Jamaica: “$600-m fraud probe at National Insurance Fund”

The National Insurance Fund (NIF) board has called in the Financial Investigations Division (FID) and the police after uncovering what is believed to be a multimillion-dollar fraud involving the purchase and sale of stocks by some managers at the State agency.

According to a law enforcement source, the money amounts to at least $600 million. But a source with knowledge of the development yesterday told the Jamaica Observer that what has so far been discovered “is the tip of the iceberg”.

“It is unbelievable what is happening. We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said the source who requested anonymity and who confirmed that the matter has been turned over to the FID and the police.

According to the source, the board was livid when it became aware that the managers, using NIF money, bought $500 million worth of shares in a prominent local company without first taking the matter to the investment committee, the board, and the Ministry of Finance for approval.

“Anything over .5 of one per cent of the fund value must go to Ministry of Finance for approval,” the source explained, adding that when the individuals involved were questioned by the board, they said they were allowed to buy and sell shares.

It was at that point that the board called in the police and the FID, a division within the finance ministry with the remit to probe money laundering and other financial crimes.



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