Anil Nandlall, attorney for Clifton Bacchus today accused the state-owned Guyana Chronicle of libeling the hotelier and damaging his business in a news report that appeared in its edition today.
The letter by Nandlall to the Chronicle follows:
Re: Proposed legal proceedings
We act on behalf of Clifton Bacchus, personally, and in his capacity as the majority shareholder of Sleepin International Hotel& Casino Inc. of Lot 289 Church Street, Queenstown, Georgetown.
We refer to the bold and sensational headline published in the Guyana Chronicle on the 17th of August, 2017, viz: “THE DUTCH CONNECTION…Sleepin Casino Surinamese partner was jailed for money laundering…Bacchus quizzed about permission to import slot machines, pgs 2 & 4.” Pages 2 bears a similarly bold and sensational caption and the article which covers that entire, page contains a photograph of our client and a photograph of the Sleepin Hotel owned by his aforementioned company. The article continues and concludes at the bottom of page 8.
This article intentionally and maliciously publishes a series of libels of and concerning our client. In fact, the entire tenor, purport and intent of the article is to convey to the reader that our client, his company and their operations are funded and financed from criminal proceeds, more specifically, drug trafficking, money laundering and forgery.
The said article also falsely and maliciously publishes that our client, his company and its operation are being funded by Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar, whom the article describes as “the owner of Yokohoma Trading Company, the parent company of Pasha Global Group… and one of the main players in the setup of the Clifton Bacchus owned Carnival Casino.”
The article then proceeds to recite, in extravagant details, certain criminal legal proceedings which were instituted against Mr. Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar, detailing matters in relation to Mr. Parmasar’s trial, the investigation launched against him and elements of the evidence adduced against him. The article then, maliciously and libelously refers to an alleged SOCU probe involving our client, clearly trying to create a nexus between our client and Mr. Parmasar’s legal wrangle. As you are aware, our client has already issued a Public Statement disclaiming any knowledge of this alleged investigations by SOCU.
In short, the clear intent of this article is to convey the clear and unequivocal impression that our client and his company are connected to, engaged in, associated with and funded by, illegal monies and proceeds of international crimes.
We hereby inform you, that our client has received not a single cent of funding from any “Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar” or any “Yokohama Trading Company” as is alleged in the said article. Our client’s financing are from Trust Company (Guyana Limited) and Scotia Bank (Guyana), Wide Grace Limited and Global Trading Company Limited. Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar and Yokohama Trading Company are not directors or shareholders of any of the aforementioned companies.
Additionally, our client has a rental arrangement with Pasha Global Inc., a Guyanese company which is neither owned by or connected to Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar.
We are to further inform you, that the aforementioned damning and defamatory publications have damaged our client’s character and reputation. They have also caused him and his family immeasurable pain, suffering, trauma and public humiliation. More significantly, the offensive publications have significantly tarnished and irretrievably stained our client’s business, as an international hotel. The resultant loss and financial damage are and will continue to be irreparable. Indeed, cancellations of reservations have already begun and are expected to continue, unabated.
We must also inform you that the aforementioned publications may have also damaged our client’s prospects of being granted a Casino License for which an application has been made and is pending before the relevant Authority.
In short, the publication has and is likely to cost my client hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and possibly, financial ruination.
In the circumstances, we are to call upon you to publish as soon as possible, a public apology to our client, giving same equal prominence which the offensive article enjoyed, along with a retraction of the said article. The same will certainly be of some mitigating effect in legal proceedings which shall ensue.
Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP
Mohabir A. Nandlall & Associates
CC: The Chairman
Guyana National Newspaper Limited
Bel- Air Park