Wednesday, June 1, 2022


Our interviews with a number of victims of land fraud in Barbados have confirmed that a large portion of the thefts of real estate occur during estate (probate) proceedings, and, of course, the perpetrators are local attorneys who take advantage of the lack of education of Bajans who are heirs of an estate. The illicit practice appears to have gone on, unsupervised and without accountability, ever since independence was declared in 1966. (The theft of property during Colonial times is another matter entirely).

The lawyers, many of whom are not probate specialists, undertake to probate the last will and testament of a family member; they then covertly, and often deceptively, omit certain real estate properties from the list of assets, explaining the discrepancy away to unsuspecting heirs, saying that it will be taken care of later. Of course, the estate is eventually closed, and later never comes.

One must understand that many Bajans have little formal education, are definitely not familiar with real estate law, have never seen the deeds and other evidence of ownership that their parent or other deceased relative had, of even know how to research public records to search for information. In short, they are totally at the mercy of the lawyer who is handling the probate. This is a recipe for disaster, in a country where lawyers are never disciplined except in extreme circumstances, and where corruption is the rule, rather than the exception.

In another variation of the fraud that was described to me, the attorney simply gives the beneficiary excuse after excuse, and simply fail to render either the property or the cash from its sale; decades pass, the beneficiary grows old and infirm, and may even pass away, without receiving his lawful inheritance, which was passed down over many generations. It is his lawful patrimony, and it ends up in the hands of foreign developers who covert oceanfront properties, scheme with the lawyers and government officials, and build a hotel there.

We are going to tell some of those stories, which are nightmares experiences by the victims, in this blog, so that the names of the offending attorneys are forever inscribed on the Internet, educating all potential future clients to avoid them for even minor matters.

What is needed, after the corrupt regime that controls what is in essence a racketeering enterprise, where dirty lawyers work hand-in-hand with government officials to deprive the people of their wealth, is thrown out of office, is an investigative body, composed of probate and real estate experts from the East Caribbean, but not from Barbados, to return the stolen property, wherever possible. You also need to disbar and arrest those attorney-criminals.

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