Blocked!

THE Financial Services Commission (FSC) on Wednesday obtained a court order blocking directors of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) from taking action to wind up the company that is at the centre of a multi-billion-dollar fraud.

The order was granted after the FSC went to court to stop an attempt to wind up the company and liquidate its assets.

The court document named SSL, Caydion Campbell, Hugh Croskery, Laurence Adamson, and Peter Knibb as defendants in the matter.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke said the members of SSL applied to the Companies Office of Jamaica for a members’ voluntary winding up on January 16, 2023.

“Prior to this, the FSC had put the company under temporary management using its powers under the [Financial Services Commission] Act. To effect its temporary management the FSC went to court to prevent the company from going through the process of winding up itself,” Clarke said in a post on Twitter.

The court order restrains SSL, the purported Trustee of SSL, and directors of SSL from:

i) disposing of, dealing with assets and liabilities in SSL’s name or its clients’ name; withdrawing, transferring or otherwise dissipating any funds from accounts in its name wherever held;

ii) interfering with the acts of servants or agents of the FSC and temporary manager, and to comply or otherwise cooperate with the directions of the FSC and the temporary manager and any servant or agent of the temporary manager

iii) winding up or dissolving the company and liquidating the assets of SSL; and iv) reorganising the company or its operations, whether it be in any document form or organisation of its members, or the assets and liabilities.

The company has been embroiled in a fraud which, to date, has reached $3 billion. Clarke has since asked for international assistance in uncovering the issues which led to the fraud and to help recover any assets or proceeds of the fraud.

“I have already written, as I said I would do on Monday, to seek international assistance with forensic auditors to ensure that the 13-year mystery can be unravelled. And we are not looking for handouts. We are prepared to pay for those resources with our own budgetary resources,” Clarke told an audience at the Jamaica Stock Exchange conference on Wednesday. He didn’t say how much will be paid.

He said the investigators will take the opportunity to demonstrate that Jamaica is a serious country, “where, if you defraud investors you will be caught, you will be brought before the law, and you will be punished”.

“And in that regard, the investigative bodies are determined to bring all perpetrators and collaborators and co-conspirators [to justice], however small that number could be; and we have to keep open minds in terms of this could be perpetrated by a very small number of persons, or however how large it may be, the investigators will get to the bottom of it,” Clarke said, adding, “assets that have been procured with the proceeds of this will be found, to the extent that they exist, and all legal means made to initiate and succeed in forfeiture proceedings”.

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