Bengal Trading Limited
This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the Financial Supervision Act 1988.
BENGAL TRADING LIMITED (dissolved) (“BTL”)
Company Number 019504C
BTL was incorporated on the Isle of Man on 5th March 1982 under the above company number.
BTL failed to fulfil its statutory filing responsibilities after incorporation and, in particular, submitted no annual returns to the Companies Registry. As a result of these failures the Chief Registrar compulsorily struck the company from the Isle of Man Company Register on 1st September 1987. The Chief Registrar also formally declared the company dissolved on that date.
At the date of its dissolution the Directors of BTL, recorded at the Companies Registry, were:
Bryan Anthony Connelly
162 Hogg Street
Australia (appointed: 01/02/83)
Kenneth Wilburn Bratcher
14 Rue Du Fort Wallis
2714 Luxembourg (appointed 01/02/83)
2 Rue Du Bois
Luxembourg (appointed 01/02/83)
The members of the company, at the date of dissolution, and their respective shareholdings, recorded at the Companies Registry were:
Owl Investments Limited
1 Athol Street
Isle Of Man
1 x £1.00 share acquired 05/03/82
Weatstone Investments Limited
1 Athol Street
Isle Of Man
1x £1.00 share acquired 05/03/82
Kenneth William Bratcher
14 Rue Du Fort Wallis
2714 – Luxembourg
1 x £1.00 share acquired 17/02/83
Total paid up share capital = £3.00
The company was struck off in terms of Section 273(5) of the Companies Act 1931 (an Act of Tynwald)
Section 273(5)(a) of the Companies Act 1931 states that where a company is struck off in terms of Section 273(5):- “The liability, if any, of every director, managing officer, and member of the company shall continue and may be enforced as if the company had not been dissolved.”
In August 1996 an application was received to restore BTL to the register. The application was made by an alleged Creditor of BTL in order “to pursue a claim against the company for monies owed”. The application was accepted subject to certain conditions being met. The required conditions were not met and BTL was, therefore, struck off again with effect from 10th March 1997. No information is held regarding the progress of the alleged Creditors claim.
BTL remains dissolved.
Over a number of years the Commission has received enquiries regarding “20 Year Gold Certificates” purportedly issued by BTL.
The Commission has been unable to establish any evidence whatsoever that such certificates are genuine.
A number of facts relating to the certificates strongly suggest that they are bogus. Namely:-
The certificates are purported to be dated 11th January 1983 and are purported to be signed by a B H Connelly on behalf of BTL on that date. They purport to “mature” on 11th January 2003. As noted above B H Connelly was not appointed as a Director of BTL until 1 February 1983.
The certificates purport at maturity to entitle the bearer to amounts of “pure” gold ranging from 100 metric tonnes to 1000 metric tonnes. This is a quite unfeasibly large amount of gold to be purportedly held by one company. Worldwide gold production is currently less than 4000 metric tonnes per year. Publicly available information estimates that total worldwide gold reserves held by central banks amount to only 33,000 metric tonnes. The total United States Federal Gold Reserves in May 2001 amount to only 7,700 metric tonnes!
The certificates claim to have been countersigned by Lincoln Bank & Trust Company BWI. The Commission has never been able to adequately identify this institution.
The certificates seen by the Commission bear what at first sight appears to be the seal of BTL. Closer examination reveals that this is clearly not the seal of BTL as it also bears the text “OVERSEAS AGENT”. No such “Overseas Agent” is identified.
In view of the above the Commission have serious concerns that anybody who has obtained these purported “Gold Certificates” upon payment of a fee may be the victim of a sophisticated fraud. There is no indication that BTL is or was the instigator of such suspected fraud and initial suspicion must rest upon the person or persons unknown who have taken payment in respect of the certificates.
Anybody who believes that they are in possession of these purported “Gold Certificates” and who may have made a payment to receive them is encouraged by the Commission to report the matter to their local Police. They may wish to bring the contents of this Notice to the attention of their Local Police. They should be prepared to explain exactly how the “Certificates” came into their possession.
The Commission reiterates that Bengal Trading Limited, Company Number 019504C does not exist as a legal entity and has not existed for some considerable period of time.