The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has declared the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, a fugitive wanted by the police.
The CID said it had secured a warrant from the Accra Circuit Court for the arrest of Nana Mensah, popularly known as NAM 1, and two other directors of his company.
The two directors are Rose Tetteh, his wife, and Benedicta Appiah, his sister.
Additionally, the department has triggered International Police (INTERPOL) processes in 194 countries for Nana Appiah’s arrest.
He is suspected to be hiding in either Nigeria or South Africa.
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Also, processes have been initiated to freeze all his assets, including his business and properties.
The Director-General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, confirmed the issue to the Daily Graphic and expressed certainty that NAM1 would be arrested from wherever he was hiding and handed over to the CID in Ghana, as all member states of INTERPOL had been issued the red alert as part of a manhunt for him.
She said investigations into allegations against NAM 1 commenced in December last year, building a prima facie ground prior to an arrest.
Just when they had gathered enough preliminary evidence to warrant his arrest, the police realised he was not within the country when they tried to apprehend him.
“We were convinced that he was in the country, and when we realised he was not in the country, we initiated the INTERPOL arrest procedure,” she said.
Although the police are not sure of how he left the country, Mrs Addo-Danquah said “we are looking for him to arrest him. We are yet to verify his point of exit”.
The CID boss said the department would provide further details of NAM 1, such as his phone number, possible location and address, to INTERPOL to facilitate his arrest.
Although she was not categorical about the charges that would be proffered against him, she said currently the CID was looking into the charges of money laundering, defrauding by false pretences, among others.
“There are possible offences, but further investigations will point us to which charges to proffer,” she said.
Who is Nana Appiah?
NAM 1 owns a number of businesses. He is the CEO of Brew Marketing Consult Company Limited, Menzgold Espana S.L, T.I.A. Holdings (USA), Brew Energy Company Limited, Brew Realty Company Limited and Cheetah Security Co. Limited.
He shot to prominence in 2017 with his Zylofon Media Company Limited after his association with Ghana's creative arts industry.
He subsequently signed some musicians and actors onto his Zylofon Media record label.
Some of those signed onto the record label are Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Becca, Kumi Guitar and Joyce Blessing, all musicians, along with the actor Toosweet Annan and the actress Benedicta Gafah.
Before venturing into the entertainment industry with Zylofon Media Company Limited, NAM 1 had operated a gold dealership firm, Menzgold Ghana Limited.
He also became the headline sponsor of the Ghana Premier Football League.
He is married to Rose Appiah Mensah, who is the CEO of Rozzy's Collection, a fashion shop in Accra, and they have a son.
In 2017, Menzgold came under fire from two regulators, the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which fire intensified last year.
The SEC, in a notice published in the Monday, October 2, 2018 edition of the Daily Graphic, informed the public that Menzgold Ghana Limited had "neither been licensed nor its adverts sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to carry out any activity in the capital market".
According to the notice, Menzgold was not a SEC-regulated entity because its operations contravened Section 3 (c) of the Securities Industries Act, 2016 (Act 929) which dealt with the registration, licensing, authorisation and regulation of entities in the securities market.
The SEC notice followed on the heels of a similar statement by the BoG cautioning the public against depositing money with Menzgold because it had not been licensed to take deposits, in breach of Section 6 (1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
However, Nana Mensah called the bluff of the BoG, describing the statement as a joke and a diversionary tactic.
Later, the SEC directed Menzgold to suspend its gold trading operations with the public.
According to the SEC, Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectables from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid licence from the commission.
Despite initial protests, Menzgold complied with the directive. It, however, failed to fully pay its numerous customers whose investments fell due, a situation which later blossomed into a series of protests, including a major one that hit Kumasi last Tuesday, to demand government intervention to retrieve their investments, collectively running into billions of Ghana cedis.