Saturday, May 15, 2021

FNBB, Barclays take knock as African Express collapses

African Express Managing Director, Nab Graorac, upped and skipped the country last week leaving behind a company that had collapsed under millions of pula debts owed to Barclays Bank and the First National Bank Botswana.

African Express owes Barclays Bank P6 million and FNBB P3 million.
This is the second loss running into millions of Pula suffered by both banks in a space of two months.

Barclays Bank lost P70 million when another trucking company, Lobtrans, was put under provisional liquidation two months ago while FNBB lost an undisclosed amount also believed to be running into tens of millions of Pulas.
The two banks are listed on the Botswana stock exchange. For close to two weeks, Graorac has never been seen in the flesh and is believed to have holed up in Dubai.

The company’s Financial Director, Mr. Raj, and the Accountant, Chaminda Samarakodi, have also disappeared into thin air as staff members are demanding their salaries for May.

Graorac left a number of text messages to friends and staff members. In one message he states: “You may call me a coward, but let me be a coward for once in my life. I have to go.”

In another, he told staff that “Gud nyte my friends, sisters and brothers, I wil mis u all, i am crying and I miss u all of you and rem I love u all, I care u all and Mr. Chaminda. I can’t sms anymore I love u people.”

Barclays Bank Managing Director, Thuli Johnson, told Sunday Standard that, “Like everyone else, I do not know where Nab is”.

Close to 200 Africa Express employees have been left in the lurch without jobs and salaries for May.

On Wednesday, sheriffs raided the premises of Africa Express and impounded all the vehicles which included eight tankers, six flat back trucks and four 8 ton trucks. Some of the vehicles were tracked to their points of distribution.

Wapitso Tinnan, a driver of one of the 8 ton trucks, suffered in more ways than just loss of his two months salary entitlement. He described his ordeal thus, “I traveled to Francistown over the past weekend and stayed three days without food, only to be stopped by strange men on my way back to Gaborone shortly after leaving F/town who ordered me out of the vehicle, and got away with the truck.”

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