Dear Editor,

A few days ago I went to the Hand in Hand agency office in Diamond to renew my fire insurance policy. The Office Manager whom I dealt with before was professional, witty and a good ambassador for the company. I however gave her and the other clerk/cashier present in the office some difficulties.

As I stated my business and presented a copy of last year’s payment, I was told that I needed to provide some information for the anti-money laundering regulations. She collected a form and asked for some identification. I repeated my National ID number, but she wanted the card to make a copy – Really, why? but Okay.

Now to some question and answer for her to write in:  Your address…same as the policy.

Your emergency contact name and telephone… Is this a hospital operation why? I don’t think that is necessary… OK will put None and NA.

What is your occupation….Retired.

What was your employer’s name and business address…You serious? Look, just put the GPOC Robb St  Robbstown GT.

The origin of the money for the property… Why? Look this property was owned long before you father even see you mother. You know about CDC and South Ruimveldt Gardens? I tief money and buy the house…  No Mr Camacho is not joke…  OK, Maam, put down that I got a mortgage.

Where the money come from to pay the policy…. Well you remember the seven million them rob last week? This twenty two thousand was my cut… You joking… Of course it come from my pension. Them too intrusive fo nothing.

Now for the final question which she had to repeat and which baffled me even more. I had to think and try to respond in detail:  “Affiliation with  Government/ Military/State Official/Politician. Name and Relationship.”

I started off with a Mr Rohee and a Mr Jagdeo: we were affiliated in the middle finger club. Major Archer and I were affiliated with National Service training/planting at Kaituma.  I wanted to list the female affiliated state official girlfriends I knew but by then we were laughing too much in the office, so we ignored the politicians and put None and NA.

Somewhere the Guyanese consumer is being taken for a ride. Just what do these organizations do with this information? I recall giving all this and more to the bank when I had a bank transaction updating a bank account opened with the Post Office Savings Bank transferred all over up to Republic Bank. Is there a set of gnomes, those fit and proper over eighty, working in some individual darkrooms putting all this information in ledger books never to see the light of day again?

Next week I will have to give this information all over to renew my car insurance. Lord forbid if I were to try to purchase a car or house with this attitude!

Please somebody, some ministry, take the National ID or the NIS ID or the GRA TIN and compile a database with cross references so we can have these reporting agencies just send information to input and update and stop this unnecessary harassment of consumers. Some can then “Read Only” and comply with the regulations.

I now see why some of my friends are returning to ‘foreign’. Too much stress back in GT.

Yours faithfully,

L A Camacho

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