The Waterloo for Waterloo’s Big Port Plan?
British-Belizean billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft has been in the country for months, perhaps hiding out from the COVID outbreak in the UK, and maybe trying to soften up his image just a little. We've seen him profiling all over Twitter like an "accidental tourist" - and even loading himself unto a "Maria Bus" outside Orange Walk.
And while Ashcroft is attempting some on the ground image rehabilitation, he could be cruising for another head on collision with the Barrow Administration next week. Reports say that the CCJ's decision on Government's takeover of two registries will be coming down next week. That's the IMMARBE and International Business Companies Registries, formerly owned and operated by the Ashcroft alliance, until government acquired them in June of 2013.
The matter has been in court for years, and the final judgement is expected from the court of final appeal next week. If government loses, the damages could be in the tens of millions of dollars.
And with that heavy matter hanging in an election year, and Ashcroft making it known that he's looking forward to seeing a new Prime Minister in office, it seems the UDP Cabinet is not inclined to entertain the proposed port plan from Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. As we have reported that 200 million US-dollar package is for a Port of Belize makeover, expanding bulk handling and building a cruise terminal on the Port's property.
It's a big plan, but unofficial reports to 7News suggest that it did not find favour in Cabinet, which rejected it yesterday. We could not get comment or confirmation of this from the Prime Minister of the or the Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment.
We hope to get comment from the PM when he hosts a virtual press conference tomorrow.