Dunkley: Arbitrade “Raises More Red Flags”

July 5, 2018

[Updated] “The announcement by Arbitrade raises more red flags than a hurricane on South Shore,” Shadow Minister Michael Dunkley said following Arbitrade’s press conference in which they made a number of statements.

As Bernews reported earlier this week, the start up company held a press conference call and reportedly made a number of claims, including that they were buying Victoria Hall, donating $1 million for the refurbishment of a building they said the Government purchased for $4 million, will be donating to an “active shooter preparedness” programme, as well as to a gang violence reduction proposal said to involve paying gang members to work on chicken farms.

While all of Arbitrade’s statements have not been confirmed by Government at this time, the Government did confirm that the company made a “pledge of $1.125 million to Bermuda.”

Minister of National Security Wayne Caines previously told Bernews, “The Bermuda Fintech Development Fund Act, having been approved in the House, is set to be debated in the Senate this week and will serve to leverage the revenue and corporate citizenship donations from the Fintech industry for the broader benefit of Bermuda.

“We are grateful to Arbitrade, which has recently made a significant pledge of $1.125 million to Bermuda as part of their local corporate citizenship initiatives. The funds will service educational, community and innovation-oriented projects. We look forward to receiving the funds and sharing details of the approved recipients once the Fund has been set up.”

In response, Shadow Minister Michael Dunkley said, “We need to hear much more about the free ICO position. This suggests that Bermudians will be able to invest in this venture but what are the precise details? In my experience there is nothing in life that is free. We are also concerned that this might encourage Bermudians to invest money in the future in ICOs which are a very unproven way of investing.

“If our banks are not accepting proceeds from crypto currency businesses why on earth are Bermudians being encouraged to get involved?

“How have plans for an FinTech incubator gone from an RFI for a facility at Southside – the deadline for which was extended because of the amount of interest apparently shown – to a plan for Government to spend $3m? Where does Government intend to get this money from – the Sugar Tax?

“Has the Minister of Finance given permission for this building to be bought as he has to do so by law?”

“In a previous statement on FinTech and the spate of MOUs signed by this Government, I drew to people’s attention to a Tweet from the Premier about Arbitrade in May, which said, ‘the team demonstrated their cryptocurrency platform and explained plans to create more job opportunities in Bermuda for Bermudians’.

“However, that was not backed up by a later statement from Arbitrade, when it announced it would domicile in Bermuda. It made no mention of any jobs being created.

Speaking on the donations the company stated they would make, Shadow Minister Michael Dunkley said, “While we welcome any donations that can help community programmes, its beggars belief that Arbitrade should be the organisation telling the people of Bermuda what their Government is doing.

“Is Government planning on informing Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda about the chicken farming plans? What land is going to be used? How much will it cost to set up and run? Arbitrade says this will cost money – but how much?

“And an ‘active shooter preparedness programme’? Has the Bermuda Police Service been consulted? Do they support the introduction of this program?

“This is what the ALICE website says: ALICE [Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate] Training instructor led classes provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. Whether it is an attack by an individual person or by an international group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALICE Training option based tactics have become the accepted response, versus the traditional “lockdown only” approach.

“Protection and safety must be the priority in an Active Shooter event or Terrorist Attack. Circumstantial and operational concerns vary in every new situation. ALICE Training provides options and classes that address the unique challenges specific to Police/LE, K-12 Schools, Healthcare Facilities, Higher Education, Businesses, Government, and Houses of Worship.

“Again, it shows appalling leadership from Government in not informing the people they serve of this scheme. Third party introduction is not acceptable, especially when so many important details are missing.”

Addressing the Minister’s response, Shadow Minister Michael Dunkley said, “The Minister skirts over every issue raised. That is, quite simply, a dereliction of his duty towards the electorate.

“Where is the Government? They have been eerily silent on what appear to be important commitments made by Arbitrade. Has the Government met these people? Does the Government support the plans as outlined? Does Arbitrade have a local partner? Has the Minister of Finance approved of the purchase of Victoria Hall as required by law?

“The announcement by Arbitrade raises more red flags than a hurricane on South Shore. Aside from the Government’s silence on much of what the company has committed to it is also very curious and strange that at the briefing no questions were allowed. Is this a way to introduce oneself to Bermuda? We look forward to the Government comment.”

In response to our queries, the Government said, “The Fintech Development Fund was passed in the Senate yesterday. When the fund is setup and contributions can be received, the Government will make such contributions public.

“We are pleased that companies are looking to setup in Bermuda, planning to invest in building our Fintech industry and supporting community initiatives. The same way insurers assisted with developing our insurance industry while supporting community organisations over the years.”

Update 12.13pm: Arbitrade has not yet responded to our specific queries, however they have just released a general update press release, which is here.

They state, “After ten visits to Bermuda, Meeting with the Premier and Ministers, the Company has been incorporated. It will soon go through the process to be able to issue its ICO and obtain a License,” with the company also stating that “Steve Braverman, who was credited with operating the trading desk at Knight Securities and other investment houses for many years, will oversee the build-out of the Bermuda operations located at Victoria Hall, which is Arbitrade’s new seven-story office tower.

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Comments (36)

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  1. jt says:

    Google “Troy Hogg suits”.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Oh yeah, he’s a bone fide shady character.

      • Black Soil says:

        Arbitrade and the PLP want you to believe we are in for a free lunch. Nothing is further from the truth.

    • Mo' Money says:

      Google troyjames exposed

  2. aceboy says:

    This is starting to sound like the Black Mayors’ Conference.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Or the Par-la-Ville Hotel project….

      • Come Correct says:

        Actually it sounds like the oba//UBP is still the opposition and that Dunkley is talking from the back seat from which he indicated after the election he would sit. LOL (:

        • Bermudian says:

          So rather than discuss the point he makes, you would rather make a childish point about where he sits?

          Are you not concerned about this deal? Do you even understand what is being discussed?

          • Anbu says:

            Nope come correct dont care abt anything other than the plp running the show. I say let em run with it. See how savy they r when it comes to fixing the mess we will be in. Dunkley wont be hurting. Wonder if cc will be tho?

        • archie says:

          perhaps ask yourself why government is not answering dunkely’s questions?

      • redrose says:

        or the platinum period ….

  3. aceboy says:

    Troy Hogg (aka Troy James) has reportedly made lots of promises he has never kept. The government seems like they being conned….just like Team Hamilton was…..

    • Madge says:

      Why is our Government dealing with this scoundrel?

  4. smh says:

    This sounds like Grand Atlantic, the Waterfront and Par-La-Ville hotel deal all rolled into one.

  5. redrose says:

    Good point:

    “How have plans for an FinTech incubator gone from an RFI for a facility at Southside – the deadline for which was extended because of the amount of interest apparently shown – to a plan for Government to spend $3m? Where does Government intend to get this money from – the Sugar Tax?
    “Has the Minister of Finance given permission for this building to be bought as he has to do so by law?”

  6. Wahoo says:

    This is sounding shadier and shadier.

  7. Triberd says:

    This whole thing sounds greasy, sleazy, and undermining of our jurisdiction. Really, have we fallen so far that this group of seeming conman cowboys are our only options?

  8. WSP says:

    Since taking office has there been any good news from this government.One year in office coming up and not a lot to show for it.

    • Lol says:

      A complete lie but ok coming from the oba lot lies are acceptable to you all.

      • the real Terry says:

        Yes LOL that’s what you said to Michael Dunkley about the Housing Corp. “show us proof” and he did. Mr. Dunkley does not have to lie, unlike you guys.

  9. Ttyl says:

    Again where is your proof that this isn’t going to happen? Every single fintech initiative that has come forth this guy dunkely has something to say about it, with absolutely NO facts or reason to justify his claims. The whole I’m rich and I say so is getting tired. I mean u all created a report on the Americans cup that supposedly did so good for Bermuda when in reality it was a farce and only a few got to reap the benefits while the majority is stuck in the mud outside looking in. The reason why this guy and his banking friends are so afraid of cryptocurrency is because it allows the little man to become wealthy in a short space of time versus investing in fiat currency with bank controls over it. Banks having the say of who and where you can have a home or who can have funding for a business. Guess what this affected BLACK PPL the most on the island and in the world. Yes I said it. The race card or whatever that is when only I’m stating the truth. Cryptocurrency will allow the little guys to succeed if they take advantage. I live in the states currently and it has taken over to a point the banks are scared to death of it and are fighting it and losing because ppl are tired if being ripped by these banks. But who cares what dunkley or his obaubp blind followers think. When it becomes a major success in Bermuda which it already is in the world I wanna seen what they are going to cry over now. This is longterm and not short term like a global elitist sail boat race.

    • sandgrownan says:

      There it is, the dumbest thing I’ve read all day.

      • Lol says:

        And I guess the oba claiming to create 2000 jobs and stop the shootings wasn’t even close to dumb I guess right?

      • Ttyl says:

        Really? Ok so tell me where has that 300 million gone to? What tangible items, building infrastructure that is going to be used permanently, PERMANENT employment, and any other resources did we get out of that sail boat race that was PERMANENT. It was a whole lot of temporary and certain ppl only getting in the spoils. I’m talking about something the entire island can benefit from. In fact name 3 initiatives that created widespread benefits to the entire island and not just a handfull under the oba? Those 3 initiatives don’t have to be the Americas Cup. Ill wait…

        • sandgrownan says:

          America’s Cup – Endeavour Program. If don’t know or understand what that is – go look it up.

          New airport – we needed a couple of big capital projects to stimulate the economy but didn’t have any money thanks to the PLP. We have that now through that project. What did the PLP do..protest

          Construction starting at Fort St. Catherine…and Morgan’s Point after 14 years of…nothing

          The BTA – a non politicized tourism authority that now has Bermuda on the tourism map..what did the PLP do? Piss and moan for years about it.

          Steadying of the fiscal ship. It was painful, but needed to be done. If you can’t understand that, that’s your fault not mine.

          The $300m. Go read the report, it’s all in there in excruciating detail.

          We all know we need demand for goods and services, well those with half a functioning synapse do, and you people (population) to drive that, so you need as part of a broader strategy – pathways to status, especially given the declining birth rate…oh wait…the knuckledraggers marched on Parliament to stop that.

          So how about a cup of STFU.

      • jt says:

        And a whole lot of it.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        All day ? I think you’re being very generous there.
        Sounds like the same guy who owns a small construction company I heard wailing in a shop shortly after the OBA was elected crying that now the PLP were out he wasn’t going to be able to get any more money and survive.

    • archie says:

      He is doing the job of an opposition – to ask questions. Why aren’t you questioning why the Government is not giving the answers?

    • smh says:

      So when the opposition asks valid questions that voters deserve answers to that’s being racist now?

    • Skytrain says:

      What ??
      The little man as you call them need at least $6500 to buy one Bitcoin at today’s reduced pricing.
      Not too many of us going to get too many coins so how AM I going to get rich.
      Stick to topics you are familiar with at your home in the states.Like how Trump rips kids from their moms. Now that’s a good topic for you and not sure how you can spin the race card on that one.

    • aceboy says:

      You have been drinking a lot of that green Koolaid. The chiefs are getting conned…again…and you are like a lemming falling off the cliff behind them.

  10. inna says:

    Wow, just wow:

    “The whole I’m rich and I say so is getting tired. I mean u all created a report on the Americans cup that supposedly did so good for Bermuda when in reality it was a farce and only a few got to reap the benefits while the majority is stuck in the mud outside looking in.”

    • archie says:

      seems that the PLP trolls are back

    • SMH says:

      inna, you didn’t benefit from the ‘americans’ cup because:

      1) you don’t have any marketable skills….as evidenced by your command of the written word.
      2) You’re lazy…too lazy to get off your a$$ and do something…instead, you wait for handouts and complain.

      I’m sorry you’re such a failure in life.

  11. Lol says:

    To some it would sound dumb

  12. Dae says:

    This is what happened when folks in power get greed for money one of the seven deadly sins