PNP concerned over reported theft at SSL, demands swift action to find perpetrators
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The People’s National Party (PNP) has expressed concern and shock at the reported theft of several laptops from the offices of Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL), which is currently embroiled in a multibillion dollar fraud probe.
The PNP said in a release on Thursday that the recent development raises critical questions about the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
The Opposition added that it is “deeply troubled” by the apparent security breach at SSL which it believes poses a significant risk of compromising crucial information vital to the investigation.
“It is unacceptable that potential evidence, stored within these laptops, might be tampered with or destroyed, hindering the pursuit of justice,” the PNP said.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson stated that Thursday’s theft at SSL is “profoundly unsettling” as it was revealed on Wednesday that the fraud at the financial institution has occurred on a larger scale than initially reported.
“Just yesterday the Financial Investigation Division (FID) disclosed that the scale of the fraud under scrutiny was even more extensive than initially believed. Therefore, the revelation of this theft is profoundly unsettling,” Robinson said.
As a result, the PNP is calling for a high-level inquiry into the incident as the party believes the theft was aimed at obstructing justice.
“We call upon the Financial Investigation Division to urgently implement robust security measures to safeguard all assets and information related to the SSL case. This incident underscores the urgency for heightened vigilance and reinforced protections to prevent any further compromise of the investigation,” the PNP said.
“Moreover, we implore the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to do more to ensure the preservation of the investigation’s integrity. Taxpayer resources have been extensively invested in untangling the complexities of the SSL situation, and any compromise resulting from negligence or deliberate actions would be an egregious disservice to the public,” Shadow Minister Robinson added.
The PNP further demanded swift action to identify the perpetrators of the theft and retrieve the stolen laptops.
“Justice must prevail, and it is incumbent upon all relevant authorities to guarantee the sanctity of this investigation,” the release concluded.
This is the latest incident at fraud-hit SSL since allegations of the crime surfaced in January 2023. One individual, Jean Ann Panton, has so far been charged and is to be tried in the Criminal Division of the Home Circuit Court. On Wednesday, she was remanded until May 2024.