In the aftermath of the BAI crisis, hundreds of individuals have been unpleasantly surprised to find out that they might have lost their investments forever. Among these are a group of 700 firemen who had contributed to the Fire Services Benevolent Fund that was made part of the Super Cash Back Gold (SCBG) insurance policy of the BAI. While they were following the affair as reported by the Mauritian press, they were previously unaware that the fund had been redirected to SCBG – they were thus shocked to learn that Rs 3 million invested in it were placed under the policy.
A meeting among the subscribers to the Super Cash Back Gold insurance police at Belle-Rose on the 12th of April.
Firemen contribute Rs 125 each month to the Fire Services Benevolent Fund. In return, they have the option of taking personal loans of up to Rs 70,000: loans for surgery as well as for the purchase of school books for their children with an interest rate of 4-3 % respectively. They also obtain a retirement benefit. As such, this money had had to be invested in the SCBG to cater for the advantages mentioned, as explained by the Chief Fire Officer and president of the fund, Louis Pallen.
However, the firemen themselves were unaware that the fund was linked with the SCBG. Louis Pallen has affirmed that this would be the fault of the representatives of the Managing Committee of fire stations who were chosen by the firemen to speak for them at the committee.
As for the treasurer, Chandra Shekhar Singh Nothoo, he asserts not understanding how the firemen could have been unaware of this information when, according to him, all the decisions taken at the level of the committee are displayed on the notice boards of the different fire stations.
Nothoo has also explained that the money has often been invested before: Rs 2 million was placed under the State Bank of Mauritius and under the BAI via the SCBG in 2012. He added that the interests obtained each time were injected into the funds. According to him, the money has not been lost; the Managing Committee has already filled in the necessary form put at the disposal of clients of the SCBG to have their money back.