By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—NO fewer than 50 women, yesterday, besieged the Central Police Station, Aba, Abia State, threatening to kill the operator of a wonder bank, who reportedly swindled them of over N 5million.
The women who stormed the station when they got information that one of the coordinators of the ‘wonder bank’ has been arrested by the Police, lamented that the operators of the scheme, identified as Unique Sisters, have fled with their life savings.
Vanguard gathered that Unique Sisters operates a scheme where those who deposit N40,000, get paid N70,000 within a period of seven days. The owners of the scheme were operating until they were said to have disappeared from their known location. Depositors who had expected to be paid within the agreed period reported the incident to the Police who arrested some of the operators.
A source told Vanguard that some depositors of the scheme had almost lynched a suspected coordinator at a new generation bank in the city, but policemen rescued her.
One of the victims, Ihuoma Joseph, lamented that all her savings were paid into the scheme, stressing that she was yet to believe that she had been defrauded.
“When we started saving with the company, its office was at Nicholas Street but it has now disappeared. My brother’s wife and my elder sister are also customers of the bank. My own is nine hands which is N40,000 multiplied by nine, making a total of N360,000. My brother’s wife and my elder sister’s are two different cases. We are deeply involved because the money we deposited with the bank is the only money we had.
“The payment method is called ‘hand’. At Unique Sisters where I am a customer, one hand is N40,000. That N40,000 is expected to yield N70,000 for whoever pays in within a period of seven days. There are some other companies that demand N41,000 to pay N70,000, others also collect N39,000 to pay N60,000. But Unique Sisters’ offer was so enticing to everyone because of the N40,000 to get N70,000. The thing got so big that people that were initially patronising other companies trooped to Unique Sisters.”
Another victim who declined to have her name on print, said: “Somebody brought the story of the scheme to my church and told us to join; that it is very lucrative. I withdrew my business capital and deposited with them. Nobody suspected it could turn to be a fraud. Now, over 20 of my members deposited N40,000 each. When we got to their office after seven days, it was under lock and key. We were stranded until somebody told us that the woman had been arrested by the Police.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Abia State Command; SP Geoffrey Ogbonna said he has not been briefed about the incident. However, a senior police officer at the Central Police Statiion , said; “It is not only the woman that is involved. There are many groups operating the scheme. None of them reported to police. We only got involved when they tried to lynch the woman in a bank.”