We're quite disappointed that the group has decided that the vast majority of the queries we put to them are irrelevant. We know we are not alone in feeling that questions relating to land ownership, planning and master plans for the development would be relevant, but it would appear that CMG don't agree with us on this, which is a great pity.
In any case, this is the reply we got:
We would like to take this opportunity to reply to all the Relevant Questions that have been asked. We welcome your questions and comments, as this enables us to clarify any uncertainties. We have also been made aware that on numerous blogs and web forums that the posts in relation to Ciarán Maguire, Flash Developments and the Palm View Resort, have gone past the point of asking questions and now gone into the category of what we and our lawyers firmly believe to be serious defamatory content. Subsequently we have started legal proceedings against the identified hosts of these websites.
Moving on to what we feel are the more important issues and questions. Please note that the following information is factual and we have provided official documentation to outline this.
Flash Developments had recognised that Boa Vista in Cape Verde was an emerging market with massive potential, after our investor surveyors had undertaken all economic and feasibility studies, a plot of land was identified, at which point our lawyers carried out all the relevant due diligence. Subsequently on the On the 5th of July 2007, Flash Developments entered into an agreement with Mr. Martiano Oliveria for the Purchase of a 98,000 sq meter plot in Praia De Chaves. This Agreement was inscribed in the town hall of Boa Vista under number 5438.
Praia de Chaves is located within a ZDTI zone and currently falls under the control of SDTIBM in respect of planning permission and project approvals. After having met on several occasions with SDTIBM officials, including one of its Directors Francisco Neves, it became apparent that it would take longer than anticipated to receive all documentation and licences which would allow us to commence construction. It was at this point that the decision was made to relocate Palm View to Curral Velho which lies outside the ZDTI zone and falls under the jurisdiction of State Patrimony. Due to the plot of land being significantly larger at the new location, we were able to incorporate more first class facilities such as a Championship Golf Course and Marina into our Master Plan. We are confident that this will add further solid capital uplift to future property values to the benefit of all our clients. Since then we have met and have continued to liaise with Paulo Soares Director General for State Patrimony who fully endorses the Palm View Development. We have received a letter from Paulo Soares( appendix 1) stating that he has received all the documentation from us and is now assessing the information before signing off on the relevant protocols. We expect to receive these protocols within the next 2- 3 weeks, which will be posted on our website. NDR a well respected UK law firm that specialise in Cape Verdean and Portuguese law and who represent the majority of the clients on Palm View, have spoken directly to Paulo Soares and he has given assurances that land title will be transferred and Licences issued by year end 2008, allowing construction to start by start of first quarter 2009.In turn NDR have advised their clients to proceed with their purchase of the Palm View Resort.
To coincide with the launch of Palm View we personally chartered a Boeing 737 aircraft to take over 100 potential clients and their legal representatives Neville De Rougemont, as well as journalists including the UK’s Financial Times who wrote a very positive article on an all inclusive inspection trip. This inspection trip was completely endorsed by Cape Verdean Officials and was attended by the Mayor of Boa Vista. The trip in its entirety was a massive success, with the result that all clients that attended the trip purchased units on Palm View.
We would like to Clearly Highlight that all monies received from the inspection trip and subsequent sales were placed into an Escrow account, with the Clients Lawyer NDR being the Escrow Agent (Appendix 2) until such a time that all the relevant licences were received.
To coincide with the current global market we along with most developers that sell off plan had to revise our payment structure to facilitate clients that are finding it difficult to raise the necessary capital. We were able to broker an innovative deal with a UK based bond company that is regulated by the FSA called Exchange Bond and subsequently a protocol was signed between Flash Developments and Exchange Bond (Appendix 3). New contracts where then put in place incorporating the bank bonds and in turn these contracts were signed off by the clients lawyers NDR. This concept was applauded in the UK by agents as being the first of its kind, subsequently Palm View Resort was one of the few developments that continued and still continues to sell in the current market.
The procedure for using the bonds is quite simple and straight forward. Clients transfer minimal deposit for the unit that they wish to reserve. Flash Developments then in turn use the deposit to pay the premium on the bond as well as all other related charges. This enables Flash Developments to receive a bank bond from Exchange Bond in lieu of a large cash payment. This means that clients don’t have to release any further money as is the case in most off plan developments until the completion of the Resort. We have also stipulated on our reservation form that all money that is received by Flash Developments is fully refundable should a client choose to withdraw from their purchase.
Any transactions involving client’s money have always been kept “Clear and Transparent”. Money is either held in Escrow or if clients choose to go with the bond option, a minimum amount is put down in a holding account in Allied Irish Bank. This account is exclusively for the money to be paid on the premiums on the bonds and other related charges. All contracts issued to clients are signed off by NDR. We deem some of the comments posted on some forums to be highly irresponsible and fully unjustified given the gravity of many of the allegations alleged.
We have commissioned Loids Engineers to carry out initial engineering works on our behalf (see appendix 4). Loids engineering are a local Cape Verdean company that have extensive knowledge of the building industry in Cape Verde. They are currently involved in the Sambala Project in Cape Verde, which at present is one of the biggest developments on the islands. Loids had taken on provisional works on the old site in Praia De Chaves before it became apparent that more delays were imminent. Once the decision to move to Curral Velho had been confirmed Loids were then instructed to move to Curral Velho where they are currently carrying out provisional works (Appendix 5) allowing us to commence construction in the first quarter of 2009, where as on the original plot we were given no definitive start date.
As part of our investment into the islands, Flash Developments are also extending the new costal road that is scheduled for completion in 2010(see appendix 6). The work on the new costal road has already commenced and its completetion date is set to tie in with the opening of Phase 1 of the Palm View Resort and new 2000 room Riu hotel in Curral Velho. The link road that Flash Developments propose to build will link Palm View to the new costal road, in the interim to facilitate the moving of heavy machinery, equipment and materials we will be carrying out extensive improvements on the existing road, these improvements will allow for easy access to the site.
Palm View is currently being marketed as a 7 star resort, we have been working closely with AA official and have been given the specification list, amenities list and staff quota requirements list that with the objective to receive 5 stars from AA, which is a recognised Global Standard. With this in mind our architects and planners factored these points into the design concept of Palm View allowing us to achieve our goals. Different countries have different legislation in respect of this rating, Palm View is being listed as a 7 star development in accordance with Cape Verdean Legislation. You will find examples of this in UAE and also in South East Asia. However it has always been our goal to develop one of the world’s most luxurious resorts and we are confident that we will achieve our goal.
Palm View Resort is a 2.2 billion euro development. This figure relates to the sale price of Palm View which includes the Hotels, Golf Course, Villas, Apartments and Studios. At NO point did we mention that we had a credit line for 2.2 billion euro. Our official statement is that the 2.2 billion euro is part of our seven year plan for Boa Vista.
With regard to our website, we accept that several grammatical errors were made. At present we outsource our web design, 3D renderings and CGI fly through to a company based in Uruguay called NEXUS. The website went live as a test some weeks ago without a final sign off from Flash Developments; subsequently a lot of information was picked up in this time such as grammatical errors and spelling errors which have now been amended.
In relation to the information of our aircraft, we currently have a deal in place to wet lease two Boeing 737 aircrafts. These aircrafts will become operational at such a time that coincides with the opening of Palm View Resort. The term of our wet lease will be over 48 months with the option to renew the contract for a further time period or with the option to acquire the aircraft ourselves. The 3 airports that we intend to fly from are Dublin, Manchester and London Gatwick.
In reference to our involvement in the construction industry, we would like to point out that our website mentions that we have been involved in the construction industry since 1988 and not formed in 1988. This was the date that Flexi Fabrication was founded by Christopher Maguire, who is one of the company directors of Flash developments. The reason we mentioned this, is to enable us to convey the experience that a member of our senior staff has within the construction industry. Flash Developments is the vehicle being used to Develope Palm View. We clearly stipulated that once overseas land was acquired, Flash Developments were then brought in to Build and Design Developments on the acquired land.
With Respect to our involvement in the Dundrum Shopping Centre and the K Club, this is derived from the company Flexi Fabrication, Ciarán’s fathers company. Ciarán headed up a division of the company namely Flexi Fit and managed both of these projects in relation to all works that where undertaken by the Flexi Group.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your relevant questions. It is in everyone’s interest that full clarity is achieved; however there have been a lot of unfair comments posted. To date we have spent a lot of money, time, effort and resources on the project, we are one of the few companies that are hiring staff in this ever increasing difficult climate at the moment. Over the next 14 months our Dublin offices will take on over 80 staff and we will be contracting Irish engineering companies and surveyors to work on the ground in Cape Verde. As well as this we will also be creating in excess of 3000 jobs over the next 7 years in Cape Verde. These unfair comments being posted and misguided information hinders our progress. It is our belief that due to the non comprehension of our innovative and unique payment terms, that this has lead to people sabotaging our business acumen. Some of the information being hosted and posted, is deemed by Flash Developments to be highly offensive. We are outraged by allegations concerning our credibility, integrity, bona fides and business acumen skills. We encourage all our own clients to carry out all relevant due diligence and we are always on hand to answer any questions clients may have.
While we welcome any questions, it is clear that some forums are currently operating under the policy “Shoot first, Ask questions later”, we would however appreciate more respect and cooperation from the relevant forums and request that forums conduct themselves with a much more suitable decorum.
This document is not signed but it was received from Deirdre Pluck, Global Marketing and Sales Manager.
We have copies of all the appendices if anyone wishes to see any of them, we don't have a facility to upload them here. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy and we'll send them on.