Tue | Nov 28, 2023

Petrojam, JMMB to meet to thrash out Grindley account access

Published:Friday | December 2, 2022 | 12:13 AM

A day after Wednesday’s bombshell revelation that accused fraudster Floyd Grindley could still electronically view Petrojam’s bank account, the state-run oil refinery says it was unaware that the former general manager, who quit four and a half years ago, had “any such access”.

Petrojam said Thursday that it had, in May 2019, advised JMMB that the general manager, logistics and marketing manager, refinery production manager, financial treasurer and budget planner, and chief accountant were the only authorised signatories to its account.

“The bank was advised in said correspondence that it superseded any previous authorisations sent,” Petrojam said in a press statement issued Thursday.

But responding to questions from The Gleaner on whether it had contacted JMMB to determine Grindley’s access status since the allegation arose in the trial on Wednesday, the refinery’s management said, “Petrojam has contacted the bank and a meeting is to be held in this regard.”

Pressed further by The Gleaner on whether Grindley was still a signatory, Petrojam said that he was not “as far as we are aware”.

King’s Counsel K.D. Knight revealed during Wednesday’s cross-examination of Chief Financial Officer Delroy Brown that Grindley was able to check Petrojam’s account and view a balance of US$19 million.

Grindley resigned from Petrojam in July 2018 amid a scandal that led to a domino departure of several of the refinery’s high-profile leaders as well as then energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley.

Grindley and former chairman Dr Perceval Singh are being tried on fraud charges in relation to alleged fraudulent overseas travel allowances amounting to US$73,620.

Petrojam said also in Thursday’s statement that in May 2021, it established online account access for viewing and printing only.

Access privileges were reportedly granted to the company’s cost accountant, financial treasurer and budget planner, accounting officer - banking and investment, and the chief financial officer.

Petrojam emphasised that online access does not facilitate transactions and that all banking transactions require two authorised signatories.