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UK lawyer accuses THA of land-grabbing
British attorney Michael Scanlan, who is representing UK investors in the controversial Culloden Estate matter in Tobago, said yesterday the issue was being perceived as being caused by xenophobia. (Xenophobia is a dislike or fear of people from other countries).
In an interview with the T&T Guardian, Scanlan also called on Government to demonstrate it was serious about tourism and foreign investment in Tobago. He said the issue with the THA was now about international arbitration under a government-to-government treaty. Scanlan said there were hundreds of such treaties throughout the world which were recognised by international investors.
“What needs to happen now is a clear sign from the present Government, who have said publicly, ‘we’re into tourism, we’re into investment.’ Well, they must now demonstrate that. Settle this claim and people would start coming back today, or yesterday even. And I have other clients who would be very interested in coming to Tobago,” Scanlan said.
He added, “But they are not going to do it at the moment. They perceive this whole thing as really quite xenophobic and it’s the THA (Tobago House of Assembly) who are just land-grabbing.” Scanlan met for several hours in Port-of-Spain yesterday with attorney Martin George, the local attorney for the UK investors. He said because the foreign investment licence (FIL) was never granted, the UK investors lost some £3 million (approximately TT$30 million).
“That is what the claim is all about. They’re claiming the money they have put in and a profit element too,” Scanlan added.
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