3,000 Britons face financial ruin in property nightmare in Dom Rep
Up to 3,000 Britons could face financial ruin after investing up to £250million into a Caribbean property scheme which is now facing legal action.

The Daily Mail reports that several investors were persuaded by pension advisors to invest large sums into projects run by Essex-based Harlequin Property. Although the company has promised to build 6,000 luxury villas in St Lucia, Barbados and the Dominican Republic, so far only 300 have been constructed.

As a result, the Financial Services Authority has issued an 'alert' about the company and the Serious Fraud Office has been asked to investigate.

The Mail on Sunday has discovered that Liverpool Football Club, tennis star Pat Cash and former Republic of Ireland footballer Andy Townsend have all allowed their names to be used in promotions, and one holiday village in Barbados is still a building site.

However, David Ames, who runs the company with his wife Carol and son Daniel insists that he has not misled investors. He blames contractors, who are now subject to legal action, and says that all the projects will be completed.

The FSA Alert says: "We have seen an increasing number of self-invested personal pension schemes whose underlying investment is in an overseas property purchased through Harlequin Property, a UK-based overseas property sales agent that is not regulated by the FSA.

"The FSA expects advisors to have undertaken thorough due diligence on the various developments being sold through Harlequin Property to fully satisfy themselves that this is a suitable investment."




The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Essex Police has made a joint statement on SFO's website Click here

In a statement on its website, dated yesterday, the SFO asks those who “have invested in Harlequin schemes” to provide “any information you can give us”.

“We are particularly interested in hearing from people who invested in the following resorts: Buccament Bay in St Vincent & the Grenadines; Merricks in Barbados; Marquis Estate in St Lucia; the Hideaway in the Dominican Republic; Las Canas in the Dominican Republic; Two Rivers in the Dominican Republic, and Garapua Beach Resort in Brazil,” the SFO statement adds.

It urges anyone who has invested in "one of these or indeed any other Harlequin schemes” to complete an online questionnaire, an online link to which it provides.

Among the questions asked in the questionnaire are "How did you become aware of Harlequin's investments? Were you introduced by a financial adviser? (Tell us when and by whom.)" Also, "Please provide the details of all sales persons, marketing agents or financial advisers that were involved in your Harlequin investment...what role did they play in informing your decision to invest?"


The unfinished Two Rivers Resort in the Dominican Reublic is only of them!!!! Almost nothing has been constructed in either Two Rivers, Hideaway or Las Canas and probably never will. Most off plan projects in the DR are bankrupt or on hold for longer than your lifetime......!!!

All people got for their money was a few lines of text and pencil randerings on Harlequins website>



Two Rivers Resort is located on the stunning north coast of the Dominican Republic next to the renowned Playa Dorada Golf Club just 20 minutes from the Gregorio Luperon International Airport at Puerto Plata. 

The Dominican Republic is an enchanting Caribbean jewel that combines the stunning natural beauty of its diverse landscape with history, culture and year round sunshine. Christopher Columbus described this lush land as "a beautiful island paradise with high forested mountains and large river valleys". The country is a delight for watersports enthusiasts. The strong surf and powerful winds off the North coast make it ideal for sailing, windsurfing, boogie boarding and kiteboarding. It has incredibly clear waters with spectacular coral reefs that teem with a variety of colourful marine life and centuries-old shipwrecks make the Dominican Republic one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. It is recognised by fishermen as one of the best hideouts for dozens of species of prized fish and deep sea fishing is one of the fastest growing sports. With many natural habitats from semi-desert to lush rainforest, the Dominican Republic offers adventure-seekers a wealth of opportunity to explore both land and sea and enjoy the exhilaration of paragliding, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing and white water rafting. It is also acknowledged as one of the premier golfing destinations in the world offering challenging courses with spectacular views from the coastal fairways.



The picture is of the owner of Harlequin Property, Mr. David Ames

Go back | Date: 04 Jul 2013
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