Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 9th 2015 Contents A5
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau, centre, shares a joke with the Miss
World T&T pageant finalists during a courtesy call at his office at the International Waterfront, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. The delegates, from left, are Daniella Walcott, Janelle Campbell, Cherise Couri, Tiana
Jahoor and standing next to minister is permanent secretary Sandra Jones. At right are Vinita Manoo,
Kimberly Singh, Vishani Murally, Maria Marquez and Terneisha Walker. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
BEAUTIES IN A ROW
Former Minister in the Ministry
of Finance Mariano Browne says
fired Clico chairman Gerald Yet-
ming and managing director Car-
olyn John were used as scapegoats
in the controversial payment of
more than $36 million to former
directors of the company.
He made the comment yesterday
during CNC3 s Morning Brew, as
he commented on the duo s sack-
ings by the Central Bank following
disclosure of the payments.
Browne, however, suggested that
the two were only fired because of
mounting public pressure on the
He said the basis for which they
were fired could not hold water,
since Central Bank Governor Jwala
Rambarran, Minister in the Min-
istry of Finance Vasant Bharath
and Finance and the Economy
Minster Larry Howai had all said
clearly that the payments were to
"It is clear that they knew what
was in the offing. It was only after
when the information (payment)
was leaked on Friday as to the
quantum of payments and who
was paid that they conveniently
found two scapegoats," he said.
Yetming also insisted yesterday
there was no need for any forensic
probe into the payment issue,
adding to have such an investiga-
tion was to conclude that some-
thing illegal was done.
The probe was initially called
for by the Clico Policyholders
Group when news of the payments
were made public.
But during the same programme,
Yetming insisted that "nothing ille-
gal, nothing dishonest and nothing
fraudulent has taken place.
"They never told us stop making
payments to these directors. They
never asked why have you not
come to us for approval to pay
these things, which is what they
are now hiding behind," he said.
The Central Bank, in a statement
last week, said the two were fired
after Clico failed to follow the
March 26 instructions given by the
bank on the procedure for all dis-
bursements to policyholders and
creditors under the Clico Resolution
But yesterday, Yetming said if
Rambarran had a problem with the
manner in which the payments
were issued he should look at his
own staff at the Central Bank.
"If they failed in their duty to
him to have done what they were
required to do or what he expected
them to do to stop the payments
to these people, then he should
address them," he said.
Yetming said he was a non-
executive chairman at Clico and
John should also not have to answer
any questions about the issue. He
said during their tenure he and
John were successful in their
attempts to return confidence to
the company which collapsed in
More than $36.1 million has
already been paid out to four for-
mer Clico directors. According to
reports, those payments were
processed between April 30 and
June 2. The payments represent
half of the entitlement of the for-
mer Clico directors.
No justification for dismissals---Browne
Finance Minister Larry Howai will
review documents from both axed Clico
chairman Gerald Yetming and Central
Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran in
connection the recent Clico payout to
four former directors, which ultimately
cost Yetming his job.
In addressing the issue on CNC3 yes-
terday, Howai, noting the conflicting
statements of the parties involved, said
he would not cast any judgments on the
matter until he had seen the "underlying
documents" from both sides. But while
he has already received the information
from Central Bank, he said he was yet
to see any documents from Clico.
"I suppose there will be a number of
nuances that will arise from what people
thought they understood or didn t
understand. I would prefer to wait before
I could then say this is something we
should or shouldn t," Howai said.
On Friday last, the Central Bank issued
a statement announcing that Yetming s
appointment as chairman had been ter-
minated, along with the revocation of
Carolyn John as managing director.
The Central Bank said the two were
fired after Clico failed to follow the March
26 instructions given by the bank on
the procedure for all disbursements to
policyholders and creditors under the
Clico Resolution Plan. The instructions
included obtaining approval from the
bank for all payments prior to disburse-
Yetming, however, has insisted that
no protocols or instructions from the
Central Bank were breached. He also
called on Rambarran to explain his
actions regarding the dismissals.
In response to the controversy, Howai
yesterday said: "The Governor advised
me of the circumstances. He did speak
to me on Friday morning to confirm
that Clico had made payments although
the Central Bank had given written
instructions not to do so.
"Subsequently, he did send an email
back to me saying this is what he was
going to do. He did send me something
"Subsequent to that, the chairman
sent additional information which seems
to have a different take on what actually
happened. As a consequence, what I
have done is asked to see the underlying
documents which support the position
being suggested by either side."
Howai added that the Central Bank
told him that they never gave any
approval for the payments.
"What had happened was that Clico
provided them with the information and
they were in the process of reviewing
that information. They met with Clico
representatives to discuss the information
they had before them and they were
then supposed to report back to the Gov-
ernor, who was supposed to make a deci-
sion," Howai said.
Asked about the statements by the
Central Bank last week in defending pay-
outs to the directors who did not have
litigation against them, Howai said the
Central Bank took the stance that legally,
the payments were due to be made but
further approval was needed.
"Yes, legally the payments were due
to be made as they had no legal issues.
However, there were additional things
that they needed to check and confirm
before agreeing that they can proceed,"
Addressing the possibility of Yetming
being vindicated in the matter, Howai
said he did not want to speculate on the
issue until he could verify the facts.
Conflicting claims cast doubt over Clico firings
The issue involving Yetming and
John developed after the media
reported that four former directors,
their companies and connected
parties had already been paid some
$36.1 million last week.
Rambarran had defended Clico's
right to pay the former directors,
saying a sum of over $63 million was
put aside to pay ten former directors.
However, when the media reported
that the four directors---Ian Garcia and
his company, Events Unlimited;
Clinton Ramberansingh and his
connected parties (Bianca
Ramberansingh and Martina De Silva);
Vishnu Ramlogan and Nigel Salina
and his company, Nigel Salina and
Associates---had already been paid,
the move drew public criticism.
In defending himself, Yetming had
indicated that the only individual he
was specifically notified not to pay
out any money to was former CL
Financial corporate secretary Gita
Sakal, who is part on an ongoing legal
matter with the company.
The Central Bank had also
announced that apart from Sakal,
former CLF chairman Lawrence
Duprey and CFO Andre Monteil, also
part of the same litigation, would also
not be entitled to payments.
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