I read with interest Philip Davis’ comments in the article written by Dana Smith in The Tribune published on Friday, 27th April, regarding an alleged conflict of interest concerning the Bahamas- Petroleum Company.
In light of the forthcoming election, I thought your electorate might be interested in the following example of the way in which Philip Davis obtains funds to finance his election campaign.
Further, having been intimately involved with Philip Davis in the past, I strongly believe the Bahamian electorate needs to have this information.
In early 2002, Philip Davis, then an MP standing for the PLP in the General election; approached my brother, Rami J Weisfisch and me, seeking a donation towards his campaign expenses.
In return for the donation and subject to the PLP being elected as the next government, he said that he would ensure that Rami and I would get an extremely attractive deal and price with a land development project which he’d had in mind.
Over the course of the next few weeks, companies for which Philip Davis was a trustee and director donated approximately $200,000 to the PLP, including the value of buying and shipping 22,000 polo shirts to be distributed to their supporters.
Following the PLP’s victory in the election, Rami had several meetings with Philip Davis to discuss various potential projects in the Bahamas. In early 2003, they eventually decided upon the development of a resort of over 6,000 acres in the Winding Bay, Half Sound and Hatchet Bay area of Eleuthera.
The resort was to be called Salsa Beach and a company was incorporated in the Bahamas with that name. Salsa Beach Limited was owned by a trust of which Philip Davis was the trustee. Philip Davis was also a director of Salsa Beach Limited. Following the initial offer, made in July 2003, negotiations were held with the Government of the Bahamas represented by the Hotel Corporation and a “good faith” deposit of $500,000 was paid by Salsa Beach to the Hotel Corporation to be held in escrow.
Despite prolonged negotiations, Heads of Agreement had not been concluded by the time of the dispute arising between me and my brother in 2004, as a result of which the deal collapsed.
It would appear that, despite being a member of the Government at the same time as being a director and legal adviser to Salsa Beach Limited, Philip Davis did not consider his position to be conflicted.
It is my understanding that Rami continues to be a significant financial supporter of Philip Davis’ political ambitions.