Finsac crisis blamed for Mandeville couple's death
A suicide note left behind by
Morris and Grace Richards, the Mandeville couple who allegedly committed suicide on New Year's Eve, has linked their deaths to problems associated with the 1990s Finsac crisis.
The police said Monday that there was no evidence of foul play, and confirmed that they had found a suicide note at the scene. They said that, based on information from
their investigations, the couple had "personal problems", which may have led to them committing suicide. Both were in their 70s.
The Jamaica Observer learnt from business associates yesterday that
the Richards had lost their business, Richards and Richards Construction Company, to Finsac Limited — the company established by the Government to handle bad debts arising from the 1990s financial sector meltdown, which cost thousands of local entrepreneurs their properties and life savings.
One close friend of the family, President of the Association of Finsac'd Entrepreneurs (AFE) Yola Gray-Baker, said yesterday that the couple was well known to her and other members of the association.
"They moved from owning a construction company to selling chemicals to survive after losing their properties and, I understand that
the house in which they were living was about to be put up for sale,"
"I spoke to Mr Richard's brother (who is living in Miami) and he said that they were having difficulties trying to make ends meet, but may have been too proud to beg assistance," she added.
She said that the situation facing the Richards was indicative of those facing most of the AFE's members, who are still seeking to hold on to properties they had used as collateral for the bad loans.
The police reported that the
couple was found hanging at their Glenwood Close home, off Woodlawn Road in Mandeville about 8:30 am Monday. Relatives, friends and employees of the Richards' E-World Limited in Mandeville were in
shock at their untimely death.
They were described as "humble", "hard-working" and "God-fearing".