Letter to the Editor: Sueño del Mar - 11/25/13 10:00 AM
We, the members of Sueño del Mar, have not gone away. It’s been three years now since nearly 200 of us filed suit against British Caribbean Bank over the timeshare act of Belize, which law was supposed to protect our rights at Sueno del Mar from seizure by the Bank. Over three years ago, British Caribbean Bank seized the resort when the developer defaulted on a loan, and refused to honor the ownership rights of the members. British Caribbean Bank is the offshore arm of Belize Bank, and was not supposed to be making loans in Belize. But, it seems that this Bank doesn’t really care much about Belizean law.
We have recently amended our claims against the Bank as it has become clear that the “loan” was illegal under Belizean law.
During the last three years, the Bank-appointed receiver has operated the Sueño Del Mar resort as a Hotel, apparently at a loss as the operation was shut down earlier in 2013. The members’ personal property apparently has been removed as well.
Most recently, the Bank rejected a $4.7 million offer for the resort from a third party that was planning to recognize the rights of the members–an amount which was well above the principal of this illegal loan. We as a group were shocked that the Bank rejected the offer. Our group is made up of very committed people who care about San Pedro and Ambergris Caye, its schools and businesses. We patronize local restaurants, stores and guides. We make charitable donations to many local organizations and families. We have sponsored dental clinics for the local community. Unfortunately, only a fraction of our members have the resources to continue to visit Belize as this Bank by its actions has impoverished the entire membership.
That British Caribbean Bank has been allowed to undertake illegal lending activities is just part of the problem. They have also harmed the country, San Pedro, the economy, employment opportunities and much more. Why are they allowed to continue? We’re sure that many of the readers have experienced similar hostile behavior from this Bank.
Meanwhile, our group of owners have lost our homes and personal belongings to this predator. Our litigation will continue, but we wonder why this offshore foreign entity is allowed to damage people’s lives without action by the government. We just want the people of San Pedro to know that we are still committed and we will find a way to beat this Bank. We’d appreciate your help in making this Bank obey the law. We’d like to hear from other victims of this Bank and hope The San Pedro Sun can undertake some investigative reporting on this shameful behavior.
/s/ Dana and Jary Shay, David Cartwright, John Midlen, Gary Walker, Hank Miller and
Tim and Wendy Hood