Thursday, April 16, 2009

Breaking News: Van Beek esecapes execution attempt

A gunman shot a Guyana official in charge of dissolving a failed insurance company as she drove to work Thursday, police said.

Insurance commissioner Maria Van Beek, who was hospitalized with a wound in her abdomen, has gained a high profile through the liquidation of Colonial Life Insurance Co. The company has 15,000 clients in this South American country.

The motive for the shooting was unclear, assistant police commander Ivan Daniels said.

"We are investigating exactly what happened," he said.

The collapse of Clico has left many policyholders and pension fund contributors in Guyana anxious about the company's ability to honor its commitments. Earlier this week, Van Beek filed a report saying the company's liabilities of more than $60 million far exceed its assets.

Guyana seized Clico after its parent company in Trinidad, CL Financial Ltd., received a government bailout. CL Financial suffered huge losses in real estate investments and could not borrow enough money on credit markets paralyzed by the global financial crisis.

President Bharrat Jagdeo's administration has said it will borrow from the Treasury to pay Clico policyholders, but payment could drag out over a 10-year period.

The bailout of the investment holding company — whose interests include manufacturing, health services, spirits, real estate and energy — sent shock waves across the 15-nation Caribbean Community bloc, where CL Financial is the largest business group.

Regulators in other countries including the Bahamas and Belize are moving to liquidate local Clico subsidiaries to protect depositors.


  1. Where is the cookie crumbling

  2. Sandra in QueensThursday, 16 April, 2009

    It could be any of the policyholders. This is truly sad and depressing news for us here in NY. Maria is a wonderful woman and we hope she recovers.

  3. Another unsolved mystery. Add this to tons more and you can have an entire ten-year production on Unsolved Mysteries.

  4. Things real serious boi

  5. Hope she understands how serious people serious about her actions managing Clico.

  6. Wasn't her husband employed by Clico. Wasn't he fired at some point? Is this her way of getting back at Clico by ensuring it's collapse?

  7. Guyana again in the regional headlines.What a shame.

  8. I met Mr and Mrs Van Beek in T&T a few years back and they are good people. i am saddened to say the least.