Finance Minister Explains $15M Per Month Expenditure In Relation To SSL | RJR News


Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has defended the approximately J$15 million per month bill to cover operations, including salary payments, at fraud-hit Stocks & Securities Limited.


Questions have been raised after the Finance Minister announced Friday that the government would be temporarily covering the operational expenses at SSL. 


Workers at the company reportedly staged a protest recently over the non-payment of their salary for August.


Dr. Clarke, in a statement on the matter, declared that the Government’s intervention is not a bailout of investors at SSL, but to further the investigations into the massive fraud at the investment company.


He explained that the monthly support to SSL is broken down into salaries for 22 employees, amounting to about $9.5 million per month, operating expenses valued at $5 million, as well as legal fees and other expenditure.


He has promised to provide a more fulsome update on the costs being borne by the government as soon as all the information is available.


Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson on Friday urged Dr Clarke to disclose the full cost to taxpayers related to the investigation of the fraud at SSL.


The Finance Minister also disclosed that the support being provided to keep Stocks & Securities Limited operating is on condition that every legal effort is made to recover and monetize the assets on the company’s balance sheet.


He said this is the duty of the temporary manager and Financial Services Commission.


Dr Clarke reported as well that the investigative support being provided by international partners is reaping success.


In an update Thursday, the Financial Investigations Division reported that more than 70 investment accounts were involved in the probe, significantly more than the 40 identified in the initial phase. This has increased the value of the fraud to approximately US$20 million.


The FID is being supported by the Fraud Squad and Financial Services Commission as well as the US Federal Bureau of Investigations and UK-based forensic accounting and intelligence firm Kroll.


A team from Kroll Associates was in Jamaica last week, he revealed, “and provided me with an update which mirroers the update which the FID provided to the country yesterday (Thursday).”


The FBI’s collaboration with the FBI, “is bearing fruit,” he said, and affirmed that “the Government of Jamaica is committed to supporting the FID, the FSC and the temporary manager in ensuring a thorough, complete and transparent investigation, that brings all perpetrators, conspirators and co-conspirators to justice.”














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