To aid local law enforcement in their investigation into the major fraud at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), the local government has requested assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
The declaration was made on Monday by Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke during a special policy speech on financial sector regulation in response to the crisis that has shaken the country.
“No stone will be left unturned,” according to Clarke.
One person allegedly impacted by the fraudulent operations at the investment business is track and field superstar Usain Bolt.
The investigation is being overseen by the Financial Investigations Division and the Fraud Squad of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. According to Clarke, the organizations asked the FBI and other foreign partners for assistance last week.
Clarke Noted, “the investigative authorities have full operational independence and will pursue the facts wherever they may lead.” He added, “they will unearth exactly how funds were allegedly stolen, who benefited from such theft and who organized and collaborated in this.”
According to the Minister of Finance and Public Service, the investigation will also look to discover if assets were purchased domestically or abroad using the suspected fraud’s earnings.
If and when such assets are discovered, Clarke stated, “all legal steps will be taken to restrain these assets with the intention of full forfeiture.”
Clarke, like many Jamaicans, pondered how the alleged scam could have gone 13 years without being discovered. The Financial Services Commission (FSC), which oversees non-deposit-taking organizations like SSL, has five chairs, four executive directors, and three political administrations during that time, he observed.
Clarke stated, “the coverage of this fraud in every major media outlet across the globe is a source of great embarrassment to Jamaicans here and in the diaspora”.
He expressed, “I feel the full range of emotions—anger, disgust—and, like many Jamaicans, I am deeply pained by these events.
“This is a body blow to Jamaica and has the unfortunate impact of tarnishing Jamaica’s global reputation,” Clarke remarked.
Richard Byles, the governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), was also introduced by Clarke as the new head of the Financial Services Commission during the news conference (FSC).
Additionally, he said that Wayne Robinson, senior deputy governor, George Roper, and Jide Lewis, deputy governor, all the BOJ, would be joining the FSC board. All appointments will take effect on Monday.