Warrant issued for arrest of Harlequin owner

Warrant issued for arrest of Harlequin owner

There is a warrant out for the arrest of the owner of troubled overseas property company Harlequin Property, after he failed to appear before magistrates on charges of tax evasion and theft.

Harlequin chairman Dave Ames was due to appear at Kingstown Magistrates Court on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in June to answer four charges of theft and four charges of tax evasion.

The total charges brought by the government of Saint Vincent, where his company and its flagship hotel Buccament Bay are based – relate to approximately $8m East Caribbean dollars (£2.3m). The theft charges relate to the equivalent of EC$3.4m (£967,000).

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But Mr Ames failed to turn up at court when summoned. Law enforcement authorities therefore issued a warrant for his arrest.

Harlequin, which is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, was set up by Mr Ames who then marketed investments in the development of villas mainly in the Caribbean to UK investors, many of whom were recommended them by financial advisers.