The Police Criminal Investigations Department says it has obtained a warrant for the arrest of the owner and chief executive of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, who is alleged to have jumped bail.
In a new twist to the case that has triggered series of protests from aggrieved customers across the country, the Police said Wednesday afternoon that they have since December 2018 been investigating the Menzgold saga.
“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 to clarify his earlier interview with 3news.com correspondent.
Her statement was however silent on when the warrant was obtained for the arrest of Mr. Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1 and on the exact reasons for which the man is being sought after by the Police.
Nana Appiah Mensah is said to have fled the country to South Africa on the back of pressures from aggrieved customers whose huge sums of investments have locked up with the company following the shutting down of its operations.
Legal practitioner Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko who is said to be an influential figure at the Presidency on Tuesday claimed Mr. Appiah Mensah was arrested but absconded.
“I understand the owner of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, has breached his bail condition and absconded,” he said in a Facebook post but did not give further details as to when he was arrested and by who and how he was able to escape.
When contacted Wednesday morning to establish the veracity of the claim by Mr. Otchere-Darko, the CID Director, DCOP Addo-Danquah, said as far as the Police were concerned, they have never arrested or invited Nana Appiah Mensah.
According to her, records at the Police headquarters showed no complaint against the Nana Appiah Mensah as at Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
However, she told 3news.com that she is aware the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating Mr. Apppiah Mensah who is said to be hiding in South Africa due to agitation by customers of his Menzgold who have been demanding for their investments.
But she later issued a statement to debunk that assertion, claiming such conclusions were “erroneous”.
“The headline is very misleading with distorted contents and not the true representation of the telephone interview I granted one Peter of TV3 about the arrest of Nana Appiah Mensah alias NAM 1”.
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”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana