Browse Tag

Anfi Tauro Beach Project

News from the Canaries: Tauro Beach; Nordic Consulting

Over the past few years Inside Timeshare has been following the story of the Anfi Tauro Beach Project. This was the creation of a manmade beach along with the development of the land to build a commercial centre and hotels. As we know there has been much controversy over the project, with the Head of the Coastal Authority José María Hernández de León being sacked and charged. His trial has now begun.

The former head is being prosecuted for illegally authorising the creation of an artificial beach at Tauro. The project was being financed by Anfi, who saw this as their flagship project, it would also involve the illegal importation of sand from the Western Sahara, which is banned by International law as well as Spanish and European law.


José María Hernández de León

On the first day of the trial, the charges are of prevarication and falsehood, which Hernández denies vehemently, stating he always proceeded within the law. The Environmental Prosecutor has called for a jail term of three and a half years.

This trial is set to open up a can of worms, especially if it turns out that Anfi had influenced the passing of the plans and the starting of the work without the correct permissions and licences.

The Mayor of Mogan Onalia Bueno was also being investigated for authorising the work to start before the permissions were signed, several months after the fact. That investigation is still underway.

We shall bring you the latest news on this trial as it emerges.

Link to the news report on the first day

https://cadenaser.com/emisora/2019/05/15/ser_las_palmas/1557931479_570338.html?ssm=fb

Link to all articles relating to this story published by Inside Timeshare.

https://insidetimeshare.com/?s=tauro+beach

Information has been received by Inside Timeshare that Nordic Consulting Canary Islands, based in Tenerife and run by the Farhoud brothers is now targeting Dutch clients of Silverpoint.

The calls are being made by a former sales agent Geert de Greef, in the call, he is offering the client the chance to take legal action through the courts against Silverpoint, the cost 15,000€, but he then drops the price to 10,000€.

Geert de Greef apparently is also sending out a POA (poder) without the agreement of the client. In the agreement all the client’s details including passport numbers are present, this only leads us to believe that he is working from the official client data held by Silverpoint. So does this mean that they are cooperating with Silverpoint or have the details been stolen?

This is something we leave you the reader to decide, whichever it is, it certainly is not ethical and may even be in breach of data protection laws due to the information that they are holding such as passport details.

If you have been contacted by Nordic Consulting and especially Geert de Greef, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction, remember it may not be illegal to cold call but holding personal information without your knowledge or permission is.

Start the Week: Anfi Make the News Again; A New Contributor Joins Inside Timeshare

Welcome to Start the Week, on 11 August El Diario published another article surrounding the controversy of the man made beach at Tauro, which is part of the Anfi Tauro Beach Project.

El Diario has had access to a report on the ecological impact of the importation of sand from the Western Sahara, which under UN and EU sanctions is illegal. El Diario gained access to this report under the freedom and transparency regulations.

The report is from a study by the Biodiversity and Conservation Group, which is part to the EcoAqua University Institute of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It looks at the impact of the Special Zone of Conservation (ZEP), Known as the Marina Strip of Mogan, an area about 300 meters offshore and covering an area of 30,000 hectares which extends along the southwest coast of Gran Canaria.

Due to the sedimentation caused by this sand, visibility is affected which will have an effect on the ecosystem as light is drastically reduced. This reduction is causing problems for the plant life as it affects their photosynthesis capabilities. There is also concern as to the introduction of minerals and other inorganic material which is also having consequences on the marine life of the Zone.

It was originally believed that the 70,000 tonnes of sand was actually coming from Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas, but as we know it was actually imported illegally from the Western Sahara, with work starting in May 2016. This work was also started without the necessary documentation, licences and permissions in place, these were then falsified by the then head of the Coastal Authority months after the work began.

José María Hernández de León, was then sacked and is now facing trial, which the State Prosecutor is demanding a minimum of 3 years jail. The investigation is also involving Anfi as it is that company who has the concessions to the beach and also is undertaking the work to build it.

No doubt we will be seeing more prosecutions and possibly some very heavy fines, once the investigation is complete. For the full story click on the link below, open in google and use the translate facility.

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/sociedad/aportacion-Tauro-Franja-Marina-Mogan-playa_de_Tauro-arena_saharaui-Franja_Marina_de_Mogan_0_801419852.html

PDF file of the University of Las Palmas Report.

ANFITauro_EDIFIL20180809_0001

We have also had the following story from one of our Anfi readers, it transpires that the Anfi Charge Card which members can use at the various concessions at Anfi, is no longer being accepted by certain bars and restaurants.

This charge card allows Anfi members to pay for food and drink without the need to use cash or their own credit cards, they are then charged at the end of their stay and clear the card with Anfi.

This is not a bad idea, but it does seem as though the businesses concerned are not having their bills paid by Anfi immediately, according to our information, they are having to wait several months before they are paid. This is obviously not good for the businesses, especially if the majority of members are using the card, the businesses still have their own bills to pay such as stock and the high rents for the locals. As we get more information on this subject we will inform you.

Inside Timeshare would also like to welcome a new collaborator, Wayne C. Robinson, an Inspirational Speaker, Author and Film Producer, you can see more about him on his website:

https://waynerobinsonproductions.com

Wayne is a former timeshare sales executive with many years of experience in the industry, he is also publishing a book called The Red Week Timeshare Book, covering everything you need to know about timeshare before, during and after the sale. It will also cover how to be rid of your timeshare for free. We will certainly be looking forward to reading this.

He has also sent us a copy of his publication entitled 13 Shocking Secrets; The timeshare industry does not want you to know. We have added a PDF copy below for you to read.

13 Shocking Timeshare Secrets

Or to subscribe click on the link below

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwaynerobinsonproductions.us16.list-manage.com%2Fsubscribe%3Fu%3D44c27217e62190e8ab52dc418%26id%3Da30a1ab1e0&h=AT2iQOYhL4_-aX_VBWKlWNXUlQIPvzjm2gEf_WCUm7ybAqiH-bVPp6dJfyfJna2tGxYgIY9RWIfrsDAgPPqfz4zQdQYzwHbakLP8CvHDZXLHkGBoGs20SHZxCXoP2ol4xyKsL0wsY1jkcgFFVoJY5mCeu6o5ea7ic8c

We hope to be able to publish some of his insights on these pages in the near future, so once again welcome to Inside Timeshare and the Diamond Resorts Owners Advocacy facebook page.

Tomorrow we publish another new contributor Della Morris, an Americano Beach Resort owner in foreclosure, with the introduction by our very own Irene Parker, so join us tomorrow for more on the “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” series.

Start the Week: Diamond Lose in Tenerife; Latest news on Tauro Beach and Anfi.

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we report on two cases Diamond Resorts have lost in Tenerife, but first we look at the disturbing scenes at Tauro Beach over the weekend.

Over the past year Inside Timeshare has been reporting on the debacle that is the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, this has been an ongoing saga, with charges being brought against the former head of the coastal authority along with others and a full blown investigation by Seprona, the Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service.

It has been well reported that Anfi had plans to transform the old shingle beach into a man made one with sand, build a marina and also several hotels with a shopping complex on the land behind. It turns out that part of the investigation into the beach found the sand had been illegally imported from the Western Sahara. (see link to The Guardian Article).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/28/trouble-in-paradise-the-canary-island-beach-accused-of-illegally-importing-sand

Now a company called Desokupa went in over the weekend and began demolishing the homes of those who live there. The reason is the land “belongs” to Anfi, who claim that these dwellings are illegal. Whether they are or not is not the point, considering that there are no planning permissions in place and the fact that the Anfi concession to run the beach is on hold while the Gran Canarian government apply to the courts to revoke the licenses. Should these demolitions have waited until the outcome?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIHbrdIC_To&feature=share

Was there a court order which allowed Anfi to bring in the bulldozers?

All valid questions which will eventually be answered, but what we have lost is a little bit of old Gran Canaria and a very popular paradise spot, for locals and tourists alike. The bar Pio Pio is one of the most popular venues in the area at the weekend, with a wonderful atmosphere and great music. Is that now in danger!

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/sociedad/Violento-derribo-chabolas-Tauro_2_794790515.html

Since publishing this following has appeared on facebook for Nueva Canarias

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10155352630021755&id=185892306754

It will take you to the link below, this is very disturbing news.

http://canarias-semanal.org/not/23270/un-comando-de-boxeadores-peninsulares-viaja-a-gran-canaria-para-derribar-chabolas-video-/

Now for the court cases against Diamond Resorts and a look at timeshare law compared to other places.

Both these cases were heard at the High Court No 3, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, both were appeals on behalf of the British clients. These cases were originally held at the Courts of First Instance and unfortunately the clients lost those cases. These were heard before the Supreme Court in Madrid issued the numerous rulings (now 126) on how the timeshare laws should be interpreted and applied.

Before these rulings, different courts and judges interpreted the laws differently, no one actually knew how the laws should be applied. This is nothing unusual in legal work, laws are put into place, but it is not until they are tested and challenged are they effective, this is what the Supreme Court has done, issued a definitive interpretation.

In the first case, the client has been awarded over 19,000€ plus legal interest, with the contract being declared null and void.

In the second case held at the same court, over 30,000€ has been awarded plus legal interest, again the contract being declared null and void.

The court found several infringements of Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98, (along with other relevant Consumer Laws), with contracts being over 50 years in duration and the illegal taking of payments within the cooling off period. The court also found as per the rulings from Spain’s Highest Court that the contracts lacked any substance or tangible product as they were points based. These have been declared illegal in Spain. (See PDF’s below for the court sentences).

HC n 3 Diamond 1

HC N3 Diamond 2

So how does Spain’s timeshare laws compare with elsewhere?

During the early days in Europe, timeshare was virtually unregulated, know one actually knew what it was, was it real estate, as that is how it was “sold” to the public, a share in your own holiday home, or was it purely a holiday product which was not an investment?

The free for all lasted some years, then the European Union issued the first of many Timeshare Directives, these were to try and regulate the industry, with the directives supposedly being put into the domestic laws of each member state. Basically all singing off the same hymn sheet!

In some countries, the directives were very much watered down, the industry trade body The RDO and the “representing” owners body TATOC, (now defunct), successfully lobbied the UK parliament and those laws are probably the weakest in Europe, they tend to be in favour of the industry not the consumer.

Spain on the other hand had a very different approach, which in some respects is not that surprising. Spain was one of the major places for timeshare development, they had just recently found freedom and democracy, with the country in dire need of development. The building of resorts and the tourist industry was one of the most important factors in this development.

The unfortunate thing is the free run timeshare developers had, timeshare was being sold even before the resorts were actually started, known as off plan. Many consumers got stung in these enterprises, with the resort they paid for never even getting built.

People on holiday were being picked up off the street left right and center, taken to sales presentations and coerced into parting with huge sums of money. Spain’s reputation as a great holiday destination was being sullied by these practices.

That all changed in December 1998, when the government introduced Law 42/98, based on the EU Timeshare Directives, but stronger. Spain was going to have the strongest laws in Europe and this was going to hurt the industry if they didn’t comply.

The law became effective on 5 January 1999, although they did allow a period where the timeshare companies could get their house in order and comply. One aspect of the law was regarding the duration of the contract, before, these were sold in perpetuity, there was no end date. The law now demanded that contracts be for a duration of a minimum 3 years and maximum of 50 years. Timeshare companies were allowed to place a deed of adaptation to all contracts sold before the law came into place, this allowed the pre 99 perpetuity contracts to remain, but all new sales must conform.

Many ignored this, on advice from their lawyers many continued to sell perpetuity, citing the deed of adaptation as the basis for carrying on. This obviously was one point that needed to be tested in the Supreme Court, but that would be many years ahead.

As a point of interest, there were two countries where timeshare laws only allowed for a maximum of 30 years on contracts, they are Madeira and Malta. Those had been put into place right at the start of timeshare development.

Another aspect of the law which Spain has put into place is the illegality of the Floating Weeks and Points systems. According the the Supreme Court they have ruled the timeshare law clearly states that any contract must have substance and tangibility, in other words the guarantee of the apartment and the week being sold. Floating weeks and points do not do this, you only have a right to use subject to availability.

So how does this compare with our friends experience across the Great Lake in the US?

Well from the many articles we have published on Inside Timeshare, they are sadly lacking any control or real consumer protection, it is pot luck which State you have purchased as to what protection you have. There appear to be no Federal Laws governing the sale of timeshare.

In Europe we have the 14 day cooling off period, where no payments should be taken and the consumer has the right to cancel, in some States we have been informed this can be as little as 3 days!

From what we have published, there are so many different agencies and authorities for the consumer to turn to, from Attorneys General (that depends on which State you are in) to the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI. (See link below on filing a complaint).

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-teusday-slot-with-irene/

We are seeing many complaints coming into Inside Timeshare on the practises of sales agents, which the timeshare companies seem to condone. There needs to be regulations to govern what is acceptable and what is not, these should be right across the board so that no matter which State you purchase in, the rules are the same for all.

Canada is preparing new legislation on the regulation of timeshare, we hope to bring you news of this from our Canadian readers in the near future.

South Africa is also pushing for changes, there have been several high profile cases against the timeshare industry, resulting in jail time and massive fines. It will not be long before they also have some of the strongest laws regulating timeshare in the world.

In Australia, there is also a move to regulate the timeshare industry, we have published in the past a couple of articles on timeshare down under. Again we wait for our Antipedian friends to submit their articles.

There is nothing wrong with the concept of timeshare, it may not suit everybody, after all we are all different, but it is how it is sold and administered that is the problem. For too long the industry has and in many cases, the US in particular, still carries on as though they are untouchable.

Diamond believed this in Spain, these cases highlighted today and those in the past along with the many more waiting to be heard, are letting them know that they are not above the law and will be curbed and brought to justice. Consumer protection is paramount in any industry, after all it is the consumer’s money that keeps any company afloat!

If you have any comments on this or any other article, then use our contact page, Inside Timeshare welcomes them.

Are you being contacted by different companies offering claims or relinquishments? If so and you are not sure if they are genuine and will do what they say, then contact Inside Timeshare, we will help you look for the information and point you in the right direction.

Tomorrow we publish an article by a new contributor, Diane Creager and titled Elder Advocates, so join us tomorrow and welcome Diane.

Anfi SGM: What Are They Up To?

Information has been passed to Inside Timeshare from 3 sources which we have agreed not to identify, that Anfi Sales SL has called for a Special General Meeting in Gran Canaria on 23 June 2017.

This will affect the following clubs which are affected by the Supreme Court rulings: Anfi Beach Club; Club Puerto Anfi and Club Monte Anfi.

At this meeting there will be three resolutions for members to vote on:

Resolution 1: To establish occupancy periods for a maximum of 50 years duration, with an option for further recurring occupancy periods of 50 years.

Resolution 2: To limit the duration of the Timeshare Scheme to a maximum of 50 years.

Resolution 3: Total change of the Timeshare Scheme to adapt to Spanish Act 4/2012.

As far as the law 42/98 is concerned it stated that no contract was to be for more than 50 years:

“all pre-existing schemes shall have a maximum duration of 50 years which shall be calculated from 15 December 1998, unless they have a shorter lifetime or their continuance has been expressly confirmed in a relevant public deed of adaptation to be for an indefinite or a specific period of time”.

Anfi claim that theirs is covered by the “Deed of Adaptation” which was granted to them in October 2000. But from our reading of this the word “Existing” is those sold before the enforcement of the 42/98 law. Any contract sold after that date should have been in accordance to the relevant law and be no more than 50 years.

This is exactly how the Supreme Court has seen it and ruled upon.

Now according to Resolution 1, the termination of the first period of 50 years is to be week 52/2048, as the timeshare law 42/98 was passed in December 1998.

So this now begs the question if you only purchased say in 2010, then surely your 50 years should be ending in 2060 not 2048?

So this brings us to Resolution 2.

The timeshare scheme shall have a maximum period of occupancy of 50 years, now the end date to this is week 52/2048. All the club members existing at that time will automatically stop holding rights of occupancy. The rights will revert back to the founding member.

Again, the question needs to be asked what if you purchased years after 1998, say in 2010, does that mean you will lose 12 years of what you paid for?

Also under resolution 2, the termination of the contract will not entitle any member from receiving any consideration or amount from the company (Anfi Sales SL), the management company, Anfi Resorts SL or the club.

Resolution 3, is a vote on the adaptation to law 4/2012, where schemes must be in the form of Rotational Enjoyment Rights, with a maximum 50 years duration. Under this scheme it reverts to the original fixed week fixed apartment system.

In this resolution every current member will receive a number of Rotational Rights equal to the number of membership certificates that they hold. Members will also cease to hold the right of use of apartments through the club and the trustee, they will hold directly a Rotational Enjoyment Right.

The majorities for the resolutions to be passed are:

  • Resolution 1, 75% of all votes cast.
  • Resolution 2; 80% of all membership certificates.
  • Resolution 3, 80% of all membership certificates.

There is also another question that is being posed by resolution 3, are there enough of these fixed weeks and fixed apartments to go around the number of members, due to the floating weeks and points systems?

This does all look very confusing, it makes you wonder how the members, which are made up of many nationalities will be able to decide on how to vote and which one to vote on. This also looks like a way that Anfi is trying to get around the current wave of litigation it is experiencing and losing in the courts

It must be remembered that Anfi have always denied any wrongdoing, that all their contracts were legal and all the claims made about litigation were bogus. By coming up with these resolutions it looks to me they are actually admitting they were wrong, as the old saying goes “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted”,

And the reader might ask why this and why now? All this also comes as a direct result of Supreme Court rulings against the timeshare company which were won by the law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, who are specialists in timeshare claims. These rulings set groundbreaking precedents to protect timeshare consumers, with many receiving back their purchase price and having the contracts declared null & void.

Another company Holiday Club also tried the same thing, changing contracts in order to avoid litigation. That didn’t work either, the courts are not stupid. One has to wonder how many how many others have done the same so you are then unable to get back what is rightfully yours?

Again, there is a very good question that must be asked, how can the majority vote decide on the individual terms of contracts?

Each of you signed the contracts without knowing the fact that your contracts were essentially illegal, why should the you vote and protect Anfi?

They are not protecting you the members, they are protecting themselves, they know what they have done and are coercing you into saving them from past wrongdoing, a fact which they have always denied.

Inside Timeshare has followed the Anfi story for a long time, publishing many articles on them and the history of conflict between the partners, the many court battles and most recently the debacle over the Anfi Tauro Beach Project. That story is not over yet.

In the end the only losers in this will be the members.

I would suggest that you do not reply to this convocatory, and definitely do not sign it accepting the changes. You should ask yourself if this benefits You or Anfi… You can guess on what I think….

DO NOT REPLY TO IT, DO NOT SIGN, DO NOT PROTECT ANFI.

Below is the letter sent out by Anfi to members

Resolutions 2017 SGM CPA (1) (1)

QAs SGM 2017 ALL (2) (1)

The Great ANFI Battle of the Partners.

Irregularities in Anfi Tauro Beach Project

 

Anfi Tauro Beach Project: People Flooded Out.

Following on from the previous articles on the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, disturbing footage has just come in from the people who live there.

 

As stated before, no real research was done to explore the impact on the area this man made beach would have, we have already heard reports of the marine environment having been changed. Now we have the residents and their homes being flooded.

 

 

The question now has to be asked, how did Anfi get the permissions to build this beach with total disregard to how it would impact the people and the environment?

Irregularities in Anfi Tauro Beach Project

At present it is down to pure speculation and local gossip as to how the licences and permissions were gained, after all the head of one department did lose his job. The Guardia Civil and its specialist nature protection unit SEPRONA, are investigating, it will be interesting when this is complete.

Update: Anfi Tauro Beach Project

Inside Timeshare will keep you updated on what is going on as it comes in.

Update: Anfi Tauro Beach Project

Since publishing the last article on the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, 28 July 2016, the newspaper MaspalomasAhora (Maspalomas Today), has published a new article.

http://maspalomasahora.com/not/38229/ben-magec-solicita-formalmente-la-inmediata-paralizacion-y-el-precintado-de-las-obras-de-la-playa-de-tauro/

It seems that Ben Magec of Ecologists in Action has made a formal request to the Chief of the Coastal Canary Islands Ministry of Environment, “the immediate shutdown and sealing” of the project. They point out that these works are having a detrimental effect on the nearby Special Area of Conservation (ZEC) Franja Marina de Mogan.

 

They also point out there is evidence of severe irregularities in certain paperwork, lacking the corresponding minutes regarding ownership. They highlight that there had also been a failure to conduct a hearing from those affected and have called it a very serious oversight in procedure.

Digital image
How the marina might look.

The organisation consider there are also deficiencies in the municipal licences and administrative records are inconsistent with sectoral reports and contains gaps in the reports required. Ben Magec also emphasises that these abnormalities are very serious as in his words involve “a clear benefit to a private company to the public interest”.

 

Apart from the serious impact of the works on the coastline, environmentalists estimate that the marine environment has been affected by these works. They blame the amount of excavations and extractions and the discharge of aggregates into the sea, impacting negatively on the ZEC Gaza marina de Mogan. This area of special protection is only 300 meters from the works in progress.

 

They have already reported on changes in the habitats and some of the species contained in this zone. These also include species that are listed as vulnerable and are listed in the List of Wild Species under Special Protection and Endangered Species Catalog.

 

The organisation has urged the prosecutor to act on its own initiative as there are serious suspicions and disproportionate actions by the administration in favour of private interests against those of the public interest.

Playa-Anfi-Tauro-Canarias-Ahora_EDIIMA20160716_0223_18

So far over 70,000 tonnes of Saharan sand has been used in creating the beach, which is now 300 meters long and 50 meters wide. It has cost around 6million euros, with a marina of 300 berths still to be built, there are also plans for new hotels with around 7,500 bed capacity to be built. What impact this will have on the marine environment is still not known.

 

So this now begs the question, how have these licences and permissions been allowed to go through? We already know the Lyng´s are not that environmentally friendly, this is borne out by the regular hunting safaris they take part in. (see link at foot of the page). Could we be seeing another round of investigations surrounding malpractice in the Anfi Empire?

 

What effect is this also going to have on the Anfi Group, bearing in mind the numerous claims in court and the Supreme Court rulings against them? It is reported that already the law firm CLA has secured around 18.4million euro in judgements for their clients against Anfi. If this project is found to be illegal then it is another huge sum that you the owners will be having to cover with your maintenance fees. This is a story we will be watching very closely, and we will bring you the latest as it comes to light.

The Great ANFI Battle of the Partners.

If you have any questions about this subject or require any information about any timeshare matter or company, Inside Timeshare will find you the answer.