It happened in early 1995 with R5 and Pyram when hundreds of customers lost their investments to these two unlicensed deposit-taking companies, bringing a lot of lives and businesses to their knees.
Enter 2015 and 2016 and the infamous DKM and God is Love schemes come into the limelight after they reneged on paying various sums of money in promised dividends to customers.
On the quiet a lot of people have been duped over the years by susu and loans companies whose customers continue to lick their wounds after realising that their lifetime sweat has gone down the drain.
Fast forward to 2018 and some Ghanaians are going through real hard times with their investments with some companies.
Yesterday, the Daily Graphic carried a story about the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) being on a manhunt for the directors and operators of a crypto-currency syndicate, Global Coin Community Health (GCCH), who have allegedly swindled more than 3,000 people of over GHc4 million in deposits.
And in today’s edition of the Daily Graphic, we carry the report of a demonstration by aggrieved customers of Menzgold and their subsequent petition to the President of the Republic and appeal to state institutions to help them retrieve their fortunes.
The whopping number of about 1.8 million people is an indication of the huge sums of deposits that are locked up in investments.
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But the Daily Graphic asks: what is in the blood of the Ghanaian that he or she is so impervious to advice and warnings?
We note that the Bank of Ghana (BoG), from time to time, alerts the population to reports of scammers infiltrating the financial and investment sector and admonishes potential investors to be wary of such investment avenues.
We recall one such caution by the BoG about the operations of Menzgold, but the very customers that the warning was supposed to protect were the ones that piercingly criticised the BoG for the caution.
Just early this month, the BoG issued a strong warning to the citizenry to desist from investing in several companies because they had not been issued licences to carry out deposit-taking activities.
But that was not heeded.
We are really baffled by the calibre of people who are said to be patronising these unlicensed companies — high-ranking personalities such as
Members of Parliament (MPs), military officers, senior civil servants and the highly educated.
If such well-placed members of society can fall for these scams, then one can imagine what happens to others who, most of the time, look up to such personalities for direction and inspiration.
The only conclusion the Daily Graphic draws from all this is that greed has taken over the better part of the Ghanaian.
Such people think they can only make it through shortcut and by short-changing the system. We are unequivocal that they should be made to suffer for their wrong decision.
Under no circumstance should the state use
its scarce resources to pay for the money such people have lost to these unlicensed companies.
If the state does that, then whoever loses money in any business should ask for reimbursement from the government.
Already, the economy is suffering from the indecision of some directors and owners of some banks who decided to misapply customers’ savings and bailouts.
We say no! Enough is enough. Depositors took their individual decisions and they should be prepared to live with the consequences.