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Toppin still concerned about Sandals deal


Toppin still concerned about Sandals deal

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THE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT for St Michael North has renewed his call for full disclosure on the Sandals deal, saying “something smells” with the arrangement.

Ronald Toppin said the hotel had been allowed to construct a huge warehouse a short distance away from the hotel and to bring in items duty free.

He indicated this was having a negative effect on local suppliers, with one wholesaler who formerly supplied over $100 000 monthly in products to Casuarina, which preceded Sandals, seeing demand decline to around $10 000 by March and to less than $2 500 last month.

“They have built a warehouse in a residential area and a tourist belt, a big obnoxious warehouse across the street from the hotel. It is not only mystifying as to how they would have gotten the approval to do that, but what compounds that problem is that Sandals has a warehouse in Miami . . . and they take all the goods from up there and send them straight from the warehouse in Miami to the warehouse in the Dover area,” Toppin informed the House of Assembly Tuesday night.

He questioned the silence of the Barbados Agricultural Society headed by James Paul, himself a Member of Parliament.

Toppin maintained that Government was getting practically nothing in return for giving away half a billion dollars in the Sandals deal, while pointing to a case involving Sandals in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

He reiterated that a study needed to be done on the full impact Sandals has had on businesses across Barbados. (WILLCOMM)