The Financial Court in Accra has frozen the assets of Menzgold Ghana Limited, a gold trading firm, following an application brought before it by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
The EOCO had, earlier this month, frozen the accounts of the companies run by the Chief Executive of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1.
On January 21, 2019, the Financial Division of the High Court, presided over by Ms Justice Helen Amoah, in suit number MSFT/09/2019, endorsed EOCO’s action and accordingly directed that the landed properties and vehicles of the affected companies be frozen until further notice.
The rest of the affected assets are Zylofon Art Complex, Brew Marketing Consult, Star Madrid Football Club, Zylofon Music and Media Company Limited, Brew Energy Company Limited and G-Tech Automobile Service.
Also, two properties located at Trassaco Valley, an uncompleted residence and 510 acres of land have also been frozen.
A news release signed by the Head of Public Affairs of EOCO, Ms Jacqueline Avotri, and issued in Accra yesterday said per the court’s order, all employees of the affected companies, relatives and friends who were in possession of any such properties had to surrender them to EOCO in their own interest.
“Failure to do so will constitute contempt of court, which will attract the appropriate sanctions,” it warned.
It accordingly entreated the public to assist EOCO by giving information to facilitate the retrieval of all vehicles and properties not listed in the freezing order.
Meanwhile, the Lands Commission has written to all divisional directors and regional lands officers to interrogate their registers to find out landed assets registered in the names of NAM 1, Rose Tetteh, Abigail Tetteh, Benedicta Appiah, all directors of Menzgold, as well as Brew Marketing Consult Limited, Menzgold Ghana Limited, Brew Energy Limited, Zylofon Media and Star Madrid.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Sulemana Mahama, signed the request, dated January 25, 2019.
Thousands of Menzgold customers have had their money locked up in the company since August 2018.
Some hit the streets to demand the release of their money while Menzgold and the authorities engaged in a war of words.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on September 12, 2018, directed the gold trading firm to shut down its investment operations immediately for contravening the Securities Industry Act, 2016 (Act 929).
The SEC order also warned Menzgold to halt advertising its investment business and desist from creating new contracts with depositors.
According to a letter addressed to Nana Mensah by the SEC, investigations conducted by the regulator found that Menzgold's business, which involved the purchase/deposit of gold from the public and contracts issued with guaranteed returns with clients, was a capital market activity which could not be conducted without a valid licence issued by the SEC.