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Small Shareholders get Dividends...GOB and SSB - not yet Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00

Nestor Vasquez and Denys BarrowAs of Wednesday, December 19th, small shareholders, some 1,400 of them, will be collecting dividends from Belize Telemedia Limited. That is representative of some $2 million, which will now make its way to the small shareholders just in time for Christmas.


While that is now the case for the small shareholders, still not declared is $9.9 million dollars which is due to the Government of Belize and the Social Security Board. GOB was to have received $7.5 million and the Social Security Board $2.4 million. That is not to be yet as the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered that BTL not pay out these monies. In effect, the attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance have temporarily deprived the Government and the SSB from much needed money. They came like Grinches and snatched the finances temporarily from the hands of the people of Belize.

The attorneys have been maneuvering in  court for months now and earlier this year, the CCJ had ordered that dividends not be declared until not before December 14th. Since then, the matter was heard in the Court of Appeals where the Ashcroft Alliance had applied for interim relief to stop BTL from issuing dividends. That was refused by the Belize Court of Appeal on the 13th of December. No sooner had that taken place than the Ashcroft attorneys cried to the CCJ on that same day to stop the paying of dividends. By the time the court met at 9a.m. on Friday, December 14th, in compliance with the Court of Appeals decision, Executive Chairman of BTL had already began to distribute dividends. The decision incensed the CCJ and it ordered that money in the sum total of dividends that were to be issued be put on escrow until the matter was completely settled.

Quick work by the Government of Belize's legal council Denys Barrow, however, allowed for dividends to be paid to the small shareholders after Barrow applied to the CCJ for such. And there is where it all stands for now until the next round of legal maneuverings take place in the new year. 

While the small shareholders must now be happy to have been able to get their dividends, the reality is that there must be some level of contempt thrust upon the shoulders of those so-called Belizean attorneys who have become Ashcroft's legal tools to deprive Belizeans of what is rightfully theirs. $7.5 million in these economic trying times would have gone a long way for the Government of Belize to continue the great work of nation building, which it has embarked upon in the past 5 years. For two unscrupulous attorneys who can now be referred to as ‘vende patrias’ or Grinches to stop the progress of a nation for pure greed is unforgivable.

The people of Belize are the most intelligent of stocks and will not soon forget what the duplicitous duo is all about.