Thursday, May 20, 2010

Legitimate Business or Scam?

This is the question that many of us are still pondering on – was it a scam right from the beginning? Or did Bestino really have honest intentions but were unfortunate in the quality of their advisers? Or perhaps they started with honest intentions but got greedy along the way?

If it was a scam from the beginning, then they have no intentions of paying us back. We have to recognize this and if we want our money back, we have no recourse but to take legal action. It is pointless to keep knocking on their doors. However, if they had honest intentions, we can give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to raise the money to pay us back.

A satisfactory answer to this question is very important to allow us to move forward. Hence, let us recapitulate the facts.

YM Chong comes from the family that owns Batu Pahat Goldsmith. This company is very well established, much respected and has created a niche for itself within the Indian community. The confidence to invest in Bestino was in a large part due to the Batu Pahat Goldsmith name. The question is: would YM Chong risk soiling the reputation that his father had worked so hard to build? I personally find it hard to believe that he would do so. Or perhaps he thought he could keep the two separate and no one would associate Batu Pahat Goldsmith with Bestino?

Bestino Berhad runs legitimate businesses. Of that there can be no doubt. Apart from the goldsmith shops, they run the PNG refinery which was awarded to them by the PNG government. They also have 3 factories producing natural oils. Would Bestino put all of these in jeopardy just for a miserable RM400 million scam? But then again, these businesses are continuing to run and do not seem to be in jeopardy.

In 2008, Bestino announced that it would be issuing an IPO in Singapore. This was later pulled back. Was this just an elaborate hoax to gain the confidence of the people? Again, I personally find this hard to believe.

Then, there is the other side of the equation.

Bestino collected the last of their gold bars from investors on 30th April 2009. Less than 2 months after this, they were raided and their bank account frozen. Can this be chalked up to coincidence? Maybe. But the fact remains that their gold bars are safe and our money is gone. They offered a gold bar investment scheme for 3 years with no problems with the authorities. But when the gold bars had all been taken back, the authorities raid.

In the document filed with SC, Bestino has clearance to issue RM400 million in preferential shares. But Bestino collected in excess of RM400 million and they continued collecting up till they were raided (mid June). Is this the action of an honest company? If what they were doing was legal or what they thought was legal, shouldn’t they have stopped collecting when they reached RM400 million?

I was told that one of their directors used to work in SC in a senior position. If this is indeed true, then wouldn’t this person know the internal workings of SC and know that the actions Bestino was taking were illegal? Wouldn’t he be able to advice Bestino correctly? Or could it be that Bestino knew what it was doing was illegal but decided to take the risk anyway? A risk which they took with our money and without our permission.

Bestino claimed that they were misled by their company secretary into believing that what they were doing was legal. This was a huge mistake by the company secretary. What happened to the company secretary? Fired? Legal action taken? If none of the above, that was very forgiving of Bestino. Anybody knows what happened to the company secretary?

For me personally, there are two actions of Bestino that I take issue with.

Firstly, the misinformation being given out by Bestino. Everytime, I call the company, I get a different story. The stories sometimes contradict each other. If Bestino was honest and sincere, they would make the effort to keep their investors updated. By updated, I do not mean sending out letters that do not say anything.

Secondly, their seeming lack of interest in paying us back. Although they say that "it is our business responsibility to pay back all the 6764 customers amounting to more than RM400 million (Bestino letter dated 14 Nov)", the only action they have taken is to try and sell their goldmine. No other efforts seem to be made to pay us back. No contingency measures that we know of.

So scam or legitimate business? What are your thoughts? Please do share if you have further information and facts that can shed more light and help us reach a conclusion.

34 comments:

  1. I heard that Krishnan is going to HKG this week to discuss with the buyers. He'll be back end of the month. Scam or not, I'll make up my mind then. If he comes back with another cock and bull story that the deal fell through or need more time, then I say this has definitely been a scam all along.

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  2. I don't care whether it is scam or not,i'm so desperate to have my money back..God please help us..

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  3. Unfortunately, you need to care whether it is a scam or not. If it is a scam, Bestino has no intention of paying you back.

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  4. To all fellow investors out here and there in this vast internet,

    Bestino is bidding time, while we lay here and rot.

    Latest is the gang is there to sign a deal..when., and if it's real, only time will tell...and how we are going to benefit from all this crap is another matter altogether.

    What happenned to the action committee that was supposed to start rolling after May 15?

    Why don't we all admit for the fact that we can't do nothing about the quandry we have put ourselves into. We should put that to a poll here.

    Do you really think that anybody in this country is going to help us.

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  5. To all fellow investors out here and there in this vast internet,

    Bestino is bidding time, while we lay here and rot.

    Latest is the gang is there to sign a deal..when., and if it's real, only time will tell...and how we are going to benefit from all this crap is another matter altogether.

    What happenned to the action committee that was supposed to start rolling after May 15?

    Why don't we all admit for the fact that we can't do nothing about the quandry we have put ourselves into. We should put that to a poll here.

    Do you really think that anybody in this country is going to help us.

    May 26, 2010 11:38 PM

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  6. dont waste our time to think & analyse whether it's scam or not,think how and when we get our money..should we think the thief that stole our money is a good or bad person?no,we shouldt thint that thing what we should think is how to get our money back

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  7. Dear Anonymous May 28, 2010 12:41 PM,

    The first problem that we are facing is that a lot of people still think that this is not a scam. That is why all calls to action has not been successful. Once (and if) it has been determined that this is a scam, only then it will be easier to get people together to take action.

    You may be convinced that this is a scam. Unfortunately, a lot of other people are not.

    You are right that we need to think how to get our money back. Perhaps you can come up with some initial suggestions and then we can all brain-storm together.

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  8. Ok,first thing is try to gather as many as possible bestino investor through this blog,this blog should be easy to access,when we google search 'Bestino',this blog didnt appear,this blog only appear under 'Blogs'.So that's why this blog didnt have many comments and follower from investor like Fortune Sense.

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  9. Page ranking improves once more people use a site. One way to improve ranking is to pay Google to make sure the site is always on the first page of searches. I am not prepared to do this. If anyone knows of any other method of improving the page ranking, please do advice.

    One good way of advertising the blog was suggested through one of the comments in the post 'An Open Letter to Bestino' (just click on the link to the right side of the blog). Pass the word to your agent and get him/her to inform all the other investors.

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  10. Definite scam!

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  11. Getting together all Bestino investors is not an easy task. I reckon hardly 10 percent of all investors have access or understanding of the internet, maybe even this blog.

    If some agent could get a master list of all investors names and addresses, contact them, then this mass gathering/signature campaign/whatever could come into a reality. As it is I feel there are hardly 10 investors here posting their honest comments.

    Lets just pray hard to God to help us overcome the miseries that some greedy people have put us into.

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  12. Bestino has got lots of assets in this country itself, like Bestino Oil and others, in India and China, etc. too. Do check out their website
    www.bestino.com/v2/
    and see how many other companies they own. Somebody has to go to the ROC and enquire to the actual status of each individual company that they have a share in. It will only cost us 10 ringgit to make a search for one company. So hope somebody out there gets the ball rolling. PNG is just another diversion

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  13. Date 7th June 2010

    Dear Investors,

    As agreed earlier we would like to update you on matters pertaining to Bestino.

    The Chinese investor who was supposed to purchase the rights to the mines has selected only the best mines, that is, those with high prospective yields and has rejected the remaining mines.

    The decision has resulted in a drastic reduction in the sale price. As a consequence of this decision we have not been able to conclude the deal.

    We are currently in the process of renegotiating with the hope of getting a higher price, such that we can return your entire capital.

    Kindly bear with us while the negotiations continues. We will keep you updated on the progress and we hope to return your funds as early as possible, especially if 2012 is gonna be sooner or later.

    Yours insincerely,
    Flying Teapots from the planet Gong

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  14. http://www.bestino.com/v2/

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  15. bestino in ss2 branch will going to closed down on 31/8/2010

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  16. I say we take action. Each time I call the staff at bestino says the bosses are going to HK to talk terms. The latest was they are going on 10th August 2010 to Hong Kong.

    Just let me know what is to be done.

    betrayed57

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  17. Hi, Can anyone update the latest update. I as a retired person have invested my entire savings and i used the dividen as my monthly income. Now, I'm deeply in trouble. Its almost more than a year and no good news.

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  18. Now I really believe that Bestino is really a big scam! If they really honest in returning our money, with all the assets and factory that they have, their other business which is currently in operation, sure they have generate not some.. but more and more income.. which they can use some of the income to pay us gradually..
    Why in the world they have to use an excuse of selling their refinery or factory or whatsoever in the other side of the world to get the fund? This is 10000% a purposely made up reason not to pay us.. they are buying time.. and try to drag things as long as they can so that when we investors feel tired of waiting and waiting, then.. the issue of paying our money will fade away as a morning breeze.. this is their trick.. for making us not to take up legal action against them..
    fist they said, they will pay us last Oct, then, goes to Dec 09, then.. before CNY 10 the same promise been given to all of the innocent investors. then.. again.. the gradma told us the same old story to make us sleep.. bla bla bla.. until now.. it is already October 10, just around the conner it will be going to Nov.. then.. hahaha.. we all wait wait and wait.. and hopping.. when at the same time, all the directors, enjoying their life and vacation in HK..
    Anyway.. to all the people that purposely delay in returning our money or.. purposely 'steal' our money.. remember.. there is always Karma, YinYang that will teach someones lesson of what he or she did in life. You make our life hard by stealing our money.. one day.. God will pay even worst to you..

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  19. There was a sms circulated in December, that they will pay us back our money 10% in december and the balance will be paid in 4 months. But today is 30 dec 2010, no money received yet. Very disappointing.

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  20. Is this blog still alive? I just saw this after a friend by chance stumble on it. We should revive this blog and get everyone we know who has invested in Bestino to sign up. Collectively we can move Bank Negara to come up with some solution.

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  21. dear friend, bestino has no gold mines. only got refinery which is on lease. these things are not worth anything. dont get buff about selling gold mines to chinese govt. understand....

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  22. why be greedy? no businese can afford 3% per month and there is still the commision to pay. every thing in, it comes to 60% per year. their agents are only interested in their commisions and the businese is a ponzi scheme. so where got money to pay when only about 100million is left.bye bye

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  23. by the way the previous two comments are posted by me "gary"

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  24. We need to confront them and get some of our monies back. I heard that there is planned demostration on 29/01 in front of thier office in Ipoh. Is it true ?

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  25. this is gary. i heard too. but dont do anythink against the law. bad for you too. should open direct dialog with the boss and top people.show every think black and white. dont let them bluff. that is my stand.

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  26. If Bank Negara is in this investigation, why is it taking such a long time to get the results? Since it's supported by the government, shouldn't the case be settled by now??? Do something as we really worked hard for the $$$! Don't give us empty promises & it's already been more than 1 year!

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  27. To those looking at this posting, please note that investors have been using the posting titled "An Open Letter to Bestino" to communicate.

    You can click on the link on the right or use the below url:
    http://besti-news.blogspot.com/2010/05/open-letter-to-bestino.html

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  28. latest news: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/02/21/macau-hand-in-ipoh-gold-scam/

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  29. I als invested my hard-earned money into Bestino. Does anyone know if any company (other than Bank Negara) has sued them?

    Does anyone here sueing or thinking of sueing Bestino? What kind of action plan you have done?

    Please email me at nzmisc08@gmail.com . Let's do something to get our money back!

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  30. I am also one of the investors. My agent told me that Krishnan is going to HK and everything will be solved soon. Is this true? Or is this one of those cock and bull stories? I am retired and all my hard earned money is with Bestino. How am I going to get it back?
    And most of all what is Bank Negara doing about it? Where were they when Bestino started? And why wait until the last to raid their offices? Are the BNM officers in cahoots with Bestino?

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  31. I'm also one of the investor. My sad story, invested in May 2009 and June 2009 they were raided. Didn't see any dividen. So disappointed and its been 2 years since invested and so frustrating. I just called Bank Negara, Bestino will have hearing in this month July 26. Yet to know the outcome from the hearing. Looking forward to get the money back but how???? We should all work this out together....!!

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  32. I heard few bus went to putrajaya, is that true ?

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  33. What is the purpose of the bus heading to Putrajaya? Pls update...

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  34. Comeon man Najib. In the spirit if !Malaysia will you get to the bottom of this and get our money back for us so that we can invest in government schemes? And be aware! next time do not trust any such scheme in Malaysia

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