Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Jamaica investigates those responsible for the alleged investment firm fraud

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, assured that an exhaustive investigation is being carried out to identify “the perpetrators and accomplices of the fraudulent activity and bring them to justice”, in the framework of the alleged fraud that occurred in the investment firm. Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

Former Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, winner of eleven world and eight Olympic titles as a sprinter, was affected by the fraud, he indicated through his lawyer that he had a balance of US$12.7 million in SSL as of October 31, 2022, but that figure was reduced to US$12,000 on January 11.

Holness stressed that they are tracing “the funds to ensure the confiscation of the assets purchased with the stolen funds.”

“Affected investors and the public can rest assured that the investigative and prosecution bodies have the necessary powers and resources and have already begun to act decisively to gather information and evidence,” the president said.

Thus, he emphasized that “every effort will be spared to uncover the full scope of the fraudulent activity and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Similarly, Holness declared himself “very concerned and sympathetic to all those hard-working Jamaicans who, at this time, are not sure of the status of the funds they have invested in the institution in question.”

Regarding the fact that Usain Bolt is among those affected, Holness said that “every investor’s angst must be equally recognized, there is a dimension of a heightened public sense of betrayal, which I share, that a national icon who has brought so much pride to all of us is also a victim of the alleged fraud.”

Likewise, the prime minister pointed out that, although the matter has sparked immediate fear and general concern, “there is no need for panic about the strength and soundness of the financial system as a whole.”

On the other hand, the Jamaican Police reported that they searched two premises on Friday night that are related to the suspect in the case, Jean-Ann Panton, and seized documents and electronic devices.

Jamaican Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said Wednesday that all those involved in the alleged fraud against the former Jamaican sprinter will be convicted.

Last week, SSL revealed that several of its clients had lost millions of dollars in local and foreign currencies that they had invested in the company.

Bolt is one of 30 victims whose SSL investments were allegedly diluted by an employee of the firm. The fraud could have reached US$1.2 billion.


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