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Dec 20, 2017

Zabaneh’s Meridian Enterprises sues Fyffes

Eamon Courtenay

In August, we brought you the story of banana businessman John Zabaneh’s five-year fight to remove himself from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control list of alleged trafficking ‘kingpins.’ Zabaneh’s Meridian Enterprises, and other related companies which controlled much of the banana industry in the Stann Creek and upper Toledo Districts, lost close to a hundred million dollars in contracts and financing because they were barred from working with American businesses. Zabaneh also lost the support of Belize’s largest exporter of bananas, Fyffes, since sold to a Japanese company. While the U.S. is still eyeing him for potential criminal activity, Zabaneh has engaged Courtenay Coye and Company to fight a claim for damages against Fyffes in the Belize Supreme Court. Eamon Courtenay spoke to us about the case today.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“We have been retained to represent Meridian, we have filed a claim against Fyffes and Fyffes is suppose to file their defense, The claim is for breach and for damages that has been suffered by Meridian as a result as Fyffes refusing to receive bananas from Meridian and to export them as they were required to do. The claim is in its early stages, I have not seen what their defense is so I can’t say what position they are going to take. But I suspect in the New Year it is going to be a matter on the legal calendar.”

 

Reporter

“Having review it are you of the opinion that Meridian has a winning case?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Well I mean, we don’t take cases and don’t go to court in situations where you don’t believes that looking at the facts and the law you have a case to make out. It is a matter for the judges to decide. We have advised meridian of the strengths and weakness of their case and they have instructed us to proceed and so we will go and we will see the evidence and as always with these things. Sometimes you lose at first instance and then you have to go to the court of appeal and you have to go the CCJ but we believe that there is merit and there is an arguable case so we will present it.”

 

The case is expected to be heard sometime in the coming year in the Supreme Court.

 

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