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Judge rules injunction on sale of land to a food giant to continue

A Supreme Court justice has ruled that the proprietary injunction on the sale of 6.52 acres of land to a food giant be continued, as she urged the parties involved to move the matter to trial without further delay.

The matter involves AML Foods Limited, the plaintiff; and trustees of the Bahamas Supermarket Employees Retirement Fund, the first defendants; BSL Retirement Plan Limited, the second defendants; Whanslaw Turnquest, who represented the beneficiaries of the BSL Profit Sharing Retirement Plan; and ABDAB Properties Limited.

Justice Diane Stewart handed down the ruling on Monday.

The Bahamas Supermarket Employees Retirement Fund was the purported owners of 6.52 acres of land on the East West Highway, and purported to convey the property to AML Foods Ltd for $2,437,757.77 in July 2017.

The fund received $2,287,757.57 of the purchase money, which the court froze after issues arose concerning the title to the property, as AML sought declaratory relief or restitution for the purchase money.

While $732,064.50 of the purchase money was paid to the court in the matter, Stewart noted that there are allegations that a substantial portion of the purchase money was distributed to third parties.

The court in July 2020 extended the injunction to include those third parties.

Justice Stewart said she was satisfied that there is an arguable case and serious issue to be tried.

“Having reviewed all of the evidence and heard all of the submissions, I am satisfied that this injunction should be continued. There is already evidence that some of the purchase money has been disbursed to third parties. While I make no finding as to whether these were proper transfers or not, the fact is that the monies have left the control of the trustees, and should a decision be made that they be returned to the plaintiff, there will be challenges in recovering these monies,” Justice Stewart ruled.

“While I normally would not vary this injunction due to the lack of evidence provided as to why it should be varied, I am aware, having reviewed the affidavit evidence, that only $2,287,757.57 was in fact received by the first defendants and accordingly the injunction is varied to freeze $2,287,757.57. Accordingly the first defendants’ application is dismissed, with the costs of the plaintiff and the other defendants to be paid by the first defendants, and to be to be taxed if not agreed.”