Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Darryl Smith, is describing questions surrounding his trip with a delegation of officials to Tobago last weekend as another storm in a teacup.
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Money lender seeks ‘interest’
Hounded by gunmen after he borrowed $8,000 from a money lender to support his family, a San Fernando pensioner is now begging the National Insurance Board (NIB) to process an outstanding payment owed to him since 2014 before he loses his life.
Fenwick Murray, 68, said he retired from the San Fernando City Corporation in February 2014 and received a gratuity of $64,000. Having made 657 contributions to NIS during his working career, Murray said he was promised a lump sum of $148,000 from the NIB. Believing he would get his payment, Murray said he used some of his gratuity to buy a Nissan Almera for $60,000. However, he got into financial difficulties and started to borrow money to send his children, 13 and eight years, to school.
In 2016, Murray said he made a grave mistake when he borrowed $8,000 from a money lender to pay off for the car.
“I borrowed $8,000 but with the interest it came up to $25,000. Every day this loan accruing interest and I have to pay $2,000 every month from my pension so that it will not cross $25,000,” Murray said.
After the loan became due earlier this year, Murray said two men came after him and threatened to kill him if he did not repay his loans. Murray said he never reported the matter to police because he was fearful for his life.
Admitting to making unwise financial decisions, Murray said he has even considered ending his life.
“The only thing I haven’t done is drink this poison that I have here but I does think about my daughter. She really bright and she pass for a good school. She is the reason that I am living,” a distraught Murray said.
He also said he was owing another financial institution and could not pay his rent.
Since February, Murray said he has been consistently going to the NIB office in San Fernando hoping his payment could be processed. He later consulted with attorney Nizam Mohammed, who sent a letter to NIS requesting that the payment be processed within 21 days.
“That time has gone and still they are ignoring me,” Murray said.
He added that an NIB consultant promised to organise the payment for him within a few days if he paid a fee of $10,400.
“I found that was unfair and I didn’t go through with it. Now I am beginning to think they are victimising me,” Murray added.
He said whenever he goes to the office he is told to return in two weeks.
“I am very frustrated and I really need help. All my money finish and if I don’t pay back the money lender I will be in trouble,” Murray added.
Contacted yesterday, corporate communications manager at NIB, Jennilynn Howe-Dopwell, promised to look into Murray’s issue.
In a text message, Howe-Dopwell wrote, “We will be able to comprehensively look into Mr Fenwick Murray’s issue tomorrow morning. I will provide you with feedback by Monday.”