AS we persist with this examination of TAK, we emphasize that this examination is more truly of ourselves and how we conduct the business of our country as the information being discussed is publicly available.
Last week, we examined allegations by the developer of the Meydan Racecourse project, Meydan Group LLC, that its consultant, TAK Consultants, had engaged in corrupt practices on that project. Meydan also indicated that it had filed a criminal complaint against TAK, as well as against contractors associated with the works, in the Court of Dubai. These allegations are documented in the UK and US Courts, although last week’s article was truncated before it described the criminal complaint.
While the outcome of that case in Dubai is not known, for us, the significance of that complaint against TAK is that TAK’s relationship with its Client, Meydan Group LLC, had been irreparably damaged during the course of TAK’s engagement. This would also likely mean that its relationship with Meydan City Corporation, and ultimately with the Ruler of Dubai, would also have suffered damage.
But the breakdown of that relationship would possibly be of further significance to TAK Consultants, as we will recall that immediately following the opening of the Meydan Racecourse in 2010, Meydan announced the Tianjin Horse City project. According to a report on dubaiworldcup.com dated March 28, 2010, this project was to be established by a joint venture between Meydan City Corporation, TAK Consultants, and two Chinese companies, Zhouji Jiye and Tianjin Farm Group.
That report also introduced a firm, International Equine Group Ltd. (IEG), which was to be the flagship investment arm of shareholders Meydan City Corporation and TAK. IEG was to be responsible for the financing and investments in the Tianjin Horse City project, with Meydan providing resources for all technical and market inputs. TAK was to provide technical planning and design inputs, project management, construction management and value engineering services for implementation of the project.
With the collapse of the relationship between Meydan and TAK commencing sometime in August 2011, we would expect that the association of these two firms in the company, IEG, would also have collapsed. And if this were the case, then without Meydan providing resources and financing, the Tianjin Horse City project would also then have faltered.As it is, the project was renamed Tianjin Equine Culture City, but nothing further has been heard of it.
Since then, Teo Ah Khing has been engaged in the staging of horseracing festivals in Singapore and in China, and is reportedly associated with the Ordos Racecourse in China. And now, of course, Teo Ah Khing is the master planner for the new racecourse, together with hotels, casino, a marina, luxury villas and cruise ship berths to be established at Vieux Fort. Further to which, there is also the possible involvement of TAK with the upgrading of the Hewanorra International Airport.
Except that this time, Teo Ah Khing will not encounter the hurdle of how he is to finance his dreams as we have resolved to sell as many St. Lucia citizenships as may be required, and in the quickest possible time.
Except, too, that Teo Ah Khing has also provided his threshold value for viability of the project, as Clause 10.1 of the Framework Agreement states that “If within 24 months of the Launch, fewer than 200 investors have invested in the Project … the Master Developer may give written notice to terminate this Agreement …).
The sale of 200 St. Lucian citizenships at a price of US$300,000 each for investment in real estate development would realize a sum of US$60,000,000, and so in effect Teo Ah Khing is saying in that Agreement that if US$$60,000,000 is not available to him within two years of the Launch, then he is free to terminate the Agreement. But we should not forget Clause 7 of the Agreement, with Clause 7.1 providing for the Master Developer to establish an “escrow” bank account in its own name, in an overseas bank, into which all money from the sale of our citizenship is to be deposited.
Furthermore, anyone reading Clause 7.1 and coming across the word “Launch” would assume that it meant the launch of the project, but this is not so, as “Launch” in the Agreement is defined as “the launch of the CIP on 1 January 2016”.
And so we must wait until December 31 this year before we know how many citizenships have been sold to support this particular project, how much money has thereby been deposited in Teo Ah Khing’s “escrow” bank account, and whether or not he will choose to terminate that Framework Agreement.
We end here because of the new limit on the length of articles, and conclude next week.