CL Financial bailout – filling the gaps

This article sets out my ongoing search for all the details of all the payments made under the CL Financial bailout. That includes my recently-concluded litigation and my new requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Consent Order of 24th January 2018 required the Ministry of Finance to provide these details –

  1. Any unaudited financial statements of CL Financial Limited for the years 2008-2011 in the possession of the Ministry of Finance which were relied upon to prepare the affidavits of Minister Winston Dookeran filed on 3 April, 2012 in High Court proceedings CV 2011-01234, Percy Farrell and Others v Clico and others.
  2. Any list of the creditors of CL Financial existing at the date of the request in the possession of the Ministry of Finance, the names of the EFPA holders of Clico, the dates of the repayment of EFPA holders of Clico and the identities of those whose investments have been repaid.

The Ministry’s attorneys have now stated that they are unable to locate the specified financial statements and the list of CLF creditors has not been provided. My team will be responding to press for those details, in the public interest and in accordance with the Appeal Court’s Consent Order.

The EFPA details have been provided, as previously reported in this space. Those details are for payments of $10.823 Billion in Public Money to EFPA account holders between March 2011 and March 2015. That roughly corresponds with the September 2011 Parliamentary approval for an additional $10.7 Billion to be spent on the CL Financial bailout.

According to the Peoples Partnership at their first budget presentation in September 2010, about $7.3 Billion had been spent on the CLF bailout at that stage. Who got that money? We are still no closer to knowing just where that money went. We need to get those details as well.

clf-bailoutIn addition, substantial Public Money was spent in settling the failures at CL Financial; Clico Investment Bank (CIB); Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB); British American Insurance and the non-EFPA debts of CLICO. Furthermore, there would have been substantial sums of Public Money spent on financing costs and to pay the professional fees of attorneys, stockbrokers, investment advisers, auditors/accountants and real estate agents. Those financing costs, fees and commissions were officially estimated to be of the order of $3.0 Billion, so those are a significant cost within this immense bailout.

Vishnu Dhanpaul_1_0
Vishnu Dhanpaul, PS, Ministry of Finance

 

 

To close that gap, I have made new requests for information under the FoIA to the Ministry of Finance, on the basis that the successful litigation has effectively removed any reasonable grounds under which exemptions might be claimed. That first email is here to summarise the position for readers. That request has already yielded some fruit, which will be covered subsequently.

Email

From – Afra Raymond
To – Vishnu Dhanpaul
Date – Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 5:18 PM
Re – Request for Information under the Freedom of Information Act (The Act) for further details of costs of the CL Financial bailout

Dear PS Dhanpaul,

These are my requests for further details of the costs of the CL Financial bailout under S.13 for your early attention – a hard copy will be delivered tomorrow. For your information, a formal request for details of the legal fees has also been sent today to the Ministry of the Attorney General & Legal Affairs.

In CV 2013 – 01162 the High Court on Wednesday 22nd July 2015 ordered disclosure of all the information I requested. In P201 of 2015 the Ministry effectively resiled its position – per the seventh para of its affidavit of 22nd January 2018 – which was the basis of the Consent Order entered in the Appeal Court on Wednesday 24th January 2018. Given this background, I do not expect that the Ministry will invoke any of the exemptions afforded by The Act, those arguments having been ventilated, defeated, conceded and withdrawn.

In relation to this request for the ‘Presentation made to Independent Senators in September 2011 by then Minister of Finance, Winston Dookeran and then Central Bank Governor, Ewart Williams‘, I am inviting your attention to the twelfth para of your affidavit of 22nd January 2018. That para refers to the request for this Presentation as follows –

…As to the Order in relation to Request No. 2 the Appellant’s position is that it accepts that there is no exemption on which the Appellant can rely…”.

For ease of reference, the details requested in the four attached S.13 forms are –

  1. Details of Creditors and Payments in respect of CL Financial bailout;
  2. Details of Creditors and Payments in respect of CLICO and its subsidiaries;
  3. Details of Creditors and Payments in respect of CLICO Investment Bank and its subsidiaries;
  4. Details of Creditors and Payments in respect of Caribbean Money Market Brokers and its subsidiaries;
  5. Details of Creditors and Payments in respect of British American Insurance Company and its subsidiaries;
  6. Legal fees & disbursements paid and/or due to attorneys retained in CV 2013-01162 and P201 of 2015;
  7. Details of Interest and financing costs incurred in the CL Financial bailout;
  8. Presentation made to Independent Senators in September 2011 by then Minister of Finance, Winston Dookeran and then Central Bank Governor, Ewart Williams;
  9. Any other payments made or expenses incurred in the CL Financial bailout;
  10. Details of payments made or due in respect of Professional Fees & Disbursements due to Accountants, Auditors, Attorneys, Receivers, or Liquidators in the CL Financial bailout;
  11. Details of payments made or due in respect of Commissions and Disbursements due to Real Estate Agents, Investment Advisers, Bankers, and Stockbrokers in the CL Financial bailout;
  12. Audited Accounts of CL Financial Ltd for the financial year 2008 to date, to include any interim, preliminary, draft, unaudited or management accounts.
    Please confirm receipt.

Afra Raymond

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4 thoughts on “CL Financial bailout – filling the gaps

  1. The Mafia found numerous mechanisms for recovering things lost, like memory, documents and cash from a wide variety of people from whom the courts were unable to extract.

  2. The Ministry’s attorneys have now stated that they are unable to locate the specified financial statements and the list of CLF creditors has not been provided. My team wilhe Ministry’s attorneys have now stated that they are unable to locate the specified financial statements and the list of CLF creditors has not been provided.  Dear Afra…The above is unacceptable.  ‘Unable to locate the specified financial statements’ speak of gross incompetence. The refusal to respond to the People’s Right to Information speaks of either contempt for our democracy or suspicious cause for ‘hiding’ information. Continue your good fight, and I really wish there was some way for people like you, unafraid and committed to patriotism to form the next governance.  Yes we need Opposition also. CONSTRUCTIVE OPPOSITION. The people are tired of repetitious spin. Somehow the bi-partisanship of democracy is being misread as a Declaration of War! We follow in the footsteps of the ‘First World!” Just look at our Exemplar to the North. What a disgrace! Now let me take this opportunity to share this photo from a former student in China.Study the frame carefully. Understand the LOVE theme that decorates the entrance to the complex.There remains an important missing factor in ALL our National endeavours. And that is the spiritual something to bind us all together as ONE PEOPLE first and foremost. Whatever may be said of the Chinese, they have a ‘religious ethic’. Until we can work out that mystical something, we are doomed to being… what did Naipaul call us?  ‘Trinidad and Tobago is the Third World’s Third World!’ Well, so much for pride and self-confidence that we reflect in our Arts. Sigh-h-h! Again ThanksRhonaB.

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