Prime Minister Andrew Holness made it clear on Tuesday that he has no ties with Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL). He stated that he had created an account with the firm in 2008 but that the account was closed in September 2021. He then went further to let it be known that neither he nor any member of his family has ever borrowed money from the financial institution, according to an article by the Jamaica Observer.
The prime minister’s statement comes in light of the outrageous multibillion-dollar fraud allegation that hit the organisation and has even amassed international attention.
The minister went on to explain that he closed down the last remaining financial tools the company was managing for him on his behalf and told them to have his account terminated. He also explained that, since then, he has not done any business with the entity.
Holness also declared that keeping up with the government’s commitment to being transparent in the ongoing investigation, he has asked members of his administration to check and disclose the status of any accounts or investment relationships their ministries or related agencies may have with Stocks and Securities Limited.
The minister stated that the accusations of fraud at SSL and the worldwide attention it has garnered to the country’s financial sector require a great deal of commitment, integrity, and responsibility to ensure that the island’s citizens are confident that the political class has no reason to prevent, hinder, or dilute the efforts of the investigators so that the truth can be uncovered, justice is served to the victims, and the culprits are held accountable for their actions.
Retired track legend Usain Bolt is among the 30 victims who have been negatively affected by the unfolding fraud. The magnitude of the investigation has required agents of the police Fraud Squad and the Financial Investigations Division to be involved. Bolt’s attorneys have given the financial institution until the 27th of January to return the money that was fleeced from the former Olympian, or they will take legal action against the company.
They have also given indications that the total amount owed to their client equates to US$12.7 million, or almost JMD$2 billion.