The problems continue for Sarkis Izmirlian, and the latest hits are not even related to his Baha Mar Resort project, the stalled .5 billion mega-resort that is 90 percent finished and sitting idle in a dispute with the project’s Chinese contractor.
Last month, after a political party official called Izmirlian, a citizen of Switzerland, “anti-Bahamian,” Bahamas Immigration and Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell threated to deport the executive.
Izmirlian is the majority owner and CEO of Baha Mar Ltd., which had planned to open the mega-resort last December, delayed the opening to March and then delayed it indefinitely as work ground to a halt. The stoppage is over a dispute with the construction contractor, the Chinese state-owned China Construction America (CCA). Izmirlian claims the project’s delayed openings are the fault of the contractor, and stopped paying CCA. CCA halted work, and the project sits idle.
Bradley Roberts, chairman of the Bahamas’ Progressive Labor Party, said in statement published by the Bahamas Tribune that Izmirlian is “anti-Bahamian,” and “obstructing” the completion of the Nassau project for his own gain.
Roberts accused Izmirlian of “holding Bahamians hostage” while he “fights his battle with the contractor and tries to dodge paying his loan to the bank.”
Baha Mar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a U.S. court, saying the bankruptcy protection would allow construction to start while Izmirlian arranged financing to finish the project.