General News of Sunday, 23 December 2018
It’s increasingly becoming apparent that embattled gold collectible firms, Menzgold Ghana Limited, may not survive the current crisis, as a Circuit Court in Kumasi has ordered the sale of its properties.
The court ruled that all properties in Menzgold’s Office at Amakom and Patase in Kumasi be auctioned publicly.
The ruling comes at a time when reports have started emerging that the Managing Director of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, aka ‘NAM 1’ has allegedly ‘fled’ the country.
It’s unclear where Nana Appiah Mensah has travelled to, and clients of the company, who cannot retrieve their funds, have been pleading passionately with government to address their concerns.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) consistently warned depositors to be careful with their dealings with Menzgold.
Some have been demonstrating across the country to drum home their concerns.
One of the affected customers (name withheld) claimed her mother was dying gradually due to her inability to retrieve monies with Menzgold.
Already, about 100 retired and active police officers at the Kasoa Divisional Police Command in the Central Region have filed a writ at the Accra High Court against Menzgold in a bid to retrieve their investments.
Menzgold’s woes started on September 7, 2018, when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed it to suspend its gold trading operations with the public.
The directive, according to SEC, was based on the fact that Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients without a valid licence from the commission.
The move, SEC explained, was in contravention of Section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.”
The company was, however, allowed to continue its “other businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of gold.”
Despite its inability to meet the needs of customers, management members of the company have been accused of leading ostentatious lifestyle.
Some angry staff of the firm have alleged that management members are “secretly selling” off assets of the company and keeping the proceeds for themselves with the intention of relocating outside the country to enjoy their booty.
The staff, in a statement, disclosed that “we also wish to inform clients that management has started selling off assets for personal gain and to also settle their close friends.
“We confirm the travel plans of management members outside the country. Some tried and have been deported.”
Earlier Menzgold ordered its staff to go on forced leave to protect them from angry customers.
But it has turned out that the move was simply to pave way for management members to ‘sell’ the company’s assets secretly.
According to the staff, “It’s unfortunate to say that apart from certain external forces which caused this crisis, internal misappropriation is a key factor.”
Meanwhile, Menzgold has petitioned Parliament over its inability to pay clients.
Menzgold wants the MPs to serve as arbiters in their impasse with the SEC.
In the petition sent to the Finance Committee of Parliament, Menzgold asked for “a comprehensive payment plan to pay completely all customers who wish to discontinue their trading of gold collectibles.”
“Secondly, we call for the halting of the online migration until the matter is fully resolved pending directives from the regulators.”
In a related development, a client of Menzgold, Roger Knauf, has petitioned the Presidency and five other key state institutions in a bid to retrieve his monies from the beleaguered gold dealership firm.
Mr. Knauf also sent the petition to the Attorney General, CID Headquarters, Interpol (Ghana), Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Financial Intelligence Centre, Bank of Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Registrar General’s Department.
Amanda Clinton of Clinton, Amoo Lamptey, Barnsbury Chambers, lawyer of the petitioner, is asking the institutions to take steps to get CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, to return to Ghana.
The lawyer claimed Nana Appiah Mensah has relocated to South Africa.
“We have it on good authority that Mr. Nana Appiah Mensah has flown on his private jet with his family to South Africa, as this incident with his companies Menzgold Ghana Ltd/ Brew Marketing Consult Ltd worsens.
“We have also heard rumours that he may have returned briefly in order to liquidate assets,” the statement read.
The client, through his lawyers, asked the Attorney General to work in conjunction with all other state institutions to bring Nana Appiah Mensah to book.
“We humbly request that the Attorney General’s Department works with all government departments including the President’s Office; CID Headquarters, Interpol (Ghana), EOCO, Financial Intelligence Centre, Bank of Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Registrar General’s Department, as well as our office so a coordinated attempt can be made to preserve Menzgold Ghana Ltd/Brew Marketing Consult Ltd’s assets, claw back money taken from Ghana, trace monies removed from the accounts in cash and coordinate with Interpol globally to claw back any remaining investors monies even whilst the criminal investigation is being conducted since this is standard protocol globally and in high-profile public interest cases in Ghana.”