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Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM, Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited
Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM, Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited

Nam 1 extorted money from me — Witness

The eighth prosecution witness in the trial of the Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM1, and two others, has testified that the accused extorted money from customers in his attempt to retrieve locked up funds. 

NAM1 and two of his companies — Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited are facing 39 counts of defrauding by false pretences, inducing members of the public to invest and money laundering.

In his evidence, the witness, Benjamin Baffoe, said he made a total of GH¢840,000 in Menzgold between December 2017 and June 2018.

He said he was informed later in September 2019 that Menzgold and Brew Consult had collapsed. 

Extra money

Baffoe added that he made several attempts through the association, Coalition of Aggrieved Customers, to retrieve his money but it proved futile and they were rather asked to pay extra money.

He told the court that in 2018, Menzgold asked them to pay a migration fee of 5 per cent of their existing investment to enable them to migrate their investment online but that also proved futile.

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Aside from that, Mr Baffoe also indicated that in August 2023, customers of Menzgold were asked to pay GH¢650 to retrieve their funds but that also failed.

“Menzgold again asked customers to pay nine per cent of their existing investments to retrieve their money but just like the other payments, this also failed to produce any result.

He added that all demands on Menzgold did not yield any result, rather, “money was extorted from customers”.

The case has been adjourned to February 7, 2023 for the prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, to call its last witness. 

Not guilty

NAM1 and two of his companies — Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited — have been charged with 39 counts of selling gold without a licence, operating a deposit-taking business without a licence, inducement to invest, defrauding by false pretence, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.

The allegations levelled against them relate to defrauding their customers of various sums of money between 2016 and 2018, totalling GH¢340,835,650.
NAM1 has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is on bail of GH¢500 million with four sureties.

Prosecution’s facts

According to the prosecution, between 2017 and 2018, NAM1 and Menzgold invited members of the public to purchase gold and gold collectables from Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited and to deposit the same with Menzgold.

The prosecution said in various forms of invitations, the accused persons representing the two companies as deposit-taking businesses, invited the members of the public to deposit purchased gold and gold collectables with Menzgold in return for profits ranging from seven to 10 per cent.

The prosecution said in response to this invitation, over 16,000 members of the public deposited huge sums of money with the expectation that they were dealing with an authorised deposit-taking business, which would guarantee them the returns as advertised by the accused persons.

Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited, the prosecution said, continued with their operations despite several engagements and warning notices issued by the relevant agencies.

“Meanwhile, members of the public started facing challenges, either with delayed payments or reduced dividends; a number of cheques issued by NAM1 and Menzgold were also dishonoured,” the prosecution said. 

Directive

On September 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed Menzgold to suspend its business for operating without a licence.

Between November 2016 and March 2019, the prosecution said, many customers of the accused entities petitioned the police, complaining that they had invested huge sums of money with the accused, but were unable to realise their investments despite persistent efforts.

“Investigations revealed that the accused persons, under false pretences, took a total sum of GH¢340,835,650 from their customers, which these customers have not recovered.

“Investigations further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused persons transferred huge sums of depositors’ funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd to Zylofon Media, a company related to NAM1,” the prosecution said.

It added that huge sums of money were also withdrawn by NAM1 or transferred into his bank account for his personal use.

“Investigations have established that the money fraudulently obtained from depositors and dishonestly appropriated by the accused persons remained unpaid as Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd's licence was revoked,” the prosecution stated. 

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