The police have indicated the disbursement of the GHS2.5 million received from the Chief Executive officer of the defunct gold dealership firm, MenzGold, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as Nam 1 will be determined by the court.
This was after the Police, acting on the advice from the Attroney-General, deposited the money at the Bank of Ghana.
Accordingly, the Police say they have deposited the money at the central bank.
“The said amount has been deposited in the Police Exhibit account at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for the attention of the Court.
“The amount is part of investigations into petitions received from some customers of MenzGold Ghana Company Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited, currently before the Accra High Court against suspect Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as Nam 1.
“We would like to state that the decision on the disbursement of the money would be determined by the court,” the police said in a statement on Tuesday, October 24.
The Company had earlier indicated it would commence payment of matured investments from Friday October 20, 2023. Handing over the money to the Police was therefore to set this process in motion.
The Company’s operations were shut down in September 2018 by the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting in collaboration with other state agencies, following concerns that the company did not have the appropriate license to either undertake deposit taking or dealing in gold as it purported to do.
Menzgold had for years operated as a recipient of gold collectibles acquired by customers who obtained them by making a deposit at a related marketing company.
State Prosecutors have since 2019 attempted to prosecute Nam1 following allegations by his customers that their investments remain locked up since the company was shut down. Documents filed in court estimate the outstanding cash to be in excess of GH¢1.68 billion.
The prosecutors told the court that Menzgold Ghana Company Limited was first registered as Menzbank Ghana Company Limited in 2013 whereas Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited was registered in December 2016.
The two are sister companies owned by NAM 1 – a Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold Ghana Company Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited. He is also the majority shareholder of both companies.
NAM 1 is accused of operating Menzgold Ghana Company Limited as a deposit-taking business under the guise of gold trading, without the requisite licence.
According to the Attorney-General’s Office, the business module of Menzgold was that Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited sold gold, gold collectibles and gold ore to the public for the purpose of investing same in Menzgold, when Brew Marketing Consult did not have a licence to sell gold.
On August 22, 2016, the Minerals Commission, the prosecution statement said, granted Menzgold a three-year licence to purchase and export gold.
The terms of the licence stipulated that Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited was to purchase gold from small-scale miners for export only.
“Menzgold Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited breached its restricted gold purchase and exportation licence by selling gold to persons in Ghana,” the prosecution said.
“In 2016, NAM 1 and Menzgold Company established what they called gold vault market which provided the public with a platform to trade in gold and gold collectibles,” the A-G added.
Additionally, the A-G said NAM 1 and Menzgold Company, in an attempt to circumvent the requirements of the law, set up Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited for the purposes of selling gold to the public to enable Menzgold Company to take the gold deposits.
“Between 2017 and 2018, NAM 1 and Menzgold invited members of the public to purchase gold and gold collectibles from Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited and deposit same with it,” it said.
In various forms of invitations, the A-G said the accused person, representing Menzgold Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult as deposit-taking businesses, invited the members of the public to deposit purchased gold and gold collectibles in return for profits ranging from seven per cent to 10 per cent.
“In response to this invitation, over 16,000 members of the public deposited huge sums of money with the expectation that they were dealing with an authorised deposit-taking business which would guarantee them the returns as advertised by the accused persons,” the prosecution added.
The A-G added that Menzgold and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited continued with their operations, in spite of several engagements and warning notices issued by the relevant agencies.
“Meanwhile, members of the public started facing challenges either with delayed payments or reduced dividends; a number of cheques issued by NAM 1 and Menzgold Company Ltd were also dishonoured,” the prosecution noted in the charge sheet.
On September 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed Menzgold to suspend its business for operating without a licence from the SEC.
Between November 2016 and March 2019, the A-G said many customers of the accused persons petitioned the police complaining that they had invested huge sums of money with the accused persons but were unable to realise their investments after persistent efforts.
Investigations revealed that the accused persons, under false pretenses, took more than GH¢1.68 billion from their customers which they had not been able to recover.
The Attorney-General said investigations further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused person transferred huge sums of depositors’ funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd to Zylofon Media, a company related to NAM 1, adding: “Huge sums of money were also withdrawn by NAM 1 or transferred into his bank account for his personal use”.
“Investigations have established that the money fraudulently obtained from depositors and dishonestly appropriated by the accused persons remained unpaid as Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd’s licence was revoked.
“In the course of investigations, a number of vehicles were recovered from the accused person, which have been auctioned, and the proceeds kept in an exhibit account. Some gold bars were also recovered from the accused persons,” the prosecution added.
Verification and possible payment
Nam 1 in August, 2023 announced that over sixty percent of claims submitted for validation were plagued with several defects.
Menzgold on July 30 had called on its clients to submit supporting documents for validation to facilitate payments.
The company enumerated a number of defects including irregularities or inconsistencies of the records on the face of the documents, fake (fraudulent) supporting documents, fake authorized signatures, among other alleged defects.
Menzgold in a statement, however, urged clients that fall within the over 60 percent bracket but “believe they have honest, genuine and eligible claims to proceed to verify their gold trading transactions status, thus; ascertain as to the validity, invalidity or otherwise of the purported transactions and hence, an eligibility or ineligibility of any claim whatsoever.”
Reaction of Customers
Convener of the Aggrieved Menzgold customers, Fred Folson is excited about the latest development but equally cautious.
He told host of Hot Edition, Alfred Ocansey on October 20, 2023, that their information points to an amount of GHC2.5 million cedis being presented and not GHC5 million. He maintained that all customers are entitled to payment.
“it is good. At least, he has not deposited money to a neutral body. Not the bedroom payment that he was doing in the past. When we are briefed, we will know the purpose of the money. To the best of our knowledge no customer has been verified and no customer is disqualified. Every customer is entitled to his or her money. He should bring in more money. Our money is with him. We are watching and monitoring” he stated.