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Jan 30, 2019

Seashore Property Dispute Goes to Court

Businessman Dion Zabaneh and his mother Primrose Gabourel were arraigned this morning for four charges for non-compliance with the Environmental Protection Act. For the past three weeks, a Buttonwood Bay property, parcel number forty-six-seventy at the far end of Seashore Drive, has been the centre of a controversy between the titleholder and the Department of Environment. Primrose Gabourel is the owner of the property in dispute and weeks ago, a cessation order reportedly issued to her son, Dion Zabaneh, was ignored. He continued to dump tens of thousands of dollars of landfill in the Caribbean Sea. As has been reported, the question of how Gabourel was given title to a part of the sea was dealt with via a private suit brought against Gabourel and the Ministry of Natural Resources back in 2006 and for which the Supreme Court ruled in her favour.  That according to Gabourel’s attorney, Emil Arguelles, gave the green light to the titleholder to develop the property, which they’ve finally decided to do thirteen years after an injunction was imposed. But the Department of Environment says not so fast, and on several occasions sent its officers out to the area to serve an enforcement notice. While the case has been adjourned to February sixth, as it was revealed during arraignment today, there are several technicalities by the Department of Environment. Its legal counsel is Jeavon Hulse.

 

Jeavon Hulse

Jeavon Hulse, Legal Counsel, Ministry of Environment

“The information and complaints were laid before the magistrate and a plea was taken.”

 

Reporter

“How important is this for the Department of Environment in terms that it is a very high profile case, but you stand on a weak wicket because of the fact that you all have not been monitoring, you all haven’t gone out there…thirteen years had elapsed and your department has not gone out there until a big furore has raised after the man put almost a hundred thousand dollars in fill out there?”

 

Jeavon Hulse

“Again, you will look at the issues insofar as manpower. Again, the Department of Environment would have responded when they became aware that something was happening. As you rightly pointed out the activity was stopped in 2006; from that point onward, nothing happened. There was nothing until apparently; there was a decision made in the Supreme Court and more recently, approximately two, three weeks ago when actual develop activities commenced again and at that point, the department responded accordingly.”

 

Reporter

“But then shouldn’t you all have been proactive and gone out there and said listen the matter has been resolved in the court—the private matter was from 2016—but shouldn’t you all have gone out there and say listen; you all cannot have this development unless you get environmental clearance. I am saying, shouldn’t the department have been proactive?”

 

Jeavon Hulse

“But that’s clear from day one; we stopped you because you neva had clearance. So dah noh like yo noh know.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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