By Caribbean News Now contributor
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- The former mansion of disgraced former Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) premier Michael Misick has been placed on the market for sale at a bargain price of $7.5 million – just half of the real value suggested by local sources.
The 11,000 square ft property has a checkered history when Misick and his seven servants occupied the home. The TCI government picked up the tab for the staff and hundreds of thousands of dollars in other expenses. The pool was reported to leak and cost $200,000-plus in public funds for wasted water.
In 2008, the mansion was the scene of an alleged rape committed by Misick
. It was also the scene of an argument and fight between Misick and his B movie starlet wife Lisa Raye McCoy, who reportedly tangled with Misick’s sister during a domestic confrontation that ended in McCoy being ejected from the home.
The property, located on a 2.5 acre site with its own private beach that overlooks the Leeward Channel, is adjacent to the inter-island barge landing known as Heaving Down Rock. Misick attempted but failed to expel the barges to rid his view of the commercial shipping activities.
The purchase and construction of the property was reportedly financed by Belize Bank (now British Caribbean Bank Limited) through a firm known as Coral Credit or Coral Financial Group, which is said to have loaned $5 million for the construction.
It is not known at this time who is offering the former Misick property for sale, although it is likely to have been taken over by the mortgage lender when Misick fled the TCI to avoid prosecution on corruption and money laundering charges. He was subsequently tracked down in Brazil and extradited to the TCI earlier this year to face trial.
The offer for sale of the former Misick property has joined another recent advertising of some 2,500 acres of western Middle Caicos prime development land, also financed by Belize Bank/British Caribbean Bank in what has been described as the largest Crown land scam in the history of the TCI
when was sold to a financially-challenged Miami developer at prices a fraction of those commanded by adjacent properties.
The land, which has liens by both the former Belize Bank and the TCI government, is reportedly being offered for sale by the bank for $16 million. However, the bank is understood to hold a defaulted mortgage of $12.5 million plus interest and the government is still owed $7.5 million on the original sale.
Of the original $12.5 million lent by Belize Bank, only $7.5 million (half of the sale price) was paid to the government, leaving $5 million still unaccounted for. Furthermore, the $7.5 million owed to the government should have been secured by a first charge on the property but now mysteriously appears as a second charge, subordinate to the Belize Bank/British Caribbean Bank lien.
Belize Bank/British Caribbean Bank is ultimately controlled through holding companies by Lord Michael Ashcroft, described by the Economist as being powerful, rich and elusive – “the right-wing pimpernel of British politics.”
According to local sources, the TCI government is cooperating with the sale of the property, despite the fact that it encompasses a number of sites of historic importance, as well as public roads, with no apparent recognition of what is described as the fraud and criminal undervaluation that took place or making any attempt to take the opportunity of preserving the heritage sites for future generations.