Sun | Feb 5, 2023

Letter of the Day | Government’s silence on SSL fiasco is deafening

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2023 | 12:05 AM

T HE EDITOR, Madam:

In addition to having one of the highest murder rates per 100,000 of its citizens for more than two decades, comes this brazen and shameful robbery of Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s most iconic citizen and a national treasure, of millions in US dollars by an employee of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL). Pristine beaches, warm sunshine, and lush greenery can no longer conceal the evidence that this country has slipped towards the bottom-rung on a downward trajectory to a failed State. This SSL financial fiasco and other conspicuous frauds are finally exposing a culture of corruption within national banking institutions, and the Government seems paralysed to act.

For a nation where 25 per cent of its GDP derives from remittance flowing through the banking system, one would expect the prime minister to forcefully condemn SSL’s management and initiate a swift and detailed investigation - with a hard deadline for the financial infrastructure to reform regulations and purge the culture of crooked doctrine. Instead, only deafening silence, which is more than enough evidence to conclude that the people’s representatives – the government – and Jamaica’s banking institution executives are of the same ilk and members of the same team.

The struggle continues from the dark days of the Industrial Revolution until now, in that whenever private enterprises, poisoned by corruption, become overlords of citizens and weak governments, suffering of the innocent is always the result.

And so, the nation waits anxiously for an independent forensic audit with prosecutorial powers to be immediately commissioned, leaving no stone unturned inside the national banking/financial system. Let the chips fall where they may and the assets of the guilty forfeited and turned over to all those clients who were swindled, those who have lost their hard-earned savings. This is one way of reaffirming to the international community and Jamaicans that the nation’s banking system is not endemically tainted by scammers and mafias beyond repair. To Mr Bolt, please seek legal advice from lawyers outside of this country to avoid further Brother Anancy-style trickery.

JEFF WRIGHT