Saying he was fed up with the type of treatment foreigners get in Barbados, a naturalized Barbadian, who has been living here for the past 19 years, today made an impassioned plea for justice.
St Lucian-born Alexander Philemon, who lives at Bakers, St Peter complained to Barbados TODAY that he had been
the victim of three separate robberies, which all occurred in November 2013.
And while he claims that all the alleged perpetrators are known to him, to date he said he had been unsuccessful in getting any of them apprehended by lawmen.
“Three times in November 2013 I was robbed and I reported the cases to the police. The last one was crystal clear,” said the clearly upset businessman, who said he was now at his wits end, having lost most of what he owns.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY from the living room of his home, Philemon, who is married to a Barbadian, said he was now left with nowhere to turn and was totally “fed up with the type of treatment foreigners get in Barbados”.
On account of the most recent attack, he said he had been forced to give up his six-month-old restaurant business, which he started in May 2013 in Greens, St George.
The alleged perpetrator was a “handyman” who had previously assisted around the restaurant.
“I used to leave the key with him so that when the female employees arrive at 8 a.m. they would gain entry to the business,” Philemon explained.
“One day around 6 a.m. he [the handyman] called me to inform me that he could not stay to hand over the key to the morning shift because he had to go and load some furniture for a company.
“I accepted his excuse and decided to come and open the restaurant. Five minutes after, he called me to say the restaurant was robbed and all of the stock was stolen,” Philemon recalled.
He said by the time he arrived at the restaurant, the handyman had disappeared.
“On arrival the police asked who had access to the place. They checked the roof, the windows, and the doors and there was no evidence of forced entry.
“[However], everything had disappeared and someone had unlocked the door.”
Philemon said he saw the handyman four days later and he said, ‘I only hope you did not believe it is me who entered the restaurant’, before “he [the handyman] dropped out of sight”.
The businessman, who also has his own registered construction firm, said he subsequently filed a complaint with the Police Complaints Authority because of the long delay in investigating the case.
He further reported that initially, the sergeant who was assigned to the case was very cooperative, but was later transferred to another police station without any settlement to his matter.
“I gave up the business after spending $40 000 in upgrading the property and then the landlord put me in court,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Philemon’s run of bad luck also saw him being “held up in broad daylight by armed assailants”.
The building contractor, who is the owner of Simon Building Construction, also complained that having built a home, the prospective homeowner refused to pay him the final $110,000, claiming that he had completed the house too quickly.
“Everybody started to rob me one by one [while] the police [are] doing nothing about the three robberies,” he told Barbados TODAY, while also charging that “they [the perpetrators] said they know the police and there is nothing I can do.
“I thought they were joking, but now it seems to be gospel,” he said.
Philemon also complained that he had bought a Nissan Navara for $90 000 from a dealer, who has since found himself before the law courts, leaving him to discover that the brakes on his vehicle were defective.
He also revealed that over the past two years he had tried his hand at farming, but “everything has crashed. “Construction is a bit slow at present. Everybody is feeling the pain where construction is concerned,” Philemon lamented.
When contacted this evening, police Public Relations Officer Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police David Welch said
he was aware of the case but promised to address the matter at a later date.