NAM1 collected ¢1.68 billion from 16,001 people – Prosecutors

NAM1 is facing criminal prosecution in Ghana over MenzGold collapse[/caption] Details have emerged that chief executive of MenzGold Ghana Liminted, Nana Appiah Mensah, used the defunct gold dealership firm to defraud 16,001 people to the tune of over 1.68 billion cedis within 20 months. Court documents filed by State prosecutors Friday morning and sighted by showed the 35-year-old businessman breached some laws of Ghana to defraud his victims a total of 1,680,920,000. He was arraigned early Friday morning on charges of defrauding by false pretence and two counts of abetment to wit taking. He has been remanded into custody to assist the police CID in investigations. Prosecutors said between January 2017 and September 2018 in Greater Accra with the intent to defraud, obtained the consent of one Francis Agodzie and 16,000 others to part with cash of 1,680,920,000. The man who was arrested on Thursday upon his return from Dubai where he was being held in custody, was said to have represented to his victims that he “would invest” the money on their behalf when “you knew at the time of making it to be false” His wife and sister, Benedicta Appiah and Rose Tetteh who are currently at large, have also been charged by police prosecutors. Each of them faces two counts of abetment to defraud by false pretence and two counts of abetment to carrying out banking business without a licence. A warrant has since January this year been issued for the arrest of the two. Two companies owned by Nana Appiah Mensah, Brew Marketing Consult and Menzgold Ghana Limited are also facing charges of defrauding by false pretence and carrying out deposit-taking business without licence. NAM1 was facing misdemeanor charges in the UAE, but was acquitted and discharged in April by the Emirati court. A number of Ghanaians, especially customers of the defunct gold dealership company whose huge sums of investments have locked, have since been pushing for the government and the Police CID to cause NAM1’s extradition to Ghana. He eventually landed at the Kotoka International Airport Thursday but was arrested in connection with…. Police on Friday, January 9 declared NAM1 wanted as they secured a warrant for his arrest triggering an Interpol red alert at a time that the whereabouts of the man was unknown. “We are looking for him [Nana Appiah Mensah] to be arrested and that we have even obtained a warrant of arrest,” Director of the Police CID, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, said in a statement on the same day. Government later announced NAM1 was being held in custody in Dubai for criminal offence arising out of his business deals with a Dubai-based company Horizon Royal Diamond. The police was forced to secure the warrant following a series of protests from aggrieved customers of Menzgold across the country who had been demanding a refund of their investments running into millions of dollars.

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Background The Bank of Ghana in August last year issued a public notice that Menzgold Ghana Limited is not licensed and has no authority to engage in the solicitation, receipt of money or investments and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients which is captured in Section 6 (1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930). It also hinted of impending sanctions, saying after several cautions to Menzgold, it has started discussions with relevant regulatory authorities to sanction them for breaching the law. Though Menzgold called the bluff of the central bank, it was forced to shut down in September 2018 by the SEC. As part of the shutdown notice, the firm was ordered not to take new contracts (investments). SEC claimed evaluation of Menzgold’s documentations show the company does not have the licences to trade in gold, and that, its operations are in breach of Act 929 “as well as a threat to unsuspecting and uninformed investors”. The company has since been in tango with SEC as well as customers and investors who are demanding their returns and investments. But when the issues appeared to have escalated due to pressure from the customers, Nana Appiah Mensah run to parliament with a petition to intervene so the company can resume operations and pay its customers. The company pleaded with the House to particularly intervene in the impasse between it and the SEC, which the company claimed has caused delays in paying its customers interest on their investments. The company claimed in the petition to the Finance Committee of Parliament that the complete shutdown of its gold collectible vault by SEC has “caused a lot of serious challenges for the company and its customers [both local and foreign]”. Accordingly, the firm wants parliament to “intervene and help resolve this matter amicably”.
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