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EOCO secures Menzgold assets

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh
Nana Appiah Mensah
Nana Appiah Mensah

Thirty-two vehicles and an unspecified number of landed assets of Menzgold, a gold dealership company, are under the watch of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO).

A highly placed source at EOCO told the Daily Graphic in Accra on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, that the office was making progress in locating the assets of the company and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1.

The source pleaded with the public to volunteer information that would lead to the tracing of more assets of the company and its CEO.

Assets frozen

The Director of EOCO, Mr K. K. Amoah, on January 14, 2019 told the Daily Graphic that the office had frozen the bank accounts of Menzgold.

He said EOCO was still looking for more accounts to freeze, while investigations continued.

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Customers demand action

Meanwhile, some aggrieved customers of Menzgold have asked the government to, as a matter of urgency, secure a court order to temporarily take over the offices of the company (rented or owned) to prevent the owner and his accomplices from moving funds from vaults containing huge sums of money to unknown destinations offshore.

The customers, who spoke with the Daily Graphic on grounds of anonymity, said they had reliable information from some workers of the company that NAM1 still had billions of Ghana cedis and other foreign currencies stashed in vaults in some of its branches across the country.

According to them, NAM1 built special vaults in some of the branches, including the head office located along the N1 Highway, near Dzorwulu, and the East Legon branch, because he had the intention of operating a bank and needed the vaults in all the branches of the company.

The customers also asked the government to move in quickly to identify all NAM1’s accounts with various banks in the country and freeze those accounts immediately.

 “What is happening is serious and we want quick action from the government using the legal route to salvage the funds left in the system to be able to pay customers something,” one of the aggrieved customers said.

Govt hunts for NAM1

A special delegation of security operatives from Accra went to  Dubai last week in connection with Nana Mensah’s arrest and possible extradition from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The delegation gathered first-hand information regarding the arrest by Emerati authorities.

NAM1 was arrested in Dubai on December 4, 2018 to facilitate investigations into suspicions that he had been involved in a gold trading deal gone bad within the Emerati jurisdiction.

Background

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on September 12, 2018, directed Menzgold to shut down its investment operations with immediate effect 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 the Menzgold CEO,  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.

The letter, dated September 7, 2018 and signed by Paul Ababio, the Deputy Director-General of the SEC, warned that the failure of Menzgold to comply with the directive would lead to the regulator employing other relevant measures under the law to enforce compliance.