– cites irreparable damage to reputation and business of client
Attorney General and Attorney- at- Law, Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, acting on behalf of his client, Mr. Clifton Bacchus, the majority shareholder of Sleepin International Hotel & Casino Inc., yesterday dispatched a letter to the Editor of the Guyana Chronicle, demanding an apology and retraction of stories appearing in the state newspaper over the past few days that are besmirching Mr. Bacchus’ character and threatening the viability of his business enterprises.
Mr. Nandlall, in his letter stated, “We refer to the bold and sensational headline, published in the Guyana Chronicle on the 17th of August, 2017, viz: “THE DUTCH CONNECTION… Sleepin Casino Surinamese partner was jailed for money laundering… Bacchus quizzed about permission to import slot machines, pgs 2 & 4.” Nandlall further stated, “This article intentionally and maliciously publishes a series of libelous stories of and concerning our client. In fact, the entire tenor, purport and intent of the article/s is to convey to the reader that our client, his company and their operations are funded and financed from criminal proceeds; more specifically, drug trafficking, money laundering and forgery.”
According t o reports from the Guyana Chronicle, published in bold headlines, Mr. Bacchus is under investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). However in a public statement, a highly disturbed Clifton Bacchus refuted the allegations in no uncertain manner, stating “From the article, I learnt for the first time that I, my company, and a number of associates are subjects of a money laundering investigation being conducted by SOCU, which has been ongoing since July 2016.” He adamantly rejected these allegations in the Guyana Chronicle stories and disclaimed the charges, as he affirmed his position on what he denounces as baseless charges, and asserted “SOCU has never made any contact with me, to date, whatsoever. As far as I am aware, SOCU has not made contact with any person close to me in relation to the Sleepin International Hotel and Casino Inc.”
Mr. Bacchus is also of t he view t hat, “… some highly placed person in Government is executing an agenda of malice and vendetta against me with the intention of tarnishing my reputation, stigmatizing my business and jeopardizing my investments…”
Mr. Bacchus, through his lawyer, stated that the articles published by Guyana Chronicle i s damning and defamatory and as such have damaged his character and reputation. According to the letter the articles have, “… caused him and his family immeasurable pain, suffering, trauma and public humiliation. More significantly, the offensive publications have significantly tarnished and irretrievably stained our client’s business as an i nternational hotel. The resultant loss and financial damage are and will continue to be irreparable. Indeed, cancellations of reservations have already begun and are expected to continue, unabated.”
Mr. Bacchus is also of the view that the Guyana Chronicle articles have put his investments and the prospect of being granted a Casino Licence in jeopardy. His lawyers declared “We must also inform you that the aforementioned publications may have also damaged our client’s prospects of being granted a Casino License, for which an application has been made and is pending before the relevant Authority.”
“In short, the publication has and is likely to cost