Black Immigrant Daily News
The Government of Jamaica will pay international agencies to assist local investigators probing the alleged case of a multimillion US-dollar fraud at Kingston-based investments firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke said the government is prepared to demonstrate that Jamaica is serious about punishing those who defraud investors.
Clarke said he has already written to seek international assistance from forensic auditors to ensure that the 13 year-mystery can be unravelled.
“We are not looking for handouts. We are prepared to pay with our own budgetary resources,” Clarke told the conference.
Clarke said the local authorities requested technical assistance from experienced persons who possess the technology necessary in the case.
“We just need you to help us to identify the kind of international forensic expertise that we know exists, and we are prepared to pay for it,” Clarke said.
Clarke also reiterated the government’s commitment that “no stone will be left unturned” in the investigation.
He was speaking on day two of the 18th Regional Jamaica Stock Exchange Investments and Capital Markets Conference 2023 on Wednesday morning.
More than one billion Jamaican dollars has gone missing from SSL in the burgeoning fraud case that has reverberated globally, largely because the company’s most famous client – Olympic legend Usain Bolt – is said to have lost US$12.8 million in the debacle.
He said the crisis, which has emerged over the last few days, has created potential opportunities that the government will seize to make Jamaica better and stronger.
The finance minister said the first opportunity is to demonstrate that Jamaica is serious about bringing fraudsters before the law to be punished, no matter how large or small the perpetrators.
“The investigators will get to the bottom of it, and assets that have been procured with the proceeds [of fraud] will be found, to the extent that they exist, and all legal means to initiate forfeiture and succeed in forfeiture proceedings,” Clarke said.
The Fraud Squad of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Financial Investigations Division are leading the probe.