Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Lochaber Highland Estates Buy a Title Not For Profit Saga Continued

After my receiving the reply in my last post from Ricky Guilmoto of the Guernsey income tax department about  Lochaber Highland Estates' not for profit status, I enquired about the apparent inability of the Guernsey Tax department to disclose the public records of registered not for profit companies, I received the following reply.

Thank you for your e-mail of the 10th September, 2012.

I have discussed your query with the Deputy Director and in reply can advise that in general terms an organisation can only be registered as a Non Profit Organisation (NPO) if it is, in fact, non profit making. My enquiries so far have not established that this is the case.

As you can appreciate, the affairs of the company are confidential unless it is required to not only be registered as a NPO but to be registered in the public part of the register, which is on our website.

At present there is nothing to suggest that an offence has been committed under The Charities and Non Profit Organisations (Registration)(Guernsey) Law, 2008, as amended, which is the only legislation this office has the power to enforce.

I suspect that the gist of your complaint may be that the company was wrongly asserting that it was non profit making and that you may have been misled in your dealings with it. If that is the case the complaint would probably fall within the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority rather than this office, as the advertising on the website could appear to be incorrect.

As you have noticed, the website has now been changed to remove the claim that the company was “Not-For-Profit”.

I understand that the register of companies in Alderney is indeed separate from the Guernsey register, and may be contacted by telephone on 822817.

I hope this answers your query.

Ricky Guilmoto
Income Tax Inspector
So it would appear that the Guernsey income tax authorities are unable to easily establish whether or not a company claiming not for profit status does actually have that status. I find that a bit odd, but as it is straight from the Guernsey tax office I'll have to take it as being true.

More worryingly, it appears that in the Channel Islands it is perfectly ok for a company to announce publicly that it is in fact a not for profit organisation without registering as such. so long as it is not actually one!

Is that why the Channel Islands are commonly known as a scammers paradise? Is it that companies can do whatever they want with no consequences? Are the Channel Islands authorities willing to cover up abuse like this without even comment never mind doing anything about it? I would advise not dealing with any Channel Islands companies at all ever, until some kind of reasonable transparency and accountability of companies registered there is put in place.


  1. I only became aware of this scam as friends were buying 'plots' at £29.99 sq foot, making the value of an acre of land at over £1.3million. This is a complete rip off - I have asked Mr Bevis's office why the inaugural meeting of the 'charity' is only taking place in 2013 when he as been doing 'conservation' since 2006 - is he going to advise attendees to the AGM (who have to pay to go of course) where monies have been invested in the last 7 years. I am yet to receive a reply.

  2. That is interesting that attendees have to pay to attend the charity AGM, I've never heard of that before, and would question whether it is actually allowable under charity regulations.

    I'd advise contacting the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to ask if it is proper to charge for entry to a charity AGM. They can be contacted by:

    Phone: 01382 220446
    Website form:

    There is some discussion about the Highland Titles conservation work, or lack of!! going on over at the forum, you and your friends might want to join in and voice your concerns. There are some folks there who have been following what Highland Titles have been up to for some time.