Sambala is a development located close to the airport and industrial city of Praia on the island of Santiago.
Sambala started taking money from investors for holiday homes as early as 2004. They started building in 2005 and promised investors the first properties would be finished by 2006. They also promised direct flights from the UK to the island. That never happened but they did hand over some properties in the first phase by 2008. However they still haven't finished the 1st phase and the 2 other phases that many investors pumped their money into have barely got out of the ground.
Directors Jonathan Grepne (who has lived in Monaco since taking money from investors) and Dominic McGlynn have made many promises to investors about construction, golf courses and new funding but they have failed to deliver. Many announcements were to be made 'within weeks' but they never materialized Sambala have been promising to release title deeds to investors for some completed properties since 2010 but they have not delivered. They have started and stopped construction a number of times since 2007 and each time have taken more money from investors alongside the issuance of new construction completion schedules which they could not meet.
First they blamed the government for imposing unexpected taxes on their company, which the government denied. So then they resorted to blaming the credit crunch. During the past few years a number of rumors have appeared in local press about Sambala's new funders but nothing ever materializes.
Since 2007 several contractors have come and gone and more than a few reputable resort managers have tried and failed to get the 1st phase ready for tourism. It did open briefly in 2008 to locals and some foreigners but it wasn't a success. At times in 2010 they advised investors that completion of phase 1 was only weeks away when in fact no work was being done due to contractual disputes.
All of the above can be verified by reading the words of Sambala themselves, so they cannot deny any of it. Just go to downloads to read just some of the newsletters and emails they have sent to investors since 2005.
I have managed to located the following news articles on line...
Sambala, under pressure to explain a damning article about them in the local press, blame the credit crunch ...
Many workers sue Sambala for unpaid wages...
The govt confiscates a big chunk of Grepne's land...
Yet another story about an alleged funder but also about the many investors taking Sambala to the local and UK courts
January 2015: The current status is that Jonathan Grepne has apparently walked away from the project. He refused to turn up at a meeting with investors in October 2014 and he is no longer communicating with investors. Existing properties that were completed and handed over to investors have been completely neglected since 2008 and are now uninhabitable and possibly need rebuilt. Many have been looted and stripped by local people. Grepne has left his investors high and dry.
This is one hell of a sorry saga that investors have had to endure for years now. So much so that I have had to add an extra page just for Sambala here