I 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.
I 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.’ Page 2 bears a similarly bold and sensational caption and the article which covers that entire, page contains a photograph of Mr Bacchus 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 Mr Bacchus. In fact, the entire tenor, purport and intent of the article is to convey to the reader that Mr Bacchus, 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 Mr Bacchus, 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 detail, 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 libellously refers to an alleged SOCU probe involving Mr Bacchus, clearly trying to create a nexus between him and Mr Parmasar’s legal wrangle. Mr Bacchus has already issued a public statement disclaiming any knowledge of this alleged investigation by SOCU.
In short, the clear intent of this article is to convey the clear and unequivocal impression that Mr Bacchus and his company are connected to, engaged in, associated with and funded by, illegal monies and the proceeds of international crime.
Mr Bacchus 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. Mr Bacchus’s financing is 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, Mr Bacchus has a rental arrangement with Pasha Global Inc, a Guyanese company which is neither owned by or connected to Bhagwandath ‘Bidjay’ Parmasar.
The aforementioned damning and defamatory publications have damaged Mr Bacchus’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 his business as an international hotel. The resulting loss and financial damage are and will continue to be irreparable. Indeed, cancellations of reservations have already begun and are expected to continue unabated.
I must also say that the aforementioned publications may have also damaged Mr Bacchus’s prospects of being granted a casino licence 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.
Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP