Thu | Nov 30, 2023

Foreign forensic experts for SSL fraud probe

Published:Monday | January 23, 2023 | 4:37 PM
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke speaking at a press conference on January 23, 2023.

The help of international forensic auditors is to be sought by Jamaica as the authorities probe the massive alleged scheme at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

This was disclosed this afternoon at a press conference by Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke.

Clarke told reporters that he will be writing to Jamaica's international partners to request the assistance of international forensic auditors to investigate the fraud.

Last week, the Opposition People's National Party urged the government to undertake that action.

"This must be done now to ensure that funds stolen from customers of SSL can be traced and recovered from wherever they may be and to restore the reputation of Jamaica's financial sector which has been tarnished by the massive and prolonged fraud at SSL," a media release from the Opposition said. 

Clarke stated that for 10 of last the 13 years, the SSL has been under directions from regulator Financial Services Commission (FSC).

He confirmed that the FSC board voted to issue a threat of suspension if certain actions were not taken by the firm in 2017.

Over the period of FSC directions and enhanced oversight, since 2010, the alleged fraud at SSL was taking place.

Clarke said records suggest that FSC gave directions and followed up to ensure implementation.

According to him, the recommendations were implemented for the most part.

How the alleged SSL fraud went undetected for 13 years, perhaps even longer, Clarke asked.

"I put it to you that that is the central question and it is a question that our government will ensure is answered. I ask for us not to be divided at this time by narrow ambitions."

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