Businessman Dave Ames, left, fled St. Vincent in June after he and his lawyer Samuel Commissiong, right, were summoned to court on several charges. (IWN photos)

Authorities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on Thursday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of British-born businessman, Dave Ames, of Buccament Bay Resort fame.

The warrant was issued amidst fears that Ames, who is also a Vincentian citizen, might have left the country after being summoned to court to hear tax evasion and theft charges.

Ames and Vincentian solicitor Samuel E. Commissiong are jointly charged with tax evasion.

Commissiong is lawyer and company secretary for Harlequin Property SVG and its Buccament Bay Resort.

The Crown is alleging that Ames failed to pay over to the Inland Revenue Department almost EC$2 million in income tax that he allegedly deducted from his employees’ wages and salaries, a source with knowledge of the case told iWitness News on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutors had earlier this week ordered Ames to appear before Magistrate Bertie Pompey at the Kingstown Magistrate’s court on Wednesday, a law enforcement source told iWitness News.

Ames failed to turn up.

On Thursday, Commissiong was at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, where Pompey was presiding over liquor license application, an administrative function.

Around 9:15 a.m., before the liquor license proceedings began, Commissiong rose and asked the magistrate for an adjournment in his matter.

The prosecution, however, said such an application should be made when the matter is called. He also noted that counsel for the state was scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m.

Commissiong told the court that he was giving testimony at the High Court building, where the High Court of England & Wales is meeting in SVG to hear evidence in Harlequin’s US$70 million claim for professional negligence against its former accountants and auditors Wilkins Kennedy — a firm.

The magistrate told the lawyer that he would consider the adjournment, adding that the lawyer could go to the High Court and he would consider granting the adjournment.

However, Commissiong had concluded his testimony on Wednesday afternoon and the judge in that matter, Mr. Justice Colson, told him he was released.

iWitness News understands that the matter will be called again on Monday.

The development has resulted in talks of apparent favourable treatment by the authorities of certain persons who are accused of breaking the law.

Persons have questioned why Ames was not arrested earlier this week, including on Tuesday, when he and his wife were at the High Court building listening to testimony in the civil matter.

iWitness News understands that a lawyer for Ames had lobbied the authorities not to arrest him in light of the hearings in Kingstown in the civil suit his company had filed in England.

The hearings in SVG in that matter were concluded Thursday afternoon.

9 replies on “Arrest warrant issued for Ames; lawyer charged with tax evasion”

  1. I hope this is not another fly into the sunset matter, we had better ask the expert at that kind of thing ‘JP’ yes you, remember Nano and Wise, is it now Ames? Perhaps it’s time to do the Congo Pongo.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    As far as global legal and political issues are concerned the courts and polity in SVG are paper tigers. Dave Ames knows too much — where all the money has gone, who paid who for what, how much local officials at the highest levels were paid, and so one — to be arrested and charged in SVG. Ain’t never going to happen.

    As I keep saying, welcome to the weird and wonderful Third World of Third Worlds.

    As for our tourism industry, Cuba is going to eat our lunch when it comes to Argyle airport and Mt. Wynne hotels.

    1. I agree 100%. It is much like Hillary Clinton in the USA. The Clintons are possibly the most corrupt people on earth but Hillary never gets arrested because she knows too much. She knows where all the dead bodies are buried and how they got to be dead bodies. she has threatened to expose it all unless she is made president. You are right, the corruption in SVG is much smaller than elsewhere but none of the “elites” want it exposed. Also: tourism is going to fail in SVG. they all know that. The top politicians and rich are just trying to fill there pockets while they can, and the country and its people can rot as far as they are concerned.

  3. Brown Boy USA says:

    The way we do things in this country is a joke, no wonder foreigners never take us seriously and come here and exploit our people. And we the people just sit back and think it’s a big joke. We really need to operate better in this country, it ain’t looking nice!

  4. Remember how Gonsalves told the Rasta farmers at Buccament that did not want to give up their farm land that they were damaging tourism by not surrendering, remember that.

    Well I consider the way those farmers were treated as disgraceful and we must remember the Lord works in mysterious ways.

    I heard they were not compensated properly as promised, when you consider what has been done to the Argyle land owners that is much more than probable.

    1. When I talked to the Rastas back at the beginning they told me they will move but their price for that little piece of land is 1 million US.$ !!! They thought that is a fair price.

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