J’can cops have capacity to probe SSL fraud ‘successfully’ – C-TOC

J’can cops have capacity to probe SSL fraud ‘successfully’ – C-TOC

The probe into the fraud scandal at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), in which Jean-Ann Panton has formally been charged after weeks of investigations, have all been conducted by the Jamaican police.

The disclosure was made by head of the police’s Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch (C-TOC), Dr Anthony McLaughlin, as he faced questions on the possible scope of the United States-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assistance in the case.

“So far, the investigations have all been conducted by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and I just want to point out, too, that the police have the capacity to fully investigate this matter,” declared McLaughlin.

The senior law enforcer outlined when, if necessary, the FBI would be brought into the probe.

“There have been similar matters to which we have successfully investigated, and based on the (current) investigation, if we require the assistance of the FBI, that is, if we find out during the investigation that there is any international aspect to this investigation, then that is when we will invite the FBI, or ask them to assist us,” McLaughlin informed.

“… But so far, the investigation is being led by the Jamaican police, and I want to reiterate that we have the capacity to investigate this matter successfully,” he reiterated.

Earlier this month, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, had advised that several meetings relative to the multi-billion dollar SSL fraud probe had taken place, and based on what had 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,” Clarke on Wednesday, February 2, as he addressed the biennial conference of the Financial Investigations Division (FID) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The FID’s Chief Technical Director, Selvin Hay, in a statement earlier on Friday, assured the public “the work into unravelling this fraud is thorough and includes collaboration with local and international agencies”.

Panton has been the only person charged with offences relative to the unravelling fraud scandal at SSL, but Hay promised that “as the investigation continues, we will seek to lay additional charges, not only against Ms Panton but against other perpetrators”.

Meanwhile, Panton appeared in the Home Circuit Court following the announcement of her charges early Friday morning.

She was remanded in police custody until February 24.

Earlier, McLaughlin said eight clients of SSL had been interviewed and statements recorded, leading to the former wealth adviser’s arrest.

One of the accounts investigated so far has a total of US$4.1 million.

  • PublishedFebruary 18, 2023

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