Investigation shows procedure was not followed in sale of Seychelles’ tanker, official says
A number of legal provisions were not followed in the sale of the Seychelles Pride tanker by the Seychelles Petroleum company (SEYPEC) according to the finding of a preliminary investigation, a top official said on Monday.
The Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan told a press conference that “procedure was not followed, and I was informed later on that there was an attempt to amend the board minutes from what it was originally.”
He said that the investigation’s other main findings also showed a number of deficiencies in oversight and governance was apparent which would have prevented certain issues from occurring.
Although there were certain discrepancies Public Enterprise Monitoring Commission (PEMC) “has been able to verify all monies in terms of the sale agreement were received in a special account, set up to receive money from the transaction,” said Hassan.
The finance minister had ordered an investigation into the procedure of the disposal and sale of the Seychelles Pride and suspended SEYPEC’s chief executive Conrad Benoiton pending the result.
The Ministry of Finance said in a statement on January 18th that the sale of the tanker was concluded on January 12.
Sarah Romain, the SEYPEC’s general manager commercial was appointed Interim CEO.
The Board of SEYPEC had said that the sale of the tanker was concluded according to the company’s tanker replacement strategy and all the proceeds associated with that sale have been received.
Prior to the sale, Seychelles Pride was valued at $6.2 million for the vessel and around $400,000 for materials on board, the totality of which was deposited into the newly formed account.
The company’s interim CEO, Sarah Romain, later transferred the funds to the main SEYPEC account.
The finance minister said that Benoiton was suspended with full pay to allow for the effective, transparent, objective and independent investigation and that further discussions will be held with the SEYPEC board to determine his fate.
A copy of the redacted report to remove confidential information will be sent to the local press on Tuesday.