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Letter: Any information on Harlequin will be welcome
Published on January 22, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Investors in Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent are the closest to luck as one can get when wishing for luck for their investment from a company that promised everything and gave very little to very few. But as luck goes, it may be running out even for the Buccament investors.

Those that have invested in Harlequin’s different projects through like-sounding Harlequin companies around the world have only had bad luck. They have put their money in to what they thought were rosy investments. Many were encouraged by island politicians and governments, many of which had been warned of impending problems with Harlequin, yet went ahead and promoted them in such a way that now brings disgrace to those small and even large nations.

Below are some of the Harlequin/Ames projects. I am not sure if any of them are completed or even started other than the Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent.

Then to cap it all, it’s revealed that Buccament Bay Resort is built next to a river within a recently proven floodplain. On Christmas Day, the Buccament floodplain did its million-year-old job and dissipated a huge volume of water.

Documentary evidence shows that Harlequin was aware of the flood risk and was going to make engineering design and structural attempts to counteract the threat.

How many people invested in the projects below and got nothing for their investment?

St Vincent and the Grenadines

In 2008, the Harlequin company claimed they had purchased the 71-acre Petit Nevis island.

Harlequin Property are pleased to announce that they have recently bought Petit Nevis island in the Caribbean which will offer discerning clients the chance to have their dream property designed by a renowned architect, offering them total privacy.

Harlequin Island Retreat, with approximately 25 plots of land available for development, will become one of the most prestigious addresses in the world; synonymous with wealth and success, this investment is not for everyone as plots of land alone start from over £1 million.

Dave Ames Marketing Director for Harlequin Property says, “Our continued success in property development in the Caribbean has paved the way for our biggest acquisition to date, Harlequin Island Retreat (HIR). The start of the new millennium saw us focus on property investments that offered the highest specifications but at affordable prices, backed by investment packages that suited individual investor’s needs. Whilst this marketing strategy continues and has proved to be extremely effective and rewarding we were constantly reminded that there was also a market for unparalleled luxury, offering utmost privacy. It was this understanding of the market that led us to invest in HIR, in what will ultimately become one of the worlds leading postcodes.”

HIR in the Grenadines, near Mustique offers 71 acres that will ultimately provide approximately 25 plots of land available for development with the help of the internationally renowned architect Lorenzo Bellini. Each villa will be unique providing buyers with their own signature property. The island will further benefit by the construction of two private beaches along with a hub consisting of the island management company, bar and restaurant.

Prices for building plots start from over £1 million for a minimum of1 acre rising up to £5 million for larger sites. For further information on this exclusive opportunity contact the Harlequin management team.

Buccament Bay, St Vincent and The Grenadines. 350 rooms of what will now be a 1,000 room hotel resort will be opened on July 1, 2010.

Brazil

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts is proposing to build on the island of Tinhare in the region of Bahia in Brazil. Harlequin Hotels & Resorts is purchasing 1,700 acres of land in Bahia, Brazil with a view to creating a 5 star luxury spa resort called Garapua Beach Resort. Completion 2014.

Barbados

Merricks Beach Resort is situated in a stunning cliff top position in the south east of Barbados on the ruggedly beautiful Atlantic coast and enjoys spectacular panoramas forged over millions of years by the powerful Atlantic Ocean's winds and waves. Located in the parish of St Philip, 4km north of The Crane and next to Sam Lord's Castle it's just 20 minutes from the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport.

Expected completion of the resort by Christmas 2012.

Saint Lucia

Marquis Estate Resort. Located in the Caribbean on the tropical island of St Lucia, this unique development is in the advanced stages of planning and expected to begin construction in early 2009 completion 2012.

Australia

Harlequin Property has recently brought Ravenswood Hotel and Resort to the Mandurah property market. Situated on the outskirts of Mandurah, 15 minutes from the sea, the resort will be set in 21 acres of land with a selection of apartments and fully-furnished one, two- and three-bedroom cabanas.

The off-plan development is due to commence in early 2007 with completion by 2010.

Dave Ames, Marketing Manager of Harlequin Property said: "Mandurah is a city expanding at a tremendous rate and quality accommodation such as Ravenswood will be highly sought after. Investors here will receive a two year 10 per cent guarantee followed by a five year 50 per cent room rate share deal along with 30 free days use per year."

Harlequin is now offering Ravenswood Hotel &Resort at pre-launch prices with fully furnished apartments starting from £100,000.

Thailand

Nirvana is situated in a stunning location at the north western tip of the island of Koh Chang which is on the eastern side of Thailand. Surrounded by lush tropical rain forest it is set amongst 64 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, with 1.5 km of white sandy beaches bordering the clear, blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

Panama

Panama Land Opportunity - An Undiscovered Caribbean/Pacific Paradise And A Once-Only Opportunity To Purchase Land At Only £15,000 Per Plot

£15,000 will buy you … 1/4 acre plot, 20 metres x 50 metres.
Full planning permission granted.
Gated secure community.
Full services provided - water, electricity etc.
Title of land is given.
Plots can be re-sold.
Safe, beautiful area.
Owned and being sold by UK Company.
Payments can be made by cheque or credit card in UK.

£5,000 deposit required, followed by six weeks later by a further £5,000 upon signing of the documents. The final payment of £5,000 is required on receipt of the title deeds.
If you reserve 2 plots of land you will receive a free flight to visit the site.

Building Your Dream Home

Your 1/4 acre plot has ample room to build a large, detached, tropical home from only $500 per sq metre. This is very cheap when you compare with UK building plans, where you can pay £100 per sq foot. As an example, a house in the UK could be costing you £100,000, whereas the same specification in Panama would cost US$50,000 (£25,900). As you can see, building costs in Panama are extremely low.

We are a UK registered company holding a valid consumer credit licence, so you can buy with confidence. We at Harlequin have, through our friends in Panama, the exclusive rights to this park-like setting in a 130-acre development, with 25 acres reserved as common recreation area.

This is a fantastic opportunity to become involved in our exclusive gated development in a beautiful green valley with gentle rolling hills and nearby rainforest. This development is fortunate in having a wonderful backdrop of spectacular mountains in the distance, where rosy light flecks the land at sunset. When you visit you will be captivated by its picture-perfect beauty, which could cover the front pages of a Travel Monthly magazine; we have photos to show you the sheer beauty of this area. This gated community is only 35 kilometres [21 miles] from the metropolis of Panama City and the International Airport, with regular flights to the UK. The development is a mile away from The Pan-American Highway, which provides excellent connections to the city. The Pacific coast and beaches are very close by with turquoise waters, giant coral reefs, sea turtles, swaying palms, coconuts, cashew trees, parrots, pelicans, humming birds, and bright tropical flowers.

This superb development is being undertaken adjacent to another headed by a Canadian and Australian consortium which has already completely sold out. Panama is a safe country. You will find the locals very friendly and helpful.

David Ames, Harlequin Group

Dominican Republic

Our developments offer a dream holiday home that brings an excellent return on investment. With prices from £25,000, invest in an overseas property at one of our Luxury 5 Star Spa Resorts, offering the following advantages:-

Completion Date
The building of the resort will be starting shortly and the opening is scheduled for Summer 2011.

David Ames, of Harlequin, which is building the Two Rivers development on the Dominican Republic, has part of the answer.

"We have a five star hotel in the complex, and we manage the rental arrangements, with a guaranteed 10% return for the first two years."

Two Rivers has already proved very successful.

"We launched in November and within three weeks, were completely sold out but as always happens, some people found they couldn't raise the money after all, and so some 20 units have come back onto the market. That isn't bad in the current climate," he explained.

As Mr Ames says, these flats and villas aren't houses to live in, they are investments.
"You gain 30 days' free use a year, and the hotel runs your investment, in fact you're making money from day one."

It almost sounds too good to be true, a comment often made, according to David Ames, but the product is based on a sound financial model.

"If I sell one of my flats to you today for £100,000, you have to raise 30% of the price, that is £30,000. If you went to Abbey and got that sum, you might be paying £300 a month for the mortgage, but we pay you back that money. Too good to be true?
Looking at the bigger picture, I'm building a hotel, I'm not one of those developers who take your money and disappear."

As Mr Ames puts it, you and he become investment partners in the complex. He is selling the property off-plan at below market value, which means that when the apartments are ready, they should be worth £150,000.

"And the rental income will pay back your mortgage..."

Last year, Harlequin had a turnover of £217m sterling.

South Africa

South Africa's Western Cape has a backdrop of the stunning Hottentot and Helderburg Mountain ranges and a spectacular coastline. Harlequin Property has apartments situated in The Strand area, which is edged by 35 kilometres of white sandy beaches and the highest sea water temperatures in the Western Cape. All the apartments have both mountain and sea views and the complex has an infinity pool. Prices start from £330,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, rising up to £485,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. "Property in South Africa has been playing catch up in recent years", says Dave Ames of Harlequin Property. "In the Western Cape, property prices rose by 46 per cent between 2000 and 2003. Overall, in this region I would estimate that up to 20 per cent of all buyers are from overseas. There is even a thriving British expat community out here now."

Goa

Goa on the edge of the Arabian Sea, is located in an area of scenic beauty, with attractive beaches, temples, architecture and festivals.

"Goa is now a formidable destination for those looking for a holiday home which offers natural beauty and crystal-clear seas, but also capital appreciation in a country where the cost of living is at a fraction of the cost in the UK", says David Ames of Harlequin Property, which also sells property in Asia.

The company is marketing homes at Little Baga in the resort of Arpora in Goa, which is 25 minutes from Dabolim airport. Prices start from £15,000 for a studio, rising up to £36,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Within the resort there is a communal swimming pool, a tennis court and convenience store.

"The cost of living in Goa is incredibly cheap", says Ames, "and with house prices rising on average at between 20–30 per cent per year, it is obvious why Goa is starting to become a major player within the property industry.

"For those looking for a holiday home that can reap an income whilst it is not in use, Little Baga can reward you with £250 per week in the low season and over £300 in the high season", Ames concludes.
_______

There are other proposed projects not named here, if it’s not billions of pounds, its hundreds of millions that are under investigation. That is why they are currently in 2014 under investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

If you have any information about fraud in this or any related matter including alleged payments paid to ministers in countries where projects or proposed projects were to take place please contact the UK police: the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) by email at: confidential@sfo.gsi.gov.uk. Please quote or head your communication “HLM 01”. If you fail to use this reference your message will not be seen by the appropriate department dealing with Harlequin or Dave Ames investigations. You can head your email in confidence and it will be treated as confidential.

On behalf of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, I personally apologise if you were misled in any way into investing in any of the Harlequin projects by our government or any of its ministers. If you were, I believe you should consult your solicitors as a group and sue them.

Peter Binose
Self appointed keeper of the whistle and blowing hard
 
Reads: 4493





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Comments:

D. Markie Spring :

As usual a great article and looks like sound information - it will be irresponsible for me to repeat what the author have defined for us.

However, I have a few questions about the investment in the Buccament Bay resort - as I almost invested heavily in the same.

Are there any Vincentian investors? I know it was opened to everyone, but hidden stipulations could prevent locals from participating; hence, the reason for my question!

Are the islands being sold entirely or just a few acres and by whom?

In terms of stats how successful is the resort to date?

Again, its a great article and needs more Vincentians to take note and make inquiries


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