Antigua government claims UPP defaulted on multi-million dollar loan
The Antigua and Barbuda government says it has reached an agreement with the Intercommercial Bank Limited (IBL) of Trinidad to prevent the sale of 2.03 acres of land used by the previous government to secure a two million US dollar loan in 2009.
A government statement said that Prime Minister Gaston Browne met with IBL’s managing director Krishna Boodhai over the weekend to discuss repayment of the loan after the former government had defaulted on payment on five numerous occasions, the last being on June 4, this year.
According to the statement, the IBL Bank “granted an initial US$2,000,000.00 short term facility to Antigua Barbuda Property Development Company Limited (APDEC) for a period of twelve (12) months to assist with the construction of a multilevel parking deck, shopping plaza, office complex and public transport terminal on a parcel of land measuring approximately 2.03 acres known as ‘The Bus Station.”
It said the loan was guaranteed by mortgaging the Crown land east of East Country Pond and the entire area west of the National Archives that includes Obstie’s Bar.
The statement said following the failure to repay the loan on numerous occasions, the bank “carried out a valuation of the 2.03 acres of crown land and was prepared to sell the two plots to anyone who would buy”.
It said the then government had “guaranteed and borrowed the US$2 million dollars from the Trinidad IBL Bank by further providing a letter of comfort, dated January 28, 2009. That letter guaranteed repayment of the loan amount”.
The statement said that following the meeting with Prime Minister Browne an “agreement” was reached and that the banker left “satisfied that the outstanding amount was going to be paid as agreed this time”.
The main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has not yet responded to the statement made by the government.