By Elesha George
After several years of attempting to try his case at the local courts, the owner of Lux Locations was granted conditional leave, pursuant to section 122(2)(a) of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, by the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean (ECSC) to appeal to the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, where he hopes to receive a favourable outcome.
CEO Sam Dyson, through his lawyer, Barrister-at-law, Andrew O’Kola Esq, is seeking in excess of US $3 million in compensation from Chinese developer, Yida Zhang.
In 2014, Yida agreed to pay Lux Locations Ltd to acquire 1,500 acres of land owned by Asian Village Antigua Limited to develop parts of its controversial Special Economic Zone (SEZ). According to court documents, they agreed to an agent commission of 9 percent.
Two lawsuits later, including the latest for fraud, Dyson has still not been to collect the commission from the US $60 million sale contractually agreed to in 2013.
The company first sued the developer in 2017. As a result of that case, a consent judgment was entered as Yida reportedly agreed, with the assistance of a Chinese interpreter and his lawyer, to pay Lux Locations the US $3 million within 21 days, plus costs of US $300,000, along with ABST and interest. He paid just over US $700,000 a few days later, but has failed to pay any more citing, at the time, difficulties in getting in the relevant outstanding payment to Antigua and Barbuda.
In 2018, Yida claimed he didn’t realise what he was agreeing to when he signed the consent order the year before, notwithstanding the fact that his lawyers also signed on his authority and the said consent order was executed at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda. However, he subsequently said his translator did not explain what the document was, and also that his legal representative did not have his authority to act on his behalf.
The latest claim filed by the real estate firm in March 2021 accuses Yida of acting with conscious and deliberate dishonesty to mislead the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda, and fraud.
Meanwhile Yida’s lawyer, Dr David Dorsette said the company had lost its cases thus far and refuses to concede.
“If they are dissatisfied with the judgement of the High Court there are things that they ought to do in the High Court which they have failed to do. They are trying to get around the court process,” he said.