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Cost of Minister’s UK trip tops $9,000

Minister of Finance Bob Richards

Finance Minister Bob Richard’s recent trip to the UK to put forward Bermuda’s position on beneficial ownership cost the public purse just over $9,000.

Mr Richards was in London between November 9 and 14 ahead of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council and met with the UK Treasury and financial officials.

He stayed at The Stafford London hotel where his accommodation expenses totalled $2,250.

The air travel costs for his business class flight to and from the UK via Philadelphia amounted to just under $6,300.

Mr Richards also spent $588 on ground transportation through the firm Book-a-limo.

A Government statement detailing the reasons for the trip read: “The Minister of Finance met with Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to HM Treasury, to put forward Bermuda’s position of beneficial ownership ahead of the upcoming Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council JMC in the UK.

“The Minister also met with various financial institutions in order to explain the benefits of doing business in Bermuda. Finally the Minister was the keynote speaker at the Bermuda Society & Secretariat annual dinner for members and guests.

“The Society promotes the reputation and strengths of Bermuda as an attractive, competitive and well-respected jurisdiction for international companies — across multiple financial sectors — and increases awareness of Bermuda’s value as a good place for international companies to do business.”

The total cost of the UK trip amounted to $9,397 and included $264 on meals.

Meanwhile, the cost of Tourism Development and Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell’s trip to Las Vegas for the Global Gaming Expo between September 28 and October 2 have also be updated on the Government’s travel expenses site.

Mr Crockwell was accompanied by his permanent secretary and attended “various sessions and key note addresses” at the 2014 Expo.

The total cost of trip amounted to $4,260 for the two Government officials and included $1,958 in air fares and $1,714 on accommodation.

The three-day event addressed topics on regulatory requirements, security, problem gaming, money laundering issues and industry best practices for Bank Secrecy Act Compliance.

Key note speakers at the Expo included industry experts Stephen A Wynn, Chairman of the Board & CEO of Wynn Resorts Limited and Sheldon Adelson, Chairman & CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Mr Crockwell and his permanent secretary also claimed for $117.50 on ground transportation and $345.03 on meals during the trip.