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Jun 29, 2018

Titans International Seeks Redress at the CCJ

The Caribbean Court of Justice presided over a matter earlier today in which the principals of Titan International Securities are suing the Government of Belize.  The lawsuit arises from the closure of the company, following a raid of its offices on the fourth floor of the Matalon Building on September ninth, 2014.  On that afternoon, a team of law enforcement officers, accompanied by personnel from the Financial Intelligence Unit, stormed the workplace in execution of a warrant for the arrest of Bahamian nationals Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach.  Both men were among a group of executives indicted by a federal court in New York for facilitating the fraudulent manipulation of publicly traded companies in the United States.  At the time, the duo was also facing extradition to the U.S.  The case against Knowles and Leach subsequently fell apart and a judgment by the Supreme Court awarded them nine million Belize dollars.  The ruling was later overturned by the Court of Appeal, prompting them to seek redress through an appeal at the C.C.J.  Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay represents Titan International Securities.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney, Titans International Securities

Eamon Courtenay

“Your honors, this case is quite frankly a case about damages for breach of a constitutional right.  We take as our point of departure the fact that the search of the premises of the appellant on the ninth of September 2014 was excessive, that it was abusive, unreasonable.  The taking away of documents and property was indiscriminate and disproportionate and we say, the evidence shows, that that search and the seizure, taken together, resulted in the closedown of the appellants’ business.  The court will be aware that the search and seizure took place on the ninth of September, 2014 and some of the property, not all, was returned, some in January 2015 and some in February 2015.  The property that was returned, vital parts of it were damaged and some that were not returned were important pieces of equipment.  We say that in the face of a finding by the trial judge and upheld by the Court of Appeal, that in fact the search and seizure was in violation of the appellants constitutional rights.  That the question for the court was and is today what is the appropriate for of redress that is to be given to Titan.  It is common ground that the starting ground in such circumstances is the grant of a declaration and the court then asks itself whether that is sufficient redress for an appellant in the circumstances.  We say that in light of the impact of the abusive state action that it is quite plain that an award of damages was necessary and is necessary in order to give appropriate redress as required by Section 20 of the constitution.”

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