Jungle Bay Resort & Spa makes good on Economic Citizenship Program Loan

Owner of Jungle Bay Resort and Spa Sam Raphael. Photo credit: www.concierge.com

Jungle Bay Resort & Spa is expected to make its first payment on their Economic Citizenship Program loan to the Government on Monday.

According to a press release, Samuel Raphael, owner/developer of Jungle Bay Resort & Spa intends to make an initial payment EC$100,000.00 to the Government of Dominica through the escrow account of the company’s attorney, Singoalla Blomquist-Williams.

Jungle Bay intends to pay the Government of Dominica EC$100, 000 every February and August for the next 20 years.

Jungle Bay will become the first company to successfully complete an investment and begin to repay their loan under the Economic Citizenship Program of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the press release stated. In 2006, Jungle Bay Resort & Spa immediately accepted Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s proposal to discount their $6.1 million loan balance by 50%; however, despite numerous meetings and requests over the past four years, the company has yet to receive a revised document spelling out the new terms and conditions for the repayment of its loan. The company has therefore decided to pre-empt the process and begin to repay the loan. The funds will be transferred from the attorney’s escrow account to the treasury as soon as the appropriate documents containing the revised terms and conditions are obtained from the government.

Jungle Bay feels that the Prime Minister’s 50% loan reduction offer is fair and appropriate compensation because the Government’s mismanagement of the Economic Citizen Project caused the project to incur additional construction costs.  After several interruptions with the loan administration the developer eventually completed the resort using private funds.

“Notwithstanding the obvious economic challenge this debt repayment will add to the company’s operating finances, we are keen to settle this matter and look forward to continued collaboration with the government in the quest to develop the island’s economy in a sustainable manner,” Raphael noted.

The handing over ceremony will take place on Monday at the Law Office of Singoalla Blomquist-Williams at 10 a.m.

Jungle Bay Resort & Spa is an award winning eco-adventure resort on the southeast of Dominica which employs over 60 persons in the southeast.  The resort significantly contributes to the economy of the southeast with purchases of considerable amounts of produce, fish, other agricultural supplies as well as arts & crafts from local farmers and suppliers. Jungle Bay has paid the Government of Dominica one million four hundred and nine thousand one hundred and ninety one dollars and ninety six cents ($1,409,191.96) in VAT payments from March 2006 through 2009 plus our guests have paid over half a million dollars of departure tax during this period. Jungle Bay has immensely enhanced the international image of Dominica through numerous positive magazine articles and international tourism awards. These are just a few examples of our ongoing contributions to the development of Dominica.

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43 Comments

  1. JoshD
    February 22, 2010

    So all the time you Sam made all your money and was deliberately refusing to pay US back. What made you come up with that right after the General Elections?? What would you have done if your party, the UWP had won?? Do not answer that!! We all know the answer. $100,000.00 every six months? That is Aprox. $16,666.00 monthly. Sam you mean you have been making that kind of money all this time? Well my friend and fellow Dominicans is this man Sam is deliberately spiteful or is this another of his beautiful schemes in which he knows he will defauld and then we will hear another story of how hard it is for the hoteliers. What is the truth SAM,Please tell us once and for all. We are a loving and forgiveing people. Tell us the truth Sam P L E A S E!!!!!

  2. Anonymous
    February 22, 2010

    Why must Sam Raphael make it appear as if he is doing the Dominican people a favor? It’s a debt he owes to the treasury. Come on Sam, be a man and just admit you are doing the necessary. maybe you can influence your other colleagues in the MRD who are owing to do the same. Then they can talk of restoring democracy in DA

    For love of country

  3. good thing
    February 22, 2010

    To Jude Nicholas….

    Government and business does not mix well. If the government takes control of the company we will see it bankrupt and shut down within 3 years time.

  4. GOOD
    February 21, 2010

    WELL DONE SAM. YOU ARE A GOOD CITIZEN.!

  5. sad situation
    February 21, 2010

    This whole thing is totally insane. Everyone is writing and making comments.
    the truth of the matter is none of them know the truth of the situation or the history or the politics.
    The politicians do not enlighten the public and you should all know that by now.
    The initial programe the government was to have equity in the business, the monies were handled through an escrow account and monitored step by step as the business progressed, that was under the Freedom Party. Then the UWP came in and all hell broke loose … So all those who think they want to cast judgement and comment……….you havent got a clue……
    Then another change of Government and in came the Labour party….who knew not what to do, what it
    was all about so suspended the program. All attempts to move forward proved fruitless until this nonsense about paying back loans………it was never a loan with the initial agreement. Madness, lies and more madness…….The government must find the initial agreements and show the people the truth.

  6. we
    February 21, 2010

    Sam you are a good citizen.You are helping many families to eat.Just create more jobs for us in this hopeless country,and forget about these ridiculous comments.GOD BLESS YOU OR ELSE I DONT KNOW WHERE I WOULD BE.!

  7. 'Iron' Mike Tyson
    February 21, 2010

    NIKE!!

    Go to the front of the class bro. I could not have said it better.

  8. NIKE
    February 20, 2010

    Mr. Sam, WHERE IS THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE of the property WHICH THE DIRECTOR OF AUDIT SHOULD HAVE IN HIS POSSESSION?

  9. Roses are Red
    February 20, 2010

    Every Hotel Has a marketing team. Who says he markets his own business? If he could do it all by himself he would not give the title for an American. While it is so good that he has invested in Dominica , look at all the vibes he is just fronting for the Americans.

    Tell him to help the government open a Hotel Training School in Dominica, God knows we need it.

    He should take the 50% and shut upp. I want ot know which bank will give you 50%.

    Sam should pay the 100% so that other people can get a loan.

    Sam we are all in the hotel business…..behave yourself and PAY DEE MONEY.

  10. waiting
    February 20, 2010

    Respect to you Sam.At least you are employing 60plus Dominicans,compared to Our Ecomomic Citizenship Programme where tens of million have bee bobolized and only tall grass,trees,concrete slabs only are employed.
    When are you going to start the entrepreneural classes? You have a reservoire of knowledge re business. You need to pass it on to the people.Bellevue to Petite Savanne are waiting.

  11. Jude Nicholas
    February 20, 2010

    Dominicans

    This matter first came to the public knowledge when the Auditor General indicated in his report to Parliament in 2006 that this loan of EC$6,123,257.00 was in a serious state of Delinquency. Moreover, the Auditor General stated in that report the Certificate of Title Guaranteing the said loan which was supposed to have been deposited with the Accountant General was never Deposited. That was a clear breach of the agreement by Jungle Bay. As a matter of fact the Auditor General indicated that Mr. Sam Raphael had allowed a US investor to place a Cavaet on the Property for considerations of US$2.5 Millions effectively preventing the Government from noting its interest on that property.

    The Caveat was placed by an Attorney who himself was an employee at the Attorney General Chambers after he resigned his posts.

    In January 2007 the Ministry of Finance wrote to the Proprietor of Jungle Bay offerring the following Package. (See 2007 report of Auditor General).

    1. All accrued interest on loan balances up to June 30, 2007 to be waived. (Interests amounting to EC$1.8 Million).

    2. Twentyfive percent 25% discount to the proprietor on the loan balance on accepting to repay the loan installments with immediate effect.

    3. A further twentyfive percent discount if the Proprietor would agree to make a further cash investment into the business amounting to 25% of the initial loan balance. Such cash investment to be made within 36 mounths.

    4 Agreement to a combination of 2 & 3 above would qualify for a fifty percent (50%) discount on the initial loan balance.

    5 The unpaid loan balance ( the remaining 50%) at June 30 2007 will be rescheduled for repayment over a period of 15 years (to 2022) at an interest rate of 3% per annum beginning July 1 2007.

    6 Under the above option the Proprietor will be required to sign a new agreement which will enable the Government to transfer the arrangements to a bank for execution of the agreement.

    This proposal was communicated to Mr Sam Raphael in January 2007 and signed by the Financial Secretary on behalf of Government.

    Interestingly, the Proprietor of the Jungle Bay has not responded to the Ministry of Finance Proposal indicating his acceptance or refusal. The Proprietor just refused to pay the government.

    Now the Prime Minister and the Government has increased the pressure on Mr Sam Rapheal to repay the peoples money because he can afford to repay He is now making a Big HURRAH over his first payment after some twelve years of the loan being granted. Is that Integrity?

    Based on the VAT payments Jungle Bay would have grossed some EC$9.4 Millions over a three year period. Yet Mr. Sam Rapheal refused to meet his loan repayments committment to the Government.

    Yet this guy portrays himself as the master of Integrity? Give me a break.

    I strongly believe that the Government should convert the entire loan amount including all accrued interest into equity and obtain controlling interests on behalf of the people of Dominica. Sam Rapheal’s POLITICAL GIMMICK should be completely ignored.

    Jude Nicholas
    Stock Farm

  12. NIKE
    February 20, 2010

    well Sam thats the best terms under a loan agreement I have ever seen.

    i have a mortgage and a small thing i call a business. So i understand to get a loan you need to first have colateral and still submit your certificate of title and detailed expenditure to the lender when you are done until you are finish paying.

    Lets get your case straight. you got a loan from government without putting down any colateral. You complete your project never gave the lender your certificate of title, insurance policy or anything. You extended your grace periods for how many years and default on servicing your loan. You come now and make your own repayment schedule, although like you said you have not received a proposed revised agreement from government detailing the conditions of the 50% discount you hope to be granted. You go ahead make your own payment schedule ( basically tellling the lender you will pay in February and August of each year) not even an exact date, through your lawywer and you make a press release about it. NOW THATS A DAMN JOKE!!!.

    What if the conditions of the proposed 50% which you want to accept include you bringing in the certificate of title and paying more than twice a year? would you still accept is or write another press release why you would not. You got your money without lawyers, without DNO now its time to pay back you want escrow account and headlines. BOY YOU MUST BE A MAD FOOL.

    Remember there was talk of you using money to campign in 2000 Sam, when after government release an allocation to you you allegedly turn around days before elections and gave the Carib people a check for how many hundreds of thousans of dollars. Was this from the Loan allocation? just a question.

    DNO I did my own little investigation, please ask Sam this question for me,

    Where is the certificate of title for the jungle bay resort and why hasn’t he submitted it to the Ministry of Legal Affairs like he should have after the project was completed, even after numerous request?

    Now this is mere business it has nothing to do with politics. The people sending words of congratulations to Sam, I want to see you, get a loan from an institution, given a grace period, complete a project, default on your payments for over 9 years still own the property and turn around on the 10 or 11 year (if not more) and tell the bank how you think you should pay them back. Let me see you do that whether you poor middle class or rich. No where in the world can this happen and and man must get priase for that. B.S.

    I understand this son of the soil may also be a holder of US citizenship, and he knows had that been in the US his business would be in foreclosure the next month after default particulary since the state provided 100% funding.

    the fact of the matter is once you have not paid off a loan it is the property of the lender. which makes JUNGLE BAY( like many others which DNO will find out soon,) STATE’s PROPERY, until its owners pay the last cent owed to government.

    Sam this is just business, you dont have to go to a lawyer to tell you that.

  13. Anthony Ismael
    February 19, 2010

    Some of the assumptions in this piece are simply ridiculous!!! I understand the importance of marketing and Mr. Raphael is certainly good at that. However, there is no need for such grandstanding on his part. When loans are issued, their are legal requirements to repay these monies over a period of time plus the interest owed.

    With respect to the VAT Taxes paid, I am a bit more forgiving. Since these tourist stayed at Jungle Bay because of its unique tourism package and they paid taxes which Jungle Bay collected for the state, he is assuming that taxes were paid because his business was able to attract customers, thus generating revenue for the state. It’s somewhat dubious, but I will accept it.

    We know that stay over tourism has significantly declined during the last three years in Dominica and some hotels (Castaways Beach Hotel) are no longer in business. Additionally, The Portsmouth Beach Hotel is up for sale.

    In conclusion, its good to read about positive cash flow and robust profits from a going concern at home. We need more successful businesses like Jungle Bay. They planned, created and developed a winning strategy for their business. All I can say is, bravo to Jungle Bay, despite the grandstanding by Mr. Raphael.

  14. poi
    February 19, 2010

    IT WAS TIME!! WHERE DE REST OF DEM !!TIME TO PAY !! SO DE REST OF US CAN GET LOANS TOO! A A!!!

  15. DVT
    February 19, 2010

    Why the hell is this national news? This is money owed to the government and people of Dominica, this is not a favour you are doing us. This has to be the most ridiculous press release ever! Sam like to much noticing.

  16. adjustble
    February 19, 2010

    That’s not bad sam but try to do better

  17. Daniel Scotland
    February 19, 2010

    For those of us lacking understanding on here…. The Company tried making payments in the past, however, due to the fact the the revised 50% discount on the loan was not properly documented and the government failed to provide them with the payment terms, they were unable to make those payments to the government.

    Why is it making the news you ask? Because it is the very first company EVER to complete an investment and make a payment on the Economic Citizenship Program loan from the Government.

  18. Jude
    February 19, 2010

    What business is that? Sam you are owining on your loan for a long time and you want to make a big hulabaloo over the very first payment.

    Man just walk up to the treasury and pay to the accountant general the $100,000. I think that this amount should be made quarterly.

    Based on your VAT payments, you business has grossed about $9.4 million dollars and yet you wont pay up your loan to the government? You can easily repay $400,000 per anum ie $100,000 per quarter.

  19. Wait A Minute
    February 19, 2010

    To Faithful and the other ignorant fools who are commenting here about treatment to so-called ‘Son of the Soil’ and foreign investors, what nonsense who are talking? I mean, the government already went out of the way to offer the man 50% discount (which I personally believe is way too much given that the vast majority of us who take loans and struggle to make our investments work do not enjoy such a priviledge). Still the man was hell bent on trying to unseat the government so that a government of his liking could forgive the entire debt I suppose? Then we hear people speak of ‘love of country’ and other people involved in corruption? man I tell you everyone in this damn country is for his/her pocket. If Sam can agree to pay two hundred thousand dollars to the government a year, that goes to say how much he makes in profit. While I have absolutely no problems with the man making a profit on his investment (which he is perfectly entitled to) I also believe that he should pay his bills and all monies loaned to him. His paying back will make it possible for other poor Dominicans who wish to engage in similar investments to obtain the necessary capital needed to undertake such ventures.

    So wise up ‘Faithful ‘and stop making such a fool of yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Tommy
    February 19, 2010

    Great son of the soil, but can somebody tell me what arrangement has grace tong made with the government to pay back the over 70 millions of dominican money? I would love an answer to this.

  21. Dominican in the Disapora
    February 19, 2010

    What is the big deal? Are there not other businesses who meet their commitment? Of course they don’t advertise but they do.

  22. Johnny P
    February 19, 2010

    PPl talking about sam helping blah blah blah they forget is a business the man have nah like E.H Charles, H H V Whitchurch etc etc, the man and his wife alone that enjoying their profit so i doh get the point of all these praising at all!!!!!

  23. Faithful
    February 19, 2010

    I hope foreign investors are not going to read this especilly in the tourist industry because if thats the way Government treat their own born son of the soil investor, there is no way foreign investors should come to our shores, the tourist better stop comming.
    Mr Chu you know why you take all that you get, you are highly prefered compared to our nationals.

  24. lovely dominica
    February 19, 2010

    What is this hoora about jungle bay making payments to the Government. They owe, therefore they should pay. One can agree that they have invested in the country and contribute to its economic well being. But what about the small business, the micro-enterprises, the farmers, the fishermen who have laboured over the years to keep this economy afloat .The farmers in particular have been tested and tried, crisis after crisis and they have maintained steadfast. Those who could not cope dropped out of the industry and sought other forms of employment.

    What is distasteful here is that people like Sam could not be heard making a plea on behalf of those persons. Instead he was bashing government while at the same time making a plea bargain with them. He got 50% of his loan! What about the poor farmers who are brought to the courts and in some cases sent to jail if they cant pay the aid bank or credit union $2000?

    Flashing around $200,000 twice a year is not gonna fool dominicans. I see no rational for granting u a discount on the loan in the first case. This was already afforded to you through all the concessions received over the years. Sam, Bloomquist and others – be reminded that “MASSA DAY IS DONE.”

  25. February 19, 2010

    Respect to Sam.

  26. ron
    February 19, 2010

    Good thing Sam but I wonder if you expected the UWP to wipe out your debt had they won the election. No matter how you look at it, it all comes down to politics. We are looking at you Mr. Sam.

  27. Wait A Minute
    February 19, 2010

    I suspect to make the headlines more of us who own businesses, work hard and make tremendous sacrifices to meet our monthly commitments with the bank need to default on our loans for a while, then have a big handing-over ceremony to pay up a fraction of the amount owed, where we can boast about how much monies we collected and paid to the govt in VAT.

    Just thinking……………………………..

  28. lightbulb
    February 19, 2010

    50% fair.. lol.. i tell you..

  29. Neg Lawi
    February 19, 2010

    That’s a great move by Sam, BIG UP my bro, while the other outside give haedaches to pay thier dues…see if the Gov’t invest in its own people things would have been much better…so people like me would not have to go away.

  30. February 19, 2010

    The Govt should forgive sam debt.

  31. Johnny P
    February 19, 2010

    I am very happy that the PM and his then cabinet offered 50% off the $6.1M debt, and am even happier that Jungle bay can and is willing to pay $200,000 yearly for the next 20 years.

    My only dissappointment with the rest of the statement is that statement – “Jungle Bay has paid the Government of Dominica one million four hundred and nine thousand one hundred and ninety one dollars and ninety six cents ($1,409,191.96) in VAT payments from March 2006 through 2009”

    Jungle bay can boast of generating approx $9,394,613.07 in revenue from its guests over the 4 fiscal year period (or 3 years whichever way you check it), however of that figure, $1,409,191.96 or 15% is government VAT that jungle bay is obligated by statute (Law) to collect and must pay i.e. the guest pays the vat jungle bay only collects it and pays it to the govt so it is not Jungle bay do not pay it directly from their operating expenses.

    To make it appears that it is Jungle Bay that paid this VAT from its own coffers is wrong and misleading!!!! Its like saying the PAYE (pay as you earn) that he deducts from his employees salary which must be paid by law on or before the 14 of each month is jungle bay expnese!

    “Plus our guests have paid over half a million dollars of departure tax during this period”

    Taking credit for the head tax is also ridiculous, he is assuming that if there were no jungle bay then these persons would not have visited Dominica, this is a wild very wild assumption!!!
    They maybe would have come anyway and stayed at another hotel and pay extra for the tours and other services that he offers, we don’t know !! –

  32. February 19, 2010

    Those are very good initiates by jungle bay ; I believe the really deserve the 50% reduction since they help tremendously in promoting Dominica.

    They have a really good site with relevant information.. I must commend them for that. There are also a few well know site / companies that need that recognition eg. http://www.dominicanewsonline.com http://www.dominica.dm and http://www.searchdominica.com

    This companies/ individuals has really help in the marketing of Dominica – I think the need some recognitions

    Any way I hope everything work out for jungle bay.

  33. February 19, 2010

    Well done Sam. You are a true Entrepreneur. Continue making your contribution to DA… I am certainly understudying your approach with an aim of making my contribution, as small as it may be.

    Let us all Dominicans and well wishers do something that can create long term sustainability. IF we can create employment for at list one other person then our economy will explode.

  34. smell d coffee
    February 19, 2010

    smart boy u running ahead of time, u knew 51% would be owned by the ppl and government of dominica.

  35. Toot Too bouche
    February 19, 2010

    Congrats to Jungle Bay,My sister got married there in July 2009 and we had a great time with you guys.

    Continue doing what you are doing.

  36. Wait A Minute
    February 19, 2010

    IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! While I recognize the importance of ALL investments in the country and commend Mr. Raphael for what he has done with Jungle Bay, I always had a problem with the argument which was being put forward in some quarters that simply because jobs and other economic activities were being created that meant that the loan needed not be paid. This to me was quite ridiculous since there are many other businesses in Dominica who are creating employment and economic activity yet have to meet their bank commitments every month. I could sense the somewhat ‘boastful’ reference to the million dollar plus in VAT which has been paid by the enterprise, but it must be noted that there are other business enterprises which pay close to or even more than this amount to the country’s coffers and do not go about boasting about it. One just needs to to speak with Bubbles at Picard and some of the other major apartment owners down there.

    I find it rather ironic that all the this information is provided MINUS the amounts in net profits which are made. In the spirit of true transparency which the MRD is proposing (Both Mr. Raphael and his attorney are members) I believe FULL DISCLOSURE in this regard would prove a commitment to the transparency which is being so widely spoken about. I really hope that this is not just another means of making political mileage but is rather a genuine effort at repaying the country the due monies owed to it.

    Finally it would hope that ALL OTHER COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO BENEFITED FROM THE ECONOMIC CITIZENSHIP MONIES WOULD FOLLOW THE LEAD OF JUNGLE BAY AND PAY UP!!!!!!!!!

  37. Vybez
    February 19, 2010

    wow, thats gre8…hopefully we can use this $ to assist in the development of our beloved D/ca….! :-)

  38. LCM
    February 19, 2010

    Keep it up

  39. Observer
    February 19, 2010

    This is none-sense. All the non Dominicans who have gotten fringe benefits from this the Economic Citizenship Program, have not paid one dime. But a local born and raised dcan, who have chosen to invest in dca has to pay back. Jungle Bay has brought much need eco-tourism global exposure to Dca, there should have been some type of offer and compromise given.

    Shame on the gov’t of Dominica.

  40. SPIRIT
    February 19, 2010

    WELL DONE MR RAPHAEL

  41. Chicken nugget
    February 19, 2010

    Respect!

  42. Jammers
    February 19, 2010

    Maypwe making all you fix all you business. The PM knew what he was talking about when he called on ppl like Sam to pay up monies owed to the state. Next is the Not so well painted building on the bayfront. Comes UP

  43. Seaman
    February 19, 2010

    So this hotel and spa belongs to all of us then. Sam where are my dividends?

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