Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Businessmen tussle over prime real estate

Published:Monday | July 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
A police officer speaks with businessman Dwight Moore on the scene while Fudgies Wrecking Service removed motor vehicles from a property located at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads yesterday.
Employees of Fudgies Wrecking Service remove a motor vehicle from a property located at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads yesterday.
An employee of Fudgies Wrecking Service removes a motor vehicle from a property located at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads yesterday.
Dwight Moore looks on while employees of Fudgies Wrecking Service remove a motor vehicle from a property located at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads yesterday.
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As tension continues to mount over a prime piece of property in the vicinity of Devon House in St Andrew, the matter yesterday escalated into a chaotic scene as businessman Dwight Moore, a party in the dispute, remained defiant as men from Fudgies Wrecking Service sought to remove 17 vehicles he owns from the land.

The Gleaner understands that the instruction to remove the vehicles was given by businessman Richard Lake, who is one of the parties claiming ownership of the land located at 1 Waterloo Road.

But their efforts were not made easy as Moore believed that he had a right to be on the property as, he said, a lease exists in the name of Paul Burke.

He said Burke has a lease on the property and has made a report to the police surrounding the alleged sale of the land.

Also, a letter obtained by The Gleaner, dated July 5, 2018, written by Cherise Walcot, registrar of titles at the National Land Agency, to the Fraud Squad, confirmed that a caveat had been placed on the property as a result of an ongoing investigation.

"I will impose the registrar caveat. However, I must request that you keep me updated on the matter.

"The registrar's caveat will be removed if charges are not laid against the registered proprietor," the letter said.

The Gleaner was unable to get in touch with Walcot or a representative of the Fraud Squad to determine whether the caveat had been removed.

Of particular interest to onlookers was Moore's attempt to prevent one of the wreckers from removing a black BMW X6, which was parked on the property.

"They are claiming that they are taking the vehicles because they are illegally parked on the property," he said, insisting that there was a legitimate lease for the property, permitting him to occupy it.

Moore and his younger brother, Christopher, are further adamant that the 'eviction' was illegal as they were not presented with an eviction order yesterday.

Men from the wrecking service told The Gleaner that Moore had been preventing them from carrying out their duties since 5:30 in the morning yesterday.

"We had to tear down the fence because that's how he has been behaving from morning. They did not want to let us in, and he has been blocking [us]," one of the men said, noting the presence of several police personnel.

He added that Lake had been on the scene earlier, but left shortly after arriving.

Lake, who is a director of Caribbean Resource Limited, the company that purchased the property, has contended that the property was bought during a public auction for $190 million in January.

However, he said that the original owners have been preventing him from taking control of the property since then. The Gleaner was unable to contact Lake yesterday.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com