Sunday, November 3, 2019



When the investors asked for wire transfer information in the Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture (GSA) project, they were directed to send payment, but not to the Grenada escrow agent, or a local financial institution, but to banks in the United Arab Emirates or Singapore. Given that the funds were earmarked for paying companies to construct and maintain sustainable shrimp and fish farms in Grenada, the wire instructions are disturbing, especially since, three years later, none of the facilities have been built out, none of the contractors and consultants have been paid, and none of the investors
have been repaid.

The Singapore bank that was designated to receive GSA funding is DBS Bank, formerly known as the Development Bank of Singapore Limited. DBS is presently embroiled in Malaysia's S$3.5bn One Malaysian Development Investment Berhad [Fund] (1MDB) scandal; it was hit with a S$1m fine by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for money laundering violations and certain senior bank officers were hit with orders and sanctions. The bank's role in the scandal was known when the GSA project began accepting payments through it, and continued, notwithstanding that no prudent project manager would allow a bank accused of massive money laundering to continue to receive investor funds, unless he was himself involved in financial crime.

Even if we assume that it was proper and correct for GSA management to employ DBS to hold its funds, we cannot think of a more inappropriate bank for that purpose. DBS has only one  facility in the Western Hemisphere, and it is remotely located in California. All the project contractors, experts and consultants have their principal places of business  close to Grenada. How were they to be paid ? Obviously not. The investors who were defrauded, as well as the unpaid contractors, have been unable to contact Soren Dawody, the Iraqi with a Swedish passport,  who has not been seen in Grenada for years. 

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