The Barak fund management, a Mauritius-based trade finance fund, found itself in hot water after being arrested by several whistleblowers for its alleged corruption. The accusations came shortly after the bank’s financial conditions collapsed amid the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Whistleblowers blamed the bank’s crippling finances on the corruption of senior bank officials. These alleged culprits included the investment manager of the Barak Prieur Du Plessis Fund and the CFO Kevin Ramsamy.
A few employees are reported to have complained to the Mauritian bank about a possible breach of trust by senior bank officials. A concern was raised about the value of a security deposit in exchange for a loan to a business. Whistleblowers claimed that the value of the collateral deposited was not economical enough for the loan to be authorized. They questioned the bank’s legitimacy in the matter and the way in which the authorization of such loans was authorized. This was just one of many such loans authorized by the bank. Due to the bank’s fragile financial situation, it is assumed that many such loans may also have been authorized in the past.
Another concern was raised regarding the overvaluation of certain assets by the bank. This was a major claim as the bank was accused of fraud. Kevin ramsamy was not specifically named in the charges; however, his involvement in the case is certain because of his position. Each loan transaction must go through the CFO before it is finalized. This is why people are speculating that Ramsamy must be involved in the authorization of these fraudulent loans. The chief financial officer of Barak Fund declined to comment on these speculations. The bank has already conducted an internal investigation and said all the charges were false. However, this internal investigation failed to clarify the how and why of the inexplicable loans authorized by the CFO, which leads the whistleblower’s allegations to two conclusions; either Kevin Ramsamy is complicit in the fraud committed, or he is very bad at his job.
Kevin Ramsamy was able to distance himself from the allegations; however, the Barak Fund IOC has a lot to answer. Prieur Du Plessis is one of the founding members of the bank, but his actions continue to plunge him into controversy that could lead to his suspension. Multiple allegations were brought against him by whistleblowers in 2019. He was allegedly involved in fraud on several events that occurred in 2014-2017. Du Plessis has also been accused of accepting cash bribes and high-priced cars from a coal mining company in Africa in exchange for confusing loans. The bank once again stood firm against these allegations against its CIO and called them false.
Despite the major financial setbacks the Barak Fund has experienced in recent times, it still refuses to acknowledge whistleblower allegations or hold its employees to account. His failure to suspend Du Plessis for his fraudulent actions or to question Ramsamy about his performance as CFO has worried all investors.
The Barak Fund is keen to support its allegedly fraudulent employees, but has shown little or no empathy for its clients who have suffered huge losses. This unfair behavior on the part of the bank is pushing all investors to demand an external investigation into the whistleblowers’ allegations. It is only fair that people have a fair chance to fight the top officials who landed them in this position because of their greed.