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Auditor’s report on Rahaman’s purchase expected Wednesday

By By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

The auditor’s report on the purchase of some $14 million worth of First Citizens shares by former chief risk officer Philip Rahaman is expected by Wednesday, Minister of Finance Larry Howai said yesterday.

Speaking with the Sunday Express at the Eastern Credit Union’s 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at La Joya Complex, Eastern Main Road, St Joseph, Howai said: “The auditors had told me actually that they would have it by Wednesday, subsequently they have advised me that it is still in draft and they just wanted the lawyers to go through it.

They may not have any significant changes but we just wanted to be certain. They told me by Wednesday I should have the final report so I am working with that time frame now.”

Howai said a draft of the report was also handed over to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan because he felt that he should send it initially to the AG because the auditor’s findings coupled with the findings of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could possibly result in further action.

“The AG thought that it was important that our attorneys look at it with a view to determining what could be released without compromising whatever the DPP has to do himself, if he has to do anything.

“I don’t want to prejudge anything at this stage so we thought we would give the (AG) the preliminary report which he has in his possession now to take a first look at it. If there are changes in the final report he would probably want to see those before he gives me any advice on how we should proceed from here,” Howai said. 

Asked whether FCB’s reputation has suffered because of the current situation Howai said he does not believe it has.

“I think the bank itself remains very strong, it is very well capitalised, it is highly profitable. Their profits last year I think it was close to three quarter of a billion dollars... so I don’t think people are concerned with the institution itself, I think they may be concerned with people around the institution.”

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