Fri | Dec 8, 2023

Opposition concerned not enough being done to prevent compromise of SSL probe

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2023 | 6:28 PM
Robinson questioned whether the interim manager has been provided with adequate resources to manage the crisis. - File photo

Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson, is expressing concern that enough is not being done to ensure the investigation of the $3 billion fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) is not compromised.

His comments, in a release to the media on Thursday, follow news that the Financial Services Commission had to get a court order to block attempts to wind up SSL.

Robinson is calling for greater urgency and a more deliberate approach on the part of the Government, in relation to the investigation.

He argued that the current arrangements are problematic, pointing to the leaking of information to the media in what he said "appears to be a manipulative attempt to shape the narrative of the case".

Robinson questioned whether the interim manager has been provided with adequate resources to manage the crisis. 

He also expressed concern that the interim manager has to rely on existing SSL employees and principals in carrying out his functions.

"It is normal in large and complex insolvency situations for an external accounting firm to be engaged to provide technical and administrative support to the temporary manager, receiver or liquidator. This support needs to be arranged forthwith," he said.

He continued: "As things now stand, it is highly inappropriate for the interim manager to have to rely on the current staff of SSL, some of whom may be themselves implicated or otherwise compromised by conflicts of interest, as support in this complex fraud investigation and to bring order to the operations of the business."

Robinson said the Opposition is also concerned that the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) has not been deployed as the chief local investigating agency.

According to him, MOCA, being an independent law enforcement entity focused on eliminating major crimes of corruption, is best placed to lead this investigation. 

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