General News of Monday, 14 January 2019
Source: Free Press
Even before the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) waded into the Menzgold saga, there were calls by some faceless youth on the wanted CEO of the company, Nana Appiah Mensah to become a member of parliament (MP) for the Kasoa area, until it emerged that the calls were deliberately put up by his own team, as part of his ‘deceptive’ schemes.
The showmanship was made to look as if some youth in the Kasoa Municipality were behind posters with Nana Appiah Mensah’s images, urging him to run for office in 2020, your authoritative Free Press has gathered.
Although Nana Appiah swiftly debunked the calls, claiming he was not interested in becoming an MP, and that he was only poised to create one million decent jobs in Ghana within five years, detailed information gathered from sources close to NAM1 indicates that it was all made up promises to deceive his victims.
For instance, to capture Kasoa alone, he dashed the chief of the area, Nai Mohammed Sani Seidi Yusif a brand new Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle, and further promised to build him a new palace.
From the hiring of a private jet, big cars, and big office apartments, the use of celebrities were all part of his calculations to make the menzgold business look more executive and attractive, our source (name withheld) has said.
As if he only used the celebrities to make Menzgold look flamboyant, it is believed that most of the celebrities were convinced enough with the business model, with the likes of Jackie Appiah, Shatta Wale, Bull Dog, Sarkodie and others investing huge sums of monies.
Readers will recall that apart from the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission warning investors, Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori Atta had also described people who invested with MenzGold as ‘greedy’ ones, who did not think before investing their monies.
This was not the first time a government official had come out to condemn people who invested with Investment Companies, after being promised huge dividends.
Former President John Dramani Mahama had also made a similar statement whiles commenting on another investment company that duped Ghanaians especially in the Brong Ahafo Region during the era of the DKM scandal which occurred under his administration.
The rise and fall of Menzgold
On October 28, 2014, the Bank of Ghana discovered, in a special exercise within the Central Region, that Menzbank was operating microfinance in Kasoa under the guise of gold trading and illegally using the name “Bank”.
Then in March 11, 2015, BOG published a list of unlicensed entities operating illegality, including Menzbank. Menzbank then changed its name to “Menzbanc Ghana Company Limited”.
April 13, 2016: BOG issued a notice to warn the general public against the deposit-taking operations of Menzbanc.
July 22, 2016: BOG wrote to Menzbanc cautioning it against its unlicensed deposit-taking activity.
Aug 2, 2016: BOG invited the management of Menzbanc to a meeting on its unlicensed deposit-taking activity.
Aug 3, 2016: The company responded in writing and claimed that they were not engaging in deposit-taking activities.
Aug 16, 2016: The BoG contacted Minerals Commission and Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) on the license status of Menzbanc. Minerals Commission confirmed the company had a license only to ‘purchase gold locally… and to export same”. However, its licence with PMMC had expired.
Feb 13, 2017: BoG held another meeting on with representatives of the company.
Jul 19, 2017: BoG issued another caution letter to the company to desist from taking further deposits. Menzbanc then changed its name to Menzgold. It also informed the BOG of its subsidiary by the name “Brew Marketing Limited” where clients were directed to go and purchase the gold and deposit it with Menzgold for “dividend”.
Sept 19, 2017: Minerals Commission wrote a letter to Menzgold titled “Unauthorised Business Activities,” pointing out to Menzgold how it was in breach of the law and the Licence and that Brew Marketing had not been registered as a licensed buying agent.
Jun 2018: BoG conducted a joint visit with Minerals Commission to licensed gold traders and refineries in Accra to understand the nature of their operations. The team established that all the companies were engaged in smelting and exporting of gold with the exception of Menzgold that is engaged in the solicitation of deposits from the general public with interest rate between 7% -10% per month to customers based on the quantity of gold purchased.
Aug 6, 2018: BoG issued another warning to the general public over Menzgold but its CEO responded on twitter, jabbing the regulator to focus on failed banks.
Aug 14, 2018: Nana Appiah Mensah apologized to Bank of Ghana and said Menzgold was cooperating with the regulator to find an amicable solution.
Sept 7, 2018: SEC ordered Menzgold Ghana Limited to stop trading in gold collectibles, letting off panic and anxiety among clients.
Sept 12, 2018: Menzgold workers manhandled Joy News reporter, pregnant TV3 journalist who were covering another siege at the company’s premises.
Sep 13, 2018: Menzgold requested for a meeting with SEC. But meeting could not hold because Menzgold could not meet some conditions.
Sept 14, 2018: A group calling itself the Coalition Of Concerned Youth Of Ghana (COCYOGH) hit the streets of Kasoa in the Central Region to demonstrate against what they described as the harassment of Menzgold.
Sep 19, 2018: Menzgold customers issued threats after exhausting all avenues to receive their cash.
Sept 27, 2018: Menzgold sues BoG, SEC accusing the regulators of abuse of office and causing considerable reputational damage to the company.
Nov 21, 2018: Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta rules out bail-out for Menzgold clients, saying greed motivated clients to invest their monies in Menzgold.
Nov 27, 2018: Customers demonstrated against Menzgold Ghana Limited despite calls from the company to call it off.
Dec 4, 2018: Statement from Menzgold directing all staff to proceed on leave and return to work on December 20.
Dec 20, 2018: Another Menzgold siege as desperate clients feared Xmas without cash.
Dec 21, 2018: A client of Menzgold petitioned the Presidency and five other key state institutions in a bid to retrieve his locked up cash. Menzgold also petitioned Parliament same day, over its inability to pay clients.
Jan 8, 2019: Aggrieved customers of Menzgold defied Police orders to stage a demonstration in the Ashanti Region capital, with seven of them being arrested.
Jan 9, 2019: the Circuit Court issued the warrant for the arrest of the CEO, wanted for defrauding by false pretence and money laundering.