Following an article in last week’s edition of the Algarve Resident (January 16, 2009) entitled “Construction company declared bankrupt,” the Algarve Resident was contacted by Bico do Pinhal, the developers of Pine Hill Residences, who wished to clarify issues surrounding allegations made by construction company Danshape.
Bico do Pinhal owner, Azmat Mahmood, told the Algarve Resident during a face-to-face meeting that claims made by Ari Hansen of Danshape were untrue and therefore damaging to the reputation of Bico do Pinhal. He said: “We have been used as a scapegoat.”
Tony Scott, director of Hanbury Gestão de Projectos de Construção and project manager of the Pine Hill Residences development, said that Bico do Pinhal had no outstanding debts up to the 30th of December according to the contract with Danshape and that Bico do Pinhal had made every endeavour to assist the struggling construction company.
The Algarve Resident was shown email correspondence on January 20 between Per Ejrup, Tony Scott and Susana de Queirós, a lawyer for SQ Lawyers acting on behalf of Bico do Pinhal that stated that Bico do Pinhal had offered to help and also paid any monies due to them in full.
The Algarve Resident was also shown copies of the cheques provided to Danshape for December 2008 payments.
One email seen by the Algarve Resident was from Bico do Pinhal’s lawyers informing Per Ejrup of Danshape on December 9: “We are in a position to provide you full payment of the outstanding amounts. We are aware of the difficult financial situation Danshape is facing and its significant debts to Portuguese authorities and suppliers. It is essential that Danshape and Bico do Pinhal restore their mutual trust to allow the normal progress of construction works.”
Bico do Pinhal was led to believe that Danshape would continue to operate as normal and complete construction works at the Pine Hill Residences.
Susana de Queirós of SQ Lawyers told the Algarve Resident about a meeting where Bico do Pinhal offered to pay directly some of the suppliers working at the Pine Hill Residences project but she said Danshape refused this help.
Drª Susana, on behalf of Pine Hill Residences, fought to obtain guarantees from Danshape that they would use the monies due to them to pay the main suppliers on the project.
Tony Scott said: “We tried to assist the situation by offering to pay some of the main suppliers directly, despite not being contractually obliged to. We could only pay directly the sub-contractors if Danshape had given us permission. Danshape refused this offer 100 per cent.”
A former employee of Danshape, who asked to remain anonymous but was present at the meeting, told the Algarve Resident: “I knew the truth, that Bico do Pinhal had paid Danshape on a monthly basis and was not the reason for Danshape’s financial problems, as the facts can be checked with the court where Danshape has declared debts of 6.700.000 Euros (six million, seven hundred thousand Euros)”.
Tony Scott, in an email dated December 11, informed Susana de Queirós: “We have been verbally assured by the Danshape directors that upon payment of the presently due invoice sufficient monies will be made available to principal suppliers to enable the Pine Hills project to continue and progress and for them to maintain the regular progress of the works such as to allow the revised contractual date for completion to still be achieved.”
Azmat Mahmood told the Algarve Resident: “We feared problems coming from Danshape in December and had been informed that subcontractors had not been paid by Danshape although we had paid the invoice for the month to the company. I personally spoke with Per Ejrup who guaranteed to me that he would not close the company.”
Per Ejrup of Danshape stated in email correspondence on December 10 to the lawyers for Bico do Pinhal seen by the Algarve Resident that: “It is our intention to settle this matter as promptly as possible.”
Tony Scott told the Algarve Resident: “Mr Mahmood went beyond the call of duty to protect the suppliers involved with the Pine Hill Residences Project by seeking guarantees from Danshape before releasing the payments to them last December.”
Azmat Mahmood told the Algarve Resident: “I feel sorry for the people who now cannot feed their families because of not being paid.”
Susana de Queirós has assured this newspaper that Bico do Pinhal will pursue and take legal action against any one responsible for defamatory declarations with the intention to damage the image of the Project, the Company and its Shareholders.
The Algarve Resident would like to correct the fact that in last week’s article “Construction company declared bankrupt” it is stated that Danshape had been declared bankrupt by the court in Loulé on January 7. This is not correct as the Algarve Resident has learned from Loulé court that the company had in fact filed for bankruptcy.
The matter is currently being assessed by a judge, the conclusion of which would be made in the coming days.
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