Lessons in the HCU crash

T&T Express Editorial
Monday, July 28th 2008

Harry HarnarineFAR from being seen as the saviour in the mess that is now the collapse of the Hindu Credit Union, the Government action last week must rightly be classified as having come too little too late.

Ordinary citizens by the thousands must now suffer the distress of having to watch their millions of hard earned money jump up and away in Harry Harnarine’s cavalier, irresponsible steelband.

They have been clamouring for years now, many of them, to recover their investments in this financial organisation which has been going off the rails for too long, and for which corrective action seemed the furthest thing from the minds of the authorities until it was way past time.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

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HCU officials borrowed millions July 28, 2008
HIGH-PLACED officials of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) borrowed millions from the credit union which were not repaid. An official, who held only $30 in shares was lent $500,000. Another official got a loan for $1.6 million at one percent interest, but the interest was calculated at only 0.5 percent. Another member bought only $25 in shares and on the same day was able to borrow $100,000. And a Costa Rican who was not a member and had no shares got a loan for half a million which was not paid back.

Sat: Freeze Harry’s assets July 27, 2008
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Why did Commissioner of Co-operative Development Charles Mitchell and Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira take so long to act against the Hindu Credit Union…

Minister: Govt not sure of giving HCU $$ July 26, 2008
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Inspection team: HCU violated loans policy July 26, 2008
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It’s the end of the road for the Hindu Credit Union (HCU), according to its president Harry Harnarine…

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Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Sat Maharaj has written to Ernst and Young, Commissioner of Cooperatives Charles Mitchell, as well as provisional liquidators R Rampersad and Company, identifying international assets of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU).

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Court freezes HCU assets July 24, 2008
JUSTICE Nolan Bereaux yesterday granted injunctions to freeze all assets of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) in and out of Trinidad and Tobago and granted an application by Commissioner of Coop-eratives Clarence Mitchell to appoint R Ramersad and Company as provisional liquidators for the HCU.

Court grants Govt full control of HCU July 24, 2008
The High Court has given the Government full control of the Hindu Credit Union Co-Operative Society Limited (HCU)…

HCU frozen: No need to fear, says Harnarine July 24, 2008
Government officials yesterday confirmed that the Hindu Credit Union has been served with an injunction and all the assets which the financial group owns have been frozen.


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2 thoughts on “Lessons in the HCU crash”

  1. Do people check out financial projections before investing? Or do the get rich quick schemes find fertile soil in Tnt?. I remember in 1983-84, when a pyramid scheme, having run its course in the US and been hounded out by authorities, found its way to TnT. WEhen I heard of it, I went to see the PS in the Ministry of Finance. He had not heard of it, but the whisper campaigns about money to be made had people drunk with greed, and investing large sums. I had to talk to three other people, including Raoul Pantin at the Express and a bank manager, before pieces began to appear in the paper about the dangers of this “financial system”. By that time, thousands of people had lost bundles of money.

    I am surprised, not only by the state’s late intervention, but by the reports of members surrounding the building in the past, and not allowing the duly constituted authority access.Did these same members lose money? Shame on them!

    This kind of madness led to the present mess. Of course TnT is not the USA, but someone should check why Michael Milikin, a stock trader, went to Federal Prison for a long time. Check the fates of some Enron executives also.

    One cannot fradulently use the pennies of little old ladies and other small investors, to feather ones nest. I am particularly concerned about the shady unsecured loans given to members who had little or no shares, and to the Costa Rican who had no shares at all. If this was a money laundering schene, please clear out a cell on upper Frederick Street. If it was just poor fiscal management based on race as an appeal, the gardening program at Golden Grove would be suitable. There is a specific message that jail time sends. It is very effective among those who claim to be respectable people.

    White collar crime(that done by people in business attire)is crime, just as if a gun was put to your head.

  2. I can’t help but notice how all those who pontificate on everything else this e-paper, endlessy, I think the record is seventy five comments, have been so silent on this issue.

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