin Properties Ltd (HPL), told SEARCHLIGHT that at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 19, the Special Services Unit (SSU) of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force handed over the security of the property to a private security firm, which will restrict entry to the resort.

“Only people whose names are on a list can enter,” Glasgow told SEARCHLIGHT.{{more}}

Glasgow, who was appointed interim receiver of Harlequin Properties Ltd. (HPL) by the East Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) last Saturday, said he is working along with the present management of the Buccament Bay Resort to maintain the rooms and the landscape of the resort.

“Whatever litter was done last week will be cleaned. Everything is well under control; everything is going smoothly,” Glasgow said.

Last Friday, December 16, Glasgow, a partner of KPMG, made an application to the High Court to be appointed interim receiver, following recent developments at the resort. That application was heard and approved on Saturday by Justice Brian Cottle.

Last Wednesday, the Buccament Bay Resort was forced to close after the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) cut the resort’s electricity supply because of non-payment. A well-placed source told SEARCHLIGHT that the company had racked up arrears of XCD$1.5 million and had recently missed some of the weekly installments of XCD$100,000 they had agreed to pay. The closure of the resort comes on the heels of two weeks of industrial action by staff, who had been off the job since December 2 to press demands for payment of salaries and wages for October and November.

When the electricity supply was cut last Wednesday, not only were the 37 guests of the resort forced to find alternative accommodation, but according to Glasgow, some looting took place at the property.

“There was a small amount of looting; it did not get out of control, but it could have,” he said.

Glasgow explained that Friday’s application to the High Court was made so that he, as proposal trustee, could act to secure the assets of the company.

He explained that under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, where it is believed that “there is a possibility of the assets of the company becoming compromised, and the potential for creditors and investors to lose their investment”, there is a facility for the proposal trustee to apply for appointment of an interim receivership to protect the assets.

Glasgow said his appointment allows him to borrow a limited amount of money to put the necessary security arrangements, including insurance, in place.

In terms of new management for the resort, Glasgow said while there is a proposal for that to be done, he will work with the stakeholders to see how that can be achieved and if additional authority from the court is required.

Glasgow, however, said his appointment as interim receiver of HPL does not give him mandate over the liabilities of the operating company Buccament Bay Resort, such as salaries.

“So, our authorization at the moment is to protect the assets of Harlequin Properties Ltd,” he said.

On October 6, 2016, HPL formally entered insolvency proceedings to allow the company a maximum of six months to work with a professional trustee to assist it to sort out its business affairs. Glasgow was appointed as insolvency practitioner of HPL and was required to try to reach a financial solution that will satisfy HPL’s creditors, made up several entities and individuals, including investors, VINLEC, the National Insurance Services Ltd, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, employees of the Buccament Bay Resort and many businesses and service providers.

Glasgow told SEARCHLIGHT that his work as professional trustee for HPL is ongoing, but on Friday, HPL applied to the High Court for an extension of the insolvency proceedings and that application will be heard on January 27, 2017.

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