Last week, the devil was busy again. This time Sarkis Ismerlian, the failed developer at Bahamar, was in the press asking the government to stop the Bahamar deal. The Government has no role in the matter. The property is sold. It was sold because Mr. Ismerlian’s company failed to pay its bills. The China Export Import Bank repossessed the property. Mr. Ismerlian should shut up and be quiet. Fred Mitchell spoke in the Senate in response to it on 27 June:
I think everyone here has ended their contributions with the words: God Bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. I will as well. It speaks to our ultimate belief that this is a good country, a blessed and sunny clime.
I am therefore deeply offended when people like Sarkis Ismerlian get in our business. The press statement issued by a company which appears to be associated with him about Bahamar. It is offensive. I remind him if he does not like being in The Bahamas and cannot agree to act within the confines of his permission to stay here, then he can take the decision to leave.
I have explained time and again. Sarkis Ismerlian is a failed developer. He would do well to remember the words of Shakespeare as Cassius is talking to Brutus in the play Julius Caesar: The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.
He would do well to remember that he defaulted on his loans to the bank not once but twice. The Bahamas government at his instance intervened on both occasions to help him. On the last occasion, the developer descended to a level of treachery which cannot be overstated. Filing for bankruptcy without notice while negotiating with the Prime Minister of our country, an intervention which Mr. Ismerlian invited.
His Board put the company in bankruptcy. The Bahamas government intervened to save the asset and the Court in Delaware declined jurisdiction. Not the government of the Bahamas. The lex situs is The Bahamas.
When you or I fail to pay our mortgage to the Royal Bank of Canada, they repossess the House and sell it.
That is what happened in this case. The China Export Import Bank repossessed the property when the developer could not meet its obligation and property has been told by Court order.
In our law, if you are a mortgagor and you have the money to save your property and you want to stop a sale, then you pay the money into court. The developer did not do so.
Now what is it he wants The Bahamas government to do at this stage?
He wants the Government to intervene and stop what is going on and create more issues for a development that is finally getting on its feet.
It is objectionable and reprehensible.
I hope that the Government decides this is not a matter in which they have any jurisdiction except as to further regulatory oversight.
You know as I wrote this, I thought to myself of so many Bahamian songs to tell the Bahamian people.