The multi-billion-shilling insider lending at the troubled Chase Bank left a trail of financial ruin across the country as thousands of account holders were blocked from accessing their money.
When the news of the bank being placed under receivership broke, desperate account holders – some of whom had skipped work or abandoned their businesses to salvage their deposits – were shocked to find that the bank was not operational.
There were stories of account holders who broke down and wept on finding barricaded doors at the bank's branches across the country.
An importer from Kisumu painfully narrated how he had deposited Sh3.4 million in the bank, which he had planned to use to clear car imports landing at the Port of Mombasa next week.
A watchman in Eldoret returned home in tears upon learning that he could not get his March salary.
Elsewhere in Kisii, a women's group that had gone to withdraw Sh800,000 to close a land deal returned home empty-handed.
One woman from Mombasa was left in tears on discovering that the money she had painstakingly saved to pay for her baby's day care had vanished and there was no bank employee to explain to her what to do next.
Even as the Central Bank of Kenya announced that it had placed the bank under receivership, traders and workers were left wondering when or whether they would ever get their hard-earned money.