Tag Archives: CL Financial Scandal

Afra Raymond resigns from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Paper wants politicians to preview articles

Afra Raymond targeted by CL Financial big-ups?

Barbados Free Press understands from an internal source that journalist Afra Raymond has resigned from writing for the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian after learning that the paper sends unpublished articles to politicians: apparently seeking to have the politicians pre-approve or vet opinion pieces before publication.

Afra Raymond is a T&T journalist whose effective work on the CL Financial scandal has continually exposed the unethical and illegal actions of many of the main players in the financial debacle. Much of Afra Raymond’s work is jointly published here at Barbados Free Press, at the Guardian, and at Mr. Raymond’s own website.

We have sent Mr. Raymond an email asking for confirmation and to clarify what we are hearing.

If it is true that the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian is sending unpublished articles to politicians for pre-approval, this would seriously undermine the credibility of the Guardian news organization. It would be a serious affront to journalistic integrity and independence.

We’ll update this story as we learn more.

Robert

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Trinidad and Tobago

CL Financial – CLICO payouts: Afra Raymond asks on television “Who got payouts first?”


“One rule for one set of people, another rule for another set of people”

Our friend Afra Raymond as interviewed by Fazeer Mohammed on Morning Edition television, March 24, 2011.

No word yet on whether the Colman Commission will grant standing to Afra. If Afra does get standing, he’ll be able to ask questions – and then, look out!

Click on the photo to watch. There’s lots more on the subject at Afra Raymond.com

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Barbados: I don’t care about conflicts of interest, Leroy Parris is my long time friend.

Lesson #492 why the DLP won’t pass Integrity Legislation and political financing rules. Ever.

Barbados PM protecting one of the DLP’s prime financial backers.

Like Finance Minister Sinckler, our accidental Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just doesn’t get it or doesn’t care about Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest and the optics of senior Ministers of Government cavorting with someone who at the very least is at the center of a scandal involving billions of dollars missing, and who should be under serious investigation.

But it’s okay because Leroy Parris is “a long-time friend and a one-time client” – not to mention a major financial supporter of the Democratic Labour Party. Oh… Stuart didn’t mention that financial support to the DLP, did he?

Prime Minister Stuart says it doesn’t help the CLICO situation to try to exploit a photograph of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler talking to Parris (photo above) at the just run Gold Cup horse racing event. Stuart doesn’t mention that the photo was taken at a private little gathering where ordinary folks weren’t invited. He tries to make it like they just bumped into each other on the street.

So according to Prime Minister Stuart, victims and taxpayers should just shut up about CLICO conflicts of interest and if they don’t, the PM will blame the victims when they receive pennies or nothing on their “investments”.

That’s quite a different response than taken by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, that set up a Commission of Enquiry to look into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle: including the examination of how relationships, conflicts of interest and election financing concerns contributed to the collapse.

What is it that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?

Is it “honour amongst thieves” and all that? Or is it that Leroy Parris and CLICO funded the DLP election campaign that saw David Thompson made Prime Minister? Is it a combination of factors all working together that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?

Ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Labour Party: please excuse us for bothering you. Please continue to enjoy your champagne, lobster pate and your close relationship with the people who stole our future. Sorry for mentioning it. Truly.

Here’s the latest slap in the face of ordinary Bajans from our Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart. Please read it at The Nation, but as usual we’ll reprint it here because they change history every so often at that newspaper… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Colman Commission into CL Financial scandal: Sunlight or whitewash?

“When the Prime Minister announced this Enquiry on 1st October 2010, she promised to release details of who received the monies disbursed after the CL Financial Group collapsed.  That list of names and who received what sums would be an absolutely explosive one.”

You can be sure that the people in the top layer will do anything in their power to protect themselves from the stern scrutiny…”

CL Financial bailout – Sunlight Disinfectant

by Afra Raymond

If you think this title is for the latest brand of household cleaner, you would be wrong.  I drew that title from the famous statement by deceased US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, in reference to corruption and fraudulent dealings –

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

see The Sunlight Foundation

Of course, this is all about the impending Colman Commission of Enquiry into the failure of CL Financial and other companies (including CMMB) and the Hindu Credit Union.

We are attempting to understand our situation in this financial fiasco – how was the entire collapse caused?  Who is responsible?  What can we do to avoid a repetition?

Our House needs a serious cleaning and we need a new commitment to serious retrospection if we are to succeed in understanding this scandalous situation.

To set the stage, there are four principalities being represented in this Enquiry –

  • CL Financial Chiefs – The people who had Direction and Control of the entire failed group – that would include the shareholders.
  • The Regulators – The Supervisor of Insurance, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank.
  • The Auditors – PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young – the former being auditors for the CL Financial group and the latter acting for the Central Bank.
  • The aggrieved Policy-Holders and Depositors – Several groups have been formed to seek the return of all the monies owed to these investors. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

How PricewaterhouseCoopers grossly misled investors in CMMB – Caribbean Money Market Brokers

“The presentation of these financials (by PricewaterhouseCoopers) may be technically permissible but they are grossly misleading…

These accounts suggest, to the untrained financial eye, that the company is profitable and it is not.”

Excerpt from a reader’s analysis of PwC at Afra Raymond.com

PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers should be ashamed

Two days ago we directed our readers to a new Afra Raymond article about the CL Financial Scandal The CMMB story.

Today one of Afra’s audience left a devastating analysis of the activities of PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers in deliberately misleading investors into CMMB – Caribbean Money Market Brokers. Even though we just covered Afra’s new article, this latest comment says it all and deserves our attention.

People used to trust PwC. What fools we all were.

Without misleading, unethical auditors like PwC – willing to lie, deceive and be well paid for it – Duprey, Parris and David Thompson as their lawyer couldn’t have gotten away with what they did for so long.

Afra’s stories about the rot and fraud at CL Financial, Clico and the other scam companies have been going wild on the hit-meter because so many of us are victims, and will be victimized more as our tax dollars bail out the big guys and put the burden on the little people. The battle cry of crooks like Duprey and Parris: “Privatize profits, socialize losses.”

Here is what Afra’s reader observed about PricewaterhouseCoopers…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments

CL Financial, CLICO bailout: The rot is deep, the corrupt keep their Code of Silence

“There was no agreement.  None at all.  For a loan exceeding one billion dollars

Just imagine the Chairman who presided over the meeting of Clico Investment Bank’s Board which approved that loan… attempting to explain just what they were doing dispensing with depositors’ funds in that loose fashion.  I can scarcely wait.”

by Afra Raymond

Testing the Code of Silence

The Code of Silence has formed the subject of several columns in this series.

I am referring to the unwritten agreement amongst the leadership group in our society to maintain silence in matters of white-collar crime.  The guiding principle of the Code being that the members of that group must never be exposed to the same scrutiny and penalties as the common criminal.

That Code of Silence is poisonous to the progressive development of our society.  Unless we can bury the notion that white-collar crime pays, our society is doomed to lurch from crisis to crisis.  White-collar crime will never be truly challenged until the Code of Silence is tested to destruction.  I welcome anything which would dismantle the Code of Silence.  Literally anything.

The Commission of Enquiry into the various financial collapses which have beset us – Clico, British-American, Clico Investment Bank, Caribbean Money Market Brokers, the CL Financial group and the Hindu Credit Union – was announced by the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister in her 1st October address to Parliament. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy

CL Financial bailout: “Amazing scenes were witnessed”

“A glaring example of the kind of wanton wrongdoing at the heart of this mess…  Clico Investment Bank fails to file its Corporation Tax returns for three years, yet keep their banking licence and arrange for the taxpayer to bail them out when it all goes sour.”

Where are the two-years past due audited accounts for CL Financial?

by Afra Raymond

The new situation is charged with peril and one is reminded of Naipaul’s father, the intrepid journalist from ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’ whose favourite tagline was ‘…amazing scenes were witnessed…’.

Trinidad & Tobago Finance Minister, Winston Dookeran, addressed Parliament on the Finance Bill (No. 2) 2010 on Wednesday 24th November.  It was a lengthy and detailed statement, which put things into a necessary perspective.  For me, it was important that Dookeran gave priority to the claims of the contractors and of course, the last item being the claims being made by the various groups representing Clico policyholders.

The Finance Minister held his position as set out in the 2011 budget, which was no surprise when one considers his statement that the various submissions received from the policyholders’ groups did not withstand scrutiny.  I only had two significant concerns in terms of outstanding items which require proper attention. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Economy, Offshore Investments