Judicial manager seeks legal lock on CL Financial assets, including debtors

Within days of her court appointed position, van Beek, through her lawyer Senior Counsel Ashton Chase, applied for a series of injunctions to restrain any disbursement of funds to CL Financial, saying in court documents that irreparable harm would befall policy holders and other creditors who have an interest in the financial viability of Clico (Guyana) if its parent company is permitted to move or receive assets out of Guyana.

The judicial manager emphasized urgency and pointed to time being of the essence in protecting the interest of all concerned, adding that the financial interests and welfare of Clico (Guyana) are dependent on  the availability of the assets and other resources of CL Financial in Guyana.

“…I apprehend that unless restrained by injunction for the purpose of freezing its assets in Guyana there is every likelihood and a real risk of the dissipation of those assets and would otherwise make any final judgment awarded in the instant litigation nugatory,” van Beek said in court papers filed.

But the court overlooked the application as Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang focused instead on van Beek’s petition to have Clico (Guyana) wound up.  Still, the application remains before the court and forms part of the Clico’s expanding legal battles.

Clico (Guyana) earlier this week suspended Chief Executive Officer, Geeta Singh-Knight and moved to court seeking to have actions taken by the judicial manager properly sanctioned by the court. According to the company, van Beek has instructed Singh-Knight to disregard the letter of suspension and to remain in her office.

In the letter to Singh-Knight, dispatched on Monday and signed by Clico (Guyana) Director Winston Ramalho, the company condemned her decision last week to dismiss 40 full-time and three part-time staff, and a move by her instructing a staff member to remove C L Financial Chairman Lawrence Duprey’s name as a signatory to local bank accounts without consulting, and or a grant of approval by the Board of Directors.

Duprey is named as a signatory on local bank accounts at Republic Bank, Citizen’s Bank and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.

Directors and shareholders at Clico (Guyana) said they found  Singh-Knight’s conduct reprehensible having examined her role since February when the company was placed under judicial management.

In the court papers she filed earlier last month to block any transfer of money to CL Financial, van Beek had said that CL Financial has shares and or are the principals in British American Insurance Company Ltd, a company registered here and situated at Waterloo Street, and which has substantial real estate at Waterloo Street.

The judicial manager said she was able to confirm that Caribbean Resources Limited, a subsidiary of CL Financial Ltd, borrowed approximately $1.5 billion from Clico (Guyana) and that the sum was guaranteed by CL Financial Ltd partly by way of debenture registered in the Deeds Registry, initially in the sum of $211 million and with miscellaneous but wholly unreliable guarantees as to the difference.

She said that Clico Investment Bank Ltd, a company registered in Trinidad and Tobago, a subsidiary of CL Financial, advanced to Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc loans in the sum of US$10 million and US$8 million, respectively and whose net sum due, owing and payable is estimated to be US$15 million.

In the application, van Beek requested a mareva injunction or other interlocutory order restraining Caribbean Resources Ltd from disbursing monies or valuable consideration to CL Financial or any of its subsidiaries including Clico (Guyana) in payment in full or in part of any indebtness it may have, or as an advance until the determination of these proceedings or further order of the court.

Similarly, she applied for injunctions restraining British American Insurance Company; Bosai Mineral Group and Premium Security Services from paying out any monies to CL Financial or to Clico (Guyana).

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