By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Tears flowed freely in Bassey Duke Street in Calabar metropolis at the weekend when it was discovered that another popular ‘wonder bank,’ called Bests Oil Agro Investment Ltd had ceased to exists thereby giving impression that they may have absconded with millions of Naira belonging to their clients and customers.
Bests Oil Agro Investment Ltd, located at Treasure Mall, f-f Suite 2, 34 Bassey Duke Street in Calabar is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with a registration number, RC 1432383. It has a branch at No. 2 Oku Street, Opposite MTN Office, Off Oron Road, Uyo in Akwa Ibom State. Reports say it registers at least 200 customers in a day.
Unconfirmed reports also indicated that the bank claimed to be paying its customers 30 percent on every deposit within one week but the story was different at the weekend.
Lamenting their tales, customers who were seen crying and lamenting their bad fortunes said they discovered an empty office and that efforts to contact the managers of the said company through the given telephone numbers proved useless.
Speaking while betraying emotion, a victim who gave her name simply as Dodeye said she lost one million, two hundred thousand Naira (N1.2 million) to the wonder bank. She said, “I trade on second hand clothes (Okrika) and was about going for my NYSC service. I put my hard earned N1.2 million into the scheme. I don’t know what to do now, for even their phone numbers are all switched off.”
Another customer who preferred anonymity but said she was student of the Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, said “I invested my school fees so as get additional 30 percent interest, but now I can’t seem to find anything; money, the interest nor the investment company.
“I came with a friend so she could also join the scheme, only for us to meet an empty office, with paper documents, receipts and broken glasses everywhere. I tried calling their contact numbers, but none is connecting. I don’t know what to do, for I am going crazy.”
For Clement Essien, it was a bad dream made real. He said, “my money was long overdue and I came to collect it with several others, only for us to see chaos. People were jumping fences and running with money, others were scrambling to take whatever they could lay hands on. A student made away with their television set. It was a jungle survival for everyone after their bad experience.”
Efforts to contact the owners of the company through their given phone numbers did not sail through as the lines were switched off.