Prime Minister Browne threatens legal action for outstanding insurance settlement

Prime Minister Gaston Browne. (File photo)
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The government of Antigua and Barbuda may soon take legal action against another CARICOM-member state.

The matter involves outstanding settlement payments by the British-American Insurance Company (BAICO) and Colonial Life Insurance Company Limited (CLICO).

BAICO and CLICO were among companies owned by Trinidad-based CL Financial Group which collapsed in 2009, causing Trinidad and Tobago to pledge US$100 million alongside other regional governments who pumped billions into a bailout to deal with the fallout.

According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, about 60 percent of that pledge has yet to be fulfilled by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

“We may eventually have to sue the government of Trinidad and Tobago because as you know they agreed to a settlement of over US$100 million, and they paid close to about US$40 million. The balance is about US$60 million, which remains unpaid,” he said.

Browne also commented on what he believes to be continuous “contempt” shown by Trinidad and Tobago.

He warned that if relations between the two countries on the matter does not come to a favourable resolution, the government “will have no choice but to sue them.”

“We have written to the government of Trinidad and Tobago, they have not even treated us with the type of respect that is typical among countries and colleagues. We will be writing to them again. This is probably the third time, and we hope that now that their fortunes have improved, that they are benefitting in the escalation in fuel prices, that it will put some system in place to cover the rest of the liability,” Browne added.

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