KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 2, CMC – The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is intensifying its involvement in the investigations into the multimillion-dollar fraud at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), according to Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke.
He disclosed on Wednesday that several meetings have been taking place and based on what has been discovered so far, the FBI will be doing more than what was initially expected when he announced it would be called in to assist in the probe.
“In the briefing that I have received, based on developments, the FBI is going to be intensifying their involvement even beyond what would have been thought when I first made that statement,” the Finance Minister said as he addressed the biennial conference of the Financial Investigations Division (FID) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Dr. Clarke further disclosed that an international forensics firm is being contracted to assist in their probe into the fraud that he described as “a belly punch” and an event of “earthquake, hurricane, natural disaster proportions” from which the country will take some time to recover.
“We are going to allocate the space in our budget to ensure that we can procure the best international forensics experts that we can find,” he said, adding that with the work of local and international experts.
Several investors including eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt have lost millions of dollars in the SSL fraud which was being perpetrated over a 13-year period.
Minister Clarke lamented that while Bolt was winning gold medals for Jamaica in London, “and we nationalised that victory and made it our own, there were people who were scheming and pilfering and stealing and thieving from his account”.
“In 2016 when he repeated that illustrious achievement, this robbery was occurring,” he added.
The Finance Minister said that with the in-depth investigation underway, “there is going to be no place to hide”.