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Point Fortin credit union levied upon

Saturday, August 23 2008

click on pic to zoom in
PACKING UP: These trucks are packed with office furniture taken from First National Credit Union in Point Fortin, which was levied on yesterday. ...
PACKING UP: These trucks are packed with office furniture taken from First National Credit Union in Point Fortin, which was levied on yesterday. ...

SHORTLY after furniture and other items were taken from the First National Credit Union’s offices in Point Fortin, they were moved back in when an arrangement was made between the Eastern Credit Union and the board of FNCU.

Eastern Credit Union had levied on FNCU seeking to recover outstanding debts by the credit union.

It is the second time in less than a month that FNCU was levied upon.

In an interview yesterday, Ronald Bobb, president of Eastern, said the move to levy was “aborted minutes after furniture and equipment were taken from FNCU Point Fortin office as the board of FNCU came to an arrangement with Eastern Credit Union.”

He said Eastern has, over four years, been seeking to recover its money owed to it by FNCU and yesterday’s move “has borne fruit.”

He said after the agreement was reached the furniture and other items were returned to FNCU’s office.

A source close to FNCU said the action by the institution to levy on it was due to a syndicate loan by five credit unions, including FNCU, Eastern, and two others to a construction company which was not repaid.

The source also said the credit union’s woes also stemmed from the failure by a former politician to repay an $8 million loan.

Bailiffs, accompanied by police officers, went to the credit union at Techier Street early yesterday morning and began taking away office furniture, including desks, chairs and filing cabinets from the premises.

One of the bailiffs Newsday spoke to said they got their orders “from a High Court judge.” He could not say who were the parties involved. As they stacked the furniture on the trays of waiting trucks, FNCU’s shareholders looked on in dismay. Some attempted to speak to the policemen at the scene but were met with silence.

Ann Francis said she recently returned to Trinidad from New York in an attempt to get her money.

“This is my third trip here. I came in September, May and this month to get my money and all they keep telling me is ‘Check back next week,’ ‘Check back next month’. But when I spoke to a manager on Tuesday, he said my cheque would be ready today,” she said.

“When I came today, the police officers block us from going into the building and now they are telling me they don’t know when I will get my money,” she said.

Francis said she intends to hire an attorney in an attempt to get her money from the credit union.

Another shareholder was moved to tears when she, too, realised that she would not be able to access her money.

“What am I going to do.. I was going to use that money to help the children get their books for school,” she said.

The credit union’s chief executive officer Mayon Murray was said to have left the country yesterday morning when Newsday attempted to get a information on the situation.

Minutes later, Newsday was informed that the Public Service Credit Union also went to the Point Fortin credit union in an attempt to recover monies owed.

On August 5, bailiffs acting on behalf of the Venture Credit Union attempted to levy on FNCU’s offices in Point Fortin in an attempt to recover $2.8 million owed by the credit union.

The action was averted after Murray reportedly made arrangements to repay the debt.

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