Hurst says lawsuit between investors behind country’s two special economic zones will be settled soon

“I am certain they’re going to settle this,” said Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lionel Hurst, in response to a lawsuit brought against the latest medical university to call Antigua it’s home.

About six months of rent owed has led to legal action brought by Yida International Investment Antigua Limited, the company which owns and operates the country’s first special economic zone (ABSEZ) at Crabbs, and Western Imperial Capital Limited, which is behind the second such zone near Jennings. Hurst recently reported that it is his understanding, that the Western Imperial operator decided to rent several of the villas Yida has constructed at Coconut Hall for a period of one year but then “changed his mind”.

Western Imperial Capital Limited, which does business under the name Western Imperial Medical University, agreed to rent property at the ABSEZ on June 18 last year at a cost of US$100,000 in the first instance and US$300,000 quarterly until July 2022. High Court documents read: “It was agreed that US$100,000 would be paid by the defendant 10 days after the signing of the agreement and that the rental would be paid on a quarterly basis in the amount of US$300,000/quarter at the beginning of each quarter beginning 1st July 2021.

According to the court documents to date, Western Imperial has only paid the sum of US$125,000 including payments of US$50,000 and $25,000 made on November 19 2021 and a payment of US$50,000 made on December 17 2021. Yida is now suing for US$425,000. He is also asking the court (in accordance with Section 27 of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act) to determine a sum for loss and damage suffered as a result of the non-payment.

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