Colonial Life Insurance Company (Guyana) says that it intends to appeal to the courts if the liquidator appointed for CLICO Bahamas fails to admit Guyana’s claim and pay the debt it owes, according to attorney John Wilson.
Wilson reported on Monday last, that his clients have submitted their claim to liquidator Craig ‘Tony’ Gomez after being invited to do so.
“We’ve settled the basis on which we are owed,” said Wilson, pointing out that CLICO Guyana holds US$34 million in annuity contracts.
It was pointed out that there were several annuity contracts issued to my CLICO (Guyana) and monies was paid to the order of CLICO Bahamas.
“Whatever CLICO Bahamas did with the money is on them.”
He said his clients are anxious for a resolution and are waiting for Gomez to admit their claim.
It was pointed out that if a person were to peruse the liquidator’s report and his reference to the investment by CLICO Guyana, “you get the view that at least provisionally the liquidator does not accept that this is a legitimate third party liability given that he seems to pass it off as some inter-party loan.”
“If this is indeed his view, it will be vigorously challenged.”
In his provisional report prepared two months ago, Gomez said his preliminary review of Guyana and Suriname’s packages supports the view that Guyana and Suriname did conduct business with The Bahamas office of CLICO.
“However, a preliminary review of the contracts forwarded to me reveals that the respective entities may have had policy contracts with their customers and then the funds were forwarded to the company (CLICO Bahamas), principally the Turks and Caicos branch….It appears that while the funds forwarded to The Bahamas were recorded to the company’s records, the cash actually appeared to have flowed into a United States of America bank account directly from Guyana and Suriname.”
He stressed that unfortunately the contracts that were entered into with the company did not appear to have been standard policy contracts but, in many cases, could easily appear to be the transfer of funds to The Bahamas that could easily be classified as related party loans rather than policies.
Failing a determination by the liquidator that CLICO Guyana’s claim should be admitted, Wilson said the courts would have to determine the validity of the claim.
“The money sent couldn’t have just disappeared into thin air,”
CLICO Bahamas was placed into liquidation on February 24, last, and CLICO (Guyana) was placed under judicial management a day later.
After Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister and Finance Minister of The Bahamas, had told his Parliament that there was no trace of Guyana’s investment in that country, a paper trail of investments was immediately dispatched to that country’s liquidator to assist in the location and classification of CLICO (Guyana’s) investment.
The money was located but was deemed an inter company loan and as such would not have qualified as a priority in the repayment process by the liquidator.
Guyana subsequently retained the services of attorney –at-law, John Wilson, of McKinney Bancroft and Hughes, to fight court-appointed liquidator, Craig Tony Gomez, on the issue of Guyana’s US$34M investment in CLICO Bahamas.
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