General News of Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Protesting customers of troubled gold dealership firm, Menzgold Company Limited, have been prevented from entering the Manhyia Palace by the Ashanti regional Police Command.
According to the customers, they wanted to call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to intervene in the ongoing crisis with the gold company.
The regional Police Command has also described Tuesday’s demonstration by the aggrieved customers of Menzgold in Kumasi as “illegal” and “unfortunate.”
“It’s unfortunate. It is just unfortunate, because per the Public Order Act if you want to embark on a demonstration, you write to the police. You don’t resort to such behaviour,” the Command’s Deputy Public Relations Officer ASP Godwin Ahianyor told Starr News.
The customers of the gold dealership firm are protesting due to their inability to access their locked up funds. Several efforts by the customers targeted at the company to get their monies have failed to yield any positive results.
The customers since July last year, have been demanding the payment of their principal investments after the gold dealership company was instructed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to halt their gold trading operations.
The protestors have blocked roads at Amakom and other parts of Kumasi burning car tyres to express their anger.
They are also calling on the government to come to their aid and help them access their locked up cash.
Speaking to Ultimate FM’s Isaac Bediako, ASP Ahianyor said but for the timely intervention of the fire service “we don’t know what would have happened.”
He said the Police will quash the protest before it degenerates. “That we are not going to allow because this demonstration itself is an unlawful one.”
Customers of the troubled gold trading firm last year staged a similar demonstration at the company’s Dzorwulu office in Accra.
It comes after a court in Kumasi gave an order last week for properties of the firm to be sold to settle outstanding and held up premiums of customers.
Meanwhile, Parliament has turned down a request of the company to intervene with their current impasse with its customers.
Speaking to the media after the petition to Parliament, Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament Mr Mark Assibey-Yeboah said the Finance Committee warned the gold trading firm about the illegality of its operations.
“The government warned those who put their monies there… and as late as February 2017 Menzgold came to the Finance Committee of Parliament and then we told them what they are doing was illegal.
“At that point, if anyone wanted to take out their funds they would have been able to do so. I think they are crying over spilt milk. People are comparing this one to DKM. DKM was regulated by the Central Bank.
“So in a sense, it was like one of the seven banks that have gone under water. But Menzgold was not regulated by SEC neither was it regulated by the Bank of Ghana,” he said.
Menzgold in its petition is asking for “a comprehensive payment plan to pay off completely all customers who wish to discontinue their trading of gold collectibles.”