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Fountain Blue Scandal

Posted By: truebelize

Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/02/02 05:27 AM

Bywarren is right. Fountain Blue was a project designed from Day 1 to rip off the Belizean people. A businessmen (who happened to be the Belize Ambassador to Lebanon and is orignally Lebanese) got together with the Government of Belize in a cozy little pact.

He bought the land where Fountain Blue is located for $330,000US (later him and his buddies claimed that it cost 2.5 this amount)

The hotel cost about US1.5 million to build.....perhaps less. Even at this price the cost per square foot for such awful construction is too high.

The amount "borrowed" from DFC/Belize Social Security (ie. the Belizean people) was 4.5 million US! In other words, almost 3 million US was unaccounted for.

For the Grand Opening the PM, minister of finance and a bunch of other government high rankers were invited. The opening speech by the "owner" included remarks that the whole project cost US5.5 million/11 million Belize. This would have made the price per square foot of building about $600.00US!! Typical cost for first rate construction on Ambergris Caye is about $65-90US per square foot, and this place was built CHEAP.

The government even granted the owner(s) a Duty Free Concession. It is STRONGLY rumoured that the missing US3 million was used to import hardware stock for the owner's hardware stores...of course, all duty free.This was then sold to the people of San Pedro at the usual inflated prices we pay for this kind of stuff. But, no matter what happened to the missing US3 million, it is certain that it was not used on the hotel construction.

The original owner (Simon of San Pedro Hardware) handed over the paperwork of the hotel to his cousin/brother (Mike of San Pedro Supermarket) a little while ago.

As soon as THAT transaction was legal the bombshell was dropped......Mike (ie. all involved) couldn't make the payments.

So, DFC/Social Security/Goverment of Belize was in debt 3 million US dollars. But, of course, it was designed this way from the start. Fountain Blue was never meant to be anything but a moneymaking scam for the owners and involved individuals in the Government and Social Security of Belize.

It's not over yet. Rumour has it that a favoured government of Belize minister will likely obtain Fountain Blue at a knockdown price at auction....it'll be fixed that way. I've heard Fonseca or someone in a similar position will be the "lucky" bargain hunter.

[This message has been edited by truebelize (edited 02-02-2002).]
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/02/02 08:42 AM

boo, hiss. life sucks sometimes. people suck sometimes.

ya know, some people call me naieve or liberal, but i believe there are still some truely good people left in this world. guys, am i wrong? ~:>(
Posted By: susangg

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/02/02 08:48 AM

The good news is that you are right.

The bad news is that none of them are running any governments anywhere.....
Posted By: truebelize

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/02/02 05:11 PM

Sorry....there's a passage that should read "DFC/Social Security/Goverment of Belize was in debt 3 million US dollars." and not 3 million Belize dollars.

Susan, in response to your post on the AC section....of course there is no paper trail for any of this. Unfortunately Government and their pals and the opposition and their pals are all lawyers...they own the courts here and no one will be brought to account.

It's scams like this that put the Belize dollar under the pressure it finds itself. I live in San Pedro and I don't really follow events countrywide, but if scams like this occur in little old San Pedro where 3 million US just dissappears from the people into a few pockets it's not hard to figure that the numbers in other parts of the country must be staggering.

It's amazing how much property and other assets government ministers accrue during their terms in office.

The loyal "opposition" will get into power some time in the next few elections and they will carry on screwing us. It is not in their interests to charge anyone in this administration with any crime.

[This message has been edited by truebelize (edited 02-02-2002).]
Posted By: JmHanna

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 02:50 AM

Maybe I am mistaken but I thought the purpose of this message board was to promote tourism for Belize and A. C.
TrueBelize---Thats what Letters To The Editors are for.
Try the Amandela or the Belize Times.
Jim
Posted By: truebelize

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 03:40 AM

This is in reply to Jim's post on the AC section where he says:

"As a businessman and builder on A. C., I suggest we all take the report with a few pounds of salt. Anyone who actually builds moderate to upscale structures on this island are painfully aware of the cost per square foot. $100 to $120 USD minimum. If anyone says they will do it for less--hire them!!! Then hire someone else to finish it.
I think the Fountain Blue problem started when the planning board originally gave the project a permit for 4 floors-28 units.
Then the governing party changed and they recinded the permit and only let them build 3 floors.
That top floor represented the money making part of the whole project.
I assume that they were far enough along when the rules changed that they could not stop the project.
The rest is history.
I am sure the numbers worked before the newly elected town board axed the top floor.
Its all speculation anyways.
Some people can make a drama out of the trash can placements in town. Some minister probably got a free condo off of that too.
Get real!!!TrueBelize. Save your comments for an election.
There ARE real hard working businessmen and women here and sometimes shit happens.
At least I sign my comments.
Jim--Go Patriots!!!!"

MY REPLY:

I agree, Jim, there ARE (honest) hardworking businessmen here. You're probably one of them although I can tell you are not a hotelier.

Now do the math: 20 units, (it might be less, dunno, but it isn't more) 11 million dollars Belize is what they BOASTED the project cost during the grandly political opening ceremonies. 4.5US Million borrowed from DFC, of that there is no dispute. (You can ask DFC, although don't ask their Chief Loans Inspector, he was found dead last week under suspicious circumstances although I am sure that this was COMPLETELY unrelated to anything here).

$225,000US per unit for about 450sq ft per unit? Jim, even you wouldn't pay this much.

Yes, there ARE hardworking businessmen and businesswomen here, and they PAY for this crap with more taxes.

You can sign your name just fine...after all, your post, although abrasive in places, is politically correct. You can't make anyone mad with what you said, right?

By the way, I know very good contractors who'll do first class work for about $90US per square foot. You probably don't and that's fine.

But how do you justify 450.00US per square foot? (Sorry, it keeps popping into my head)

And does the downfall of FB have anything to do with the dispute over the 4th floor? They would probably have been able to borrow MORE had they got the permit to go 4 floors. In point of fact they would have HAD to borrow more to pay for the 4th floor, if there is no scam here, right?

And to reply to Jim's posting here saying that this board is supposed to be for the promotion of tourism etc....Fair enough, Jim, you are quite right, I won't mention it again.

I shall remove all of my posts on this board in due course.


[This message has been edited by truebelize (edited 02-02-2002).]

[This message has been edited by truebelize (edited 02-02-2002).]
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 04:35 AM

Marty, maybe you should instruct us on the purpose of this board. If it is only intended for the promotion of tourism for Belize, then I have used this forum form purposes other than what it is intended for. I for one happen to think that exposing some of the problems that exists here might be good for tourism, and more importantly Belize, in the long run. I get sick and tired of the "Gringos come lately" and other non-Belizeans who view this country only as a place to satisfy their short term greed. Truebelize, I commend you for naming names and telling it like it is. And to anyone disputing what Truebelize says, you need to get a little better informed. Now Marty, if this is out of line, just edit me out. If not, then continue to let people express their views. And for those of you like Truebelize, do not let critizem of your views silence you.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 05:39 AM

Personally, I find the whole thing very interesting. I love San Pedro and I want to learn everything I can about, good, bad or indifferent.

I hope that we can use this forum for that purpose.
Posted By: truebelize

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 06:11 AM

You know, bywarren and seashell, you are right! There's a heck of a lot of stuff on this General Chat forum that is not tourism related.

If I stick to the General Chat forum and stay away from the Ambergris Caye forum that means I can say anything I like so long as it is Belize-relevant, informative and truthful.

So that's what I will do.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 06:12 AM

I agree, we did ask, what was going on, it is such a beautiful place. Now we know.
Posted By: gogo

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 10:24 AM

yanno, when i check this bulletin board and i see topics posting widely dispersed email jokes i don't care to read, i simply don't click on that topic. what is up with people who want everything to be sunshine, lollypops, buttercups and rainbows in every post? according to them if a thread is not all sugar sparkly belize-y good enough, the topic and person who posted should be shut down & shut up, right now!these people were the kids who grabbed the ball & stomped home if the game didn't go their way. many people are interested in the current economic crisis in belize and in learning out how it got to this point and likely find these debates thought provoking. there is more to belize than questions about what hotels to stay at and who to go diving with. there's no need to be a spoiler when it's simple enough to pick the topics of personal interest and ignore the ones which are not.

peace.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 12:07 PM

To borrow a line from Jerry Jeff's song, "were not mean spirited here". We are just having some spirited discussions. And Truebelize, when Jim makes the statement "shit happens", take into consideration the source. Without it the Pier Lounge would not be what it is today. LOL
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 05:08 PM

Hmmmm? Interesting [Linked Image]
I like when Jim posts..
At least we know WHO he is and what his business is.
It's always interesting when new people post a controversial issue or topic and you look to see who they are...but there is no name or info on them..

I hate when that happens! [Linked Image]
Posted By: truebelize

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 07:09 PM

It is true, Sandshaker, it's easy to post controversial stuff about Belize and sign it when you don't live here. And you DON'T live here, do you?

I started this thread because questions were asked about FB on this message board, and in general the replies given were either "don't knows" or "wrong".

I AM sorry that I got a critical fact wrong on a previous posting. There I used the phrase "You can ask DFC, although don't ask their Chief Loans Inspector, he was found dead last week under suspicious circumstances"....I was completely wrong. I wish to apologise to everyone.

What I should have said was:
You can ask DFC, although don't ask their Chief Appraisals Officer, Mr. Mark Ireland, he "went missing from his home in Belmopan last week and was found dead a day later with 12 stab wounds."

This from Channel 5 Belize news website. http://www.channel5belize.com/news/archive/30-1-2002-news.shtml and http://www.channel5belize.com/news/archive/28-1-2002-news.shtml It was BIG news in Belize last week.

The Appraisals Officer would be the one who values property before a loan is granted against it??

Again, I wish to make it clear that this is UNRELATED in ANY WAY to the FB situation. It is PURE COINCIDENCE that this happened at the same time FB went into receivership and DFC found themselves out 4.5million US.

This will be my last post on the matter.

(signed, truebelize)
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 08:15 PM

I will be on the island tomorrow....in a "living there" capacity [Linked Image]
Posted By: kmatson

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 09:32 PM

Sandshaker, are you moving back to the island? If so, hooray, hooray! Where will you be, what will you be doing? It will be good to see you again. Kim
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 10:08 PM

YEP....that will be me [Linked Image]
Where will I be?....hmmmmm?
Everywhere....enjoying the warm weather and the sand between my toes again....LOL
I'm vacationing for a while...

Didn't ya hear? Publisher's Clearing House is pulling up in my driveway this afternoon with roses and a big fat check!....LOL

NOT!

*WOW* (wouldn't that be freaky if it really did happen....LOL)

[This message has been edited by Sandshaker (edited 02-03-2002).]
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/03/02 10:54 PM

tammy- i was secretly & selfishly so glad to hear you were moving back, for if & when i do come back, it would SUCK if you were not there!

enjoy the vaca---you so deserve it. "K.B." as we say (kick back).

best wishes for the future too. hope to SEE you soon.
Posted By: JmHanna

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 07:50 AM

Mr. Bywarren,
All the FB bull%$#@ aside, your comments about me and the Pier Lounge, if I am taking them in the correct context, just earned you a bloody nose.
Jim
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 08:47 AM

LOL
*POW*
[Linked Image]
Posted By: susangg

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 09:59 AM

Whoever said that the town board gave those folks at FB a permit to build 4 stories does not have his facts right.
In fact, the FB owners NEVER got a permit to build 4 stories, since it would violate local building codes,which does not allow buildings any higher than 3 stories on the beach (or, I believe anywhere in town, though I can't say for sure).
They simply ignored the code, did not bother asking for a permit and started building a 4th story anyway. The town board issued a stop order, which they ignored. Instead, they apparently went to Belmopan and asked a High Government Official (ahem)to write them a note saying "these people don't have to follow the local building code" and don't need a permit to do anything they want (or something like that) (that's called "Minister's discretion" and it is one of the problems with the "system" in Belize in my opinion.
I am not quite sure what happened next, but apparently, some kind of agreement was reached that resulted in a promise not to build the 4th story.
How do I know all this? I was at the town board's public meeting on the very issue of the illegal attempt to construct the 4th story and I was asked to and did make a brief statement giving the viewpoint of the tourists who come to San Pedro precisely because it is NOT Cancun and would like to see it continue to NOT to be Cancun.
It was very impressive to me to see democracy in lively action at the San Pedro Town Board meeting, but distressing to see that the national government does not appear to like the democractic process whereby local communities are allowed to govern things like zoning and building regulations and such for themselves.
As far as the people who think this board should be censored and limited to "happy talk", they are certainly free to spend their time elsewhere. Certainly there are plenty of other message boards that contain nothing mindless inanities for those who are so inclined.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 02:50 PM

Jim, where is your sense of humor. I thought my comments might earn me a bloody mary. It,s "shit happens" ie. chicken drop. Now if there is anyone reading this that does not get the pun, then maybe Jim, you should give you bar a shamless plug like I was attempting and explain the chicken drop. I will stop by and get whatever is coming to me.
Posted By: M-A Gaffney

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 04:26 PM

Finally! Everyone shows their true colors! This will get pulled directly.
Posted By: GAY AND DAVID

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 04:29 PM

gee, some threads don't come to us as we sit with our toes in the sand and a drink in our hand. that little paper umbrella won't sheild us from much. maybe its not promoting tourism as much as its protecting tourism. i don't mind the bad with the good. i don't want to see sp thru rose colored glasses. sorry to all of you who disagree. if the people know in advance, we won't have the "basil jones" threads in 2 yrs.
jim, glad your boys won.
gay
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 04:49 PM

I got the pun..........since I have bought "Chicken Drop" tickets at the Pier Lounge.......I thought it was fitting.

Humor is a good thing.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 05:33 PM

me too, warren, i got it right away. i thought it was pretty funny, in fact. i think jim just missed this one. the sun musta been in his eyes.

AND...i think it is ok for TBZ to say as they wish, as long as they are not personally pounding anyone falsely. some of us ARE interested.

one more thing...susangg - i love your personal profile. too funny. and thanks for setting the record straight.
Posted By: JmHanna

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 10:03 PM

Sorry,
It went right over my head. Must be I was suffering from a Patriots skull cramp.
I been defending myself too much lately.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 10:08 PM

Glad to set the record straight Jim. I presume this means it is bloody mary istead of bloody nose. If so, good choice. I did not want to intimidate you earlier, but Pizanno is one of my body guards.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/04/02 10:48 PM

Chloe is snickering......way too cool.

Big Jim, you need not defend yourself often, you have a great bar, chicken drop and you are a big man.
We love beautiful Ruby at your lounge, say Hi for us.
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 03:46 PM

Yes, Tammy HAS mved back to AC!! Always knew she would it's in her blood!! She stayed the weekend here with us and we took her to the airport yesterday!!...Jim, did you not get to launch very many coconuts??? Tammy, we'll be here waiting on your E....Gosh-I wanted to go with her!!!! C it's supposed to snow here today!!! Can't handle ANYMORE COLD!!!!!!!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 04:11 PM

we have been super lucky this winter, weatherwise...but today it went down to like 18*. brrrrr. frank went to get into the hottub last night, got as far as flipping the lid back, closed it, came running back in and said 'f--- that'!

man, tammy, i hope you're sitting in the sunshine right now, toes in the sand...
Posted By: Mike and Daphne Ryan

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 04:41 PM

truebelize and susangg --

I hope that THIS area (general chat) is not for "promotional purposes" but instead for general information and discussion. We have just bought property on AC, we expect to spend about three months a year there while we can still sail, and then live there if we manage to get old enough not to be able to do ocean crossings any more.

All this information is very important to us. I assume that since Marty has not pulled this thread he agrees that this is reasonable discussion.

I had hoped that three storeys was the limit, and I'm glad to know that town hall democracy is at work on AC. We will proabably go for citizenship when we're there more permanently.

Sounds like the usual battle between government corruption and attempts to clean it up.

We have Enron up here, of course (and Global Crossing and the City Island Bridge and God knows what else).

Mike Ryan
Posted By: KC

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 04:42 PM

Is there a place where Tammy will be hangin' in a month? I'd at least like to meet her first week of March if she is through "touring" by then.

Kathy
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 07:10 PM

I'm sure Tammy will be on here as soon as she gets settled....TAMMY-It started snowing this morning!!!!! I knew i should have crammed myself in one of those bags!!!!!! Hope you didn't have any (many) disruptions on your way down! It was SOOO good to see you!! Looks like it will be late April for us!!! (boo hiss hiss) Send me a pic w/some sunshine in it!!! I can dream! C
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/05/02 08:06 PM

Can't you see Tammy with her toes in the sand, and her pack of Milports.....lol...I can, waiting or the Purple golf cart to pick her up.......way to go Bill.

Can her smile get any larger........NOT.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 01:32 AM

she made it!
======
Arrived safe and sound on the island. Beautiful sunrise this morning....will send pics later.
The weather is warm and sunny and a nice constant breeze!

More later,
Tammy
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 02:52 AM

Tammy.....you're a wench!!!! Just kidding, well sorta, maybe)..it has snowed here since 8AM....freaks me out!! NON-STOP!!! I'm crying here!!!! This has been a REALLY LONG winter for me! Hope everything is cool!! Like it wouldn't be!!!!! SEND ME SOME SUN< GIRL!!! C
Posted By: JmHanna

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 03:19 AM

I just hauled 35 bags of cement to your house Coconut.
It was freezing!!
86+/-
Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 04:06 AM

It was snowing in Dallas this afternoon..Yuk!!!
Posted By: Edd

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 06:02 AM

Hey Tammy, Glad you made it. I enjoyed hanging out with you this weekend. It was pretty neat to finally put a face with the name. See you soon on SP.
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 09:46 AM

Ya Jim,

We just got 5" of the stuff... What a weird winter... Thanks for the haulin.. good news coming you way!!!!!!! How bout them Pats..... I did well LOL.. How was you coconut lauching???? LOL Rick
Posted By: Denny Shane

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/06/02 07:00 PM

Tammy... you are back on the island? Email me and fill me in.... what are you going to be doing hon...
[email protected]
Posted By: criag

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/07/02 12:43 AM

sounds like it was a well planned out fraud,sign of the times. My advice is to buy gold as more frauds like enron are coming down the tubes. Bury your gold in a safe location as the banks dont look like they are in good shape either. When the dust setttles cash in your gold bars and party
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/07/02 02:49 AM

Mr. Peir Lounge.....THANK YOU!!! I just got through hauling 9 bags of groceries from the driveway to the house....after working all day.....AND IT"S FREAKING COLD. Snowed in Dallas/Ft Worth yesterday ALL DAY LONG...NOT PRETTY!!!! And around 32 degrees...My coconut get there yet???? C
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/07/02 06:18 PM

[Linked Image] I'M ON A MUCH NEEDED VACATION! [Linked Image]

*hands a snow shovel to Cheri* *ducking*

Re-acclimation is good!!! [Linked Image]
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/08/02 03:34 AM

SS you are one lucky gal.....you should have bought a Texas Lottery ticket while passing through........Best Wishes.
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Fountain Blue Scandal - 02/09/02 06:47 AM

she did....lol.....we didn't win~!!! Boo and HISS Later in April!! C&R Luv Ya!!!
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