DPP to Determine Whether Criminal Charges to be Brought Against CL Financial Execs

According to a Caibbean360 report, Trinidad’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has given instructions to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Roger Gaspard to determine whether criminal charges should be laid.

Ramlogan told reporters on Wednesday, 8th June, 2011, that only the DPP could make that decision, based on evidence.

His announcement came on the heels of a civil suit filed Tuesday by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) and CLICO against former chairman of the insurance company and its parent company CL Financial, Lawrence Duprey, and ex-chairman of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB) Andre Monteil for alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of CLICO assets. That action followed forensic investigations into the affairs of CLICO.

“I have directed that all information acquired as a result of the probe conducted for these civil cases be shared with the DPP in the hope that it may be of some assistance,” Ramlogan told the Trinidad Express newspaper.

“The government has no control for criminal prosecution; that is a matter for the DPP based on evidence unearthed by proper police investigations.”

However, he stressed, “the government empathises with the distressed and traumatised depositors and policyholders and intends to leave no stone unturned in its quest for justice on their behalf in this matter”.

The DPP has confirmed that he had received the documents and said he will be seeking the advice of a Queen’s Counsel in the matter.

The CBTT had hinted at further action on Tuesday when it said that the forensic work which led to the suit against Duprey, Monteil, CL Financial, Dalco Capital Management Limited and Stone Street Capital Limited was continuing.

The Central Bank had said that it “may result in the expansion of this claim and/or further action”.

Meantime, the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) says the initiation of the legal action against Duprey and Monteil “sends the important message to citizens that enforcement of the law applies to all persons regardless of their position in the society”.

In a statement issued yesterday, it said the move was an important step in raising the standard of corporate governance in Trinidad and Tobago.

“TTTI believes that the development of a strong culture against corruption requires independent investigation of all allegations, the assignment of responsibility where appropriate and the application of appropriate penalties,” it said.

“The current action is an important step in demonstrating commitment and resolve to reducing corruption in our society, and the development of a culture of accountability. We hope that this matter is brought to a swift conclusion, and is not protracted.”

The Institute added that it hopes a more aggressive pattern of enforcement against corruption by the Government will deter persons from engaging in corrupt acts in the future, and help erase the perception of Trinidad and Tobago as a corrupt society.

“Consistent action in this area could help improve Trinidad and Tobago’s rankings on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, as well as improving investor confidence in the country,” it said.

(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Caribbean360 release)


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