What is the BTL Employees Trust? Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 09 November 2017 00:00

(Reprinted from Sunday 27th June 2010 Edition of the Guardian Newspaper)

At 6p.m. on Wednesday June 23rd in a closed door meeting Dean Boyce along with attorney Godfrey Smith held a session with BTL employees to discuss their position on the so called ‘BTL Employees Trust.’ While what was being told to the 8 or so employees who attended the meeting is anybody’s guess, the Guardian Newspaper has been able to get a little bit closer look at exactly what the BTL Employees Trust is.

A document provided to the Guardian titled “the BTL Employees Trust (Consolidated Trust Deed:

Trust Deed dated September 16, 2005 as varied by a variation of Trust Deed dated June 15, 2007)” explains what the trust is. From the onset it is clear that BTL employees have no say in the doings and maneuverings of the trust. The deed states that “THE Trust… shall be known as ‘The BTL Employees Trust or such other name as the Original Trustees with the written approval of the Protector shall declare.” The document goes on to define the Beneficiaries, Protector, Trustees, Trust Property and Trust Purposes.

Under “Benficiaries” the document indicates that “the ‘Beneficiaries’ means the employees of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) (or any successor company thereto) for the time being.” That latter phrase ‘for the time being’ clearly indicates that at any point in time there can be changes made to those who are the beneficiaries.

Under the “Protector” the document indicates that it “means The Belize Bank Limited but only for as long as there is any indebtedness owed by the Trust to the Belize Bank Limited (or to any other company that is an affiliate of The Belize Bank Limited or any ultimate controlling shareholder of The Belize Bank Limited), the Belize Social Security Board or the Government of Belize…”.

Under the “Trustees” the document specifies that it “means the Original Trustees and or the trustees or trustee of this Trust for the time being or any one of them.” These original Trustees are Dean Boyce and Keith Arnold. Further reading of the deed states that “the Trustees shall have all the powers of an absolute owner in relation to the development, improvement, management and administration of the Trust Property. This clearly indicates that employees, again, have no say in the Trust.

The “Trust Property” is defined as “the 2 issued shares of Sunshine Holdings Limited (constituting the entire issued share capital of Sunshine Holdings Limited) specified in the Schedule”. (The SCHEDULE indicates that there are “2 ordinary shares in the issued share capital of Sunshine Holdings Limited (comprised of share certificates 1 and 2). 1 share in the name of the “Trustees of the Belize Telecommunications Limited Employees Trust” and the other in the name of Dean Boyce.” This indicates that Keith Arnold and Dean Boyce as the trustees own one share and Dean Boyce owns the second share.

The document states that The “Trust Purposes means the use of the Trust Property for the long term benefit of the Beneficiaries and such other purposes related thereto as may be approved from time to time by the Protector (read Belize Bank) and the Trustees (read Dean Boyce and Keith Arnold) in consultation with the Employees Representatives.

From the onset it is clear that the Trust was never created to benefit any of BTL’s employees after all it is the trustees, Boyce and Arnold who along with the Belize Bank have all the say in matters related to the Trust. At no point in the document is it specified that the employees of the telecommunications company would have any say in the Trust.

In speaking with BTL’s chairman, Nestor Vasquez, he balked at the idea of a meeting between Boyce and the employees of BTL. Earlier on Wednesday June 23rd, BTL’s management issued an employee bulletin in which it states that “The property over which the purported BTL Employees Trust was created consists of two issued shares in Sunshine Holdings Limited.” It goes on: “employees should be aware that no trust was created over the 23% shares in Belize Telemedia Limited.” It further states that “the two issued shares in Sunshine Holdings Limited are now owned by the Government of Belize. Keith Arnold and Dean Boyce have no authority over Sunshine or Telemedia shares.