Tue | Jan 31, 2023

Norris McDonald | The wicked scamming of Usain Bolt: Will good triumph over evil?

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2023 | 12:42 AM
It is impossible to fully put a monetary value on Usain Bolt’s contribution to Jamaica’s lickle but tallawah, authentic brand; to our tourism product; and overall culture and way of life.
It is impossible to fully put a monetary value on Usain Bolt’s contribution to Jamaica’s lickle but tallawah, authentic brand; to our tourism product; and overall culture and way of life.
Norris McDonald
Norris McDonald
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“Ah seh, mi caan believe it!

Ah seh, mi caan believe it!

But how yu fi believe it,

“If yu blind yu eye to it!”

Jamaican Dub Poet, Mickey Smith

Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt has been ostensibly robbed of US$12.7 million of his blood, sweat and tears hard-earned money, along with other investors, whose funds were being managed by Stocks & Securities Ltd. (SSL).

Police investigations of SSL are under way. One person reportedly confessed their involvement. But this brazen scheme, in my opinion, may well involve many other persons.

• How could such a brazen scheme be pulled off by only one person ‘unda di noze’ of the Government for so many years with no one knowing?

• Where does the money trail lead?

• Who and who took the legend’s money and for what purpose?

Meanwhile, The Gleaner has reported that Jamaica’s financial regulators were aware that “a culture of non-compliance and mismanagement” existed at the SSL from as far back as 2016.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is the public body responsible for monitoring financial entities such as the SSL. And they need to be put under serious scrutiny to justify, and explain, all that went wrong.

SAMFIE MENTALITY

I think people are getting extremely disturbed by the extreme ‘samfie mentality’ that appears to pervade national life. And this terrible Usain Bolt saga may be the tipping point for public outrage to bring serious changes to the Jamaican society.

Whether it is Usain Bolt and others being allegedly scammed; the Cash Plus affair; lottery scamming; the Petrojam scandal; the Education Ministry and other scandals – all this may well have reached an unacceptable breaking point.

Lottery scamming, as a part of this ‘samfie mentality’, reportedly earns US$300 million per year, the Intercept Magazine says.

Then we have the Cash Plus Ponzi scheme, whereby pilfered money was reportedly hidden as far away as “in a Swiss bank in Dubai”.

Is it possible that funds in recent sagas have been spirited out of the country and tucked away in some foreign bank, too?

The Cash Plus saga ought to have been the signal for tighter financial regulations and public scrutiny.

Maybe if the Government had tighter financial regulations, that were stringently monitored, we would perhaps not be confronted with this current scandalous affair.

Flim-flam Ponzi schemes thrive, in my opinion, where there is a breakdown of law and order, lack of public trust and poor financial management over public affairs.

Then we have a situation where Prime Minister Andrew Holness is required by law to declare his assets, yet it is still outstanding. Professor Trevor Munroe, who monitors national integrity issues, was forced to vent his frustration at the lack of compliance by the prime minister to declare his assets.

This amounts to showing “disrespect for the Jamaican people”, Professor Munroe said.

Jamaica’s name is being tarnished!

There is a shock and revulsion everywhere!

People are angry like mad marching ants

Mad marching, pity-mi-lickle-biting red ants.

How will it all end?

GOOD VERSUS EVIL

My dear friends, this is not how the story is supposed to end. Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt is a humble young man from a rural background, whose striving for excellence brought him wealth, fame, accomplishment and happiness to Jamaica and the world.

His long illustrious career led him to win eight Olympic gold medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprints and be dubbed “the fastest man alive”.

Over the course of his long, exciting career, Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt became a true global megastar, earning the names ‘The Legend’ and ‘The GOAT’.

His lightning bolt speed, as a dynamic sprinter, endeared him to Jamaica and the world as he set numerous records as the “fastest man alive”.

It is impossible to fully put a monetary value on Bolt’s contribution to Jamaica’s lickle but tallawah, authentic brand; to our tourism product; and overall culture and way of life.

Bolt rises at dawn, to dream an’ toil away

With labour he welcomes di yellow sun new day

Then he turns big eyes to smile at the red setting sun

Smelling, breathing, Jamaica’s mango blossom.

This Usain Bolt saga has made world news and not for a good purpose. What a downright shame!

This is truly a national disgrace which needs a commission of enquiry chaired by a Supreme Court judge; with forensic accountant; subpoena powers, and top-notch investigators to get to the bottom of all this.

We need to exorcise the demons of public corruption, trust deficiency, gravalicious, anancy, gi-mi-gi-me mentality, which now appear to be like an evil scourge stalking the land.

It can’t be that public or private officials can act with impunity, disregarding the rule of law and public trust.

That is a recipe for anarchism!

In this Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt saga, will good triumph over evil and he and other investors get back all their money?

This Anancy story can’t end with Bra’ Anancy, the scam artist, getting the better of Bra Tukuma and bra Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt!

The pain of the other investors is important. But Usain Bolt stands out because no one expected that he would, allegedly, be fleeced in the country he loves.

Evil triumphs when we do nothing to stop it. And perhaps what is required is the channelling of all our energy to bring serious changes to create a better Jamaica, Land We Love!

Let us hope that something good will come of this, as it led to Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announcing a raft of changes to the governance of the country’s financial sector.

That is just the ‘bitta’ truth!

Norris McDonald is an economic journalist, political analyst, and respiratory therapist. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and miaminorris@yahoo.com.