The Attorney General has filed a total of 39 charges against Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) and two others. The two others are Menzgold Company Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited.
The case numbered CR/0411/2023, was filed on 30 August 2023 with the charge sheet signed by the director of public prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa. The case is scheduled to be called for the first time at the High Court on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.
Over the last three years, the police have been awaiting the Attorney General’s advice on a docket they forwarded to the department after they arrested, charged and arraigned NAM1 at the Circuit Court following the complaints they received from some 16,000 former clients of the now defunct Menzgold Company Limited.
With these fresh charges preferred against NAM1, it automatically renders the pending criminal case at Circuit Court against the first accused person, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) moot.
The charges preferred against NAM1 by the Attorney General range from one count of selling gold contrary to section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703, one count of Operating a deposit-taking business without a license contrary to section (1) and 22 (1) of the Banking and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
The other charges are one count of Inducement to invest contrary to section 344 of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), 17 counts of Defrauding by false pretense contrary to section 131 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), 7 counts of Fraudulent breach of trust contrary to section 128 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), 7 counts of Money Laundering contrary to section 1(2)(a)(i) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044).
According to the brief facts attached to the charge sheet filed at the High Court by the Attorney General, the 2nd accused person (A2), Menzgold Ghana Limited and the 3rd accused person (A3), Brew Marketing Consult Limited, are sister companies owned by the 1st accused person (A1), Nana Appiah Mensah alias NAM1.
A2 was first registered as Menzbank Ghana Company Limited in 2013 whereas A3 was registered in December 2016. A1 is a director and Chief Executive Officer (CE0) of A2 and A3 and also majority shareholder of both companies.
A1 operated A2 as a deposit-taking business under the guise of gold trading, without the requisite license. On 11th March 2015, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) issued a public notice to the effect that Menzbank was an unlicensed deposit- taking institution. Al, in a bid to circumvent the notice of BoG, changed the company’s name from Menzbank to Menzbanc.
Sometime in 2017, Al further changed the company’s name from Menzbanc to Menzgold Ghana Company
Limited. The business module of A1 was that A3 sold gold/gold collectibles/gold dorc to the public public for the purpose of investing same in A2, when A3 did not have a license to sell gold.
On 22nd August 2016, the Minerals Commission, granted A2 a three (3) year license to purchase and export gold. The terms of the license stipulated that. A3 was to purchase gold from small- scale miners for export only. A2 and A3 breached its restricted gold purchase and exportation license by selling selling gold to persons in Ghana.
In 2016, A1 and A2 established what they called gold vault market which provided the public with a platform to trade in gold and gold collectibles. A1 and A2, in an attempt to circumvent the requirements of the law, set up A3 for the purposes of selling gold to the public to enable A2 to take the gold deposits.
Between 2017 and 2018, Al and A2 invited members of the public to purchase gold and gold collectibles from A3 and deposit same with A2. In various forms of invitations, the accused persons representing A2 and A3 as deposit-taking businesses, invited the members of the public to deposit purchased gold and gold collectibles with A2 in return for profits ranging from 7%, to 10%.
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 authorized deposit-taking business which would guarantee them the returns as advertised by the accused persons.
A2 and A3 continued with their operations despite several engagements and warning notices issued by the relevant agencies. Meanwhile, members of the public started facing challenges cither with delayed payments or reduced dividends; a number of cheques issued by A1 and A2 were also dishonored.
On 7th September 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed A2 to suspend its business for operating without a license from the SEC. Between November 2016 and March 2019, many customers of the accused persons petitioned the police complaining that they had invested huge sums of money with the accused persons but were unable to realize their investments after persistent efforts by them.
Investigations revealed that the accused persons under false pretenses took a total sum of One billion, sixty hundred and eighty million, nine hundred and twenty thousand Ghana cedis (GH# 1,680,920,000) from their customers which these customers have not recovered.
Investigations further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused persons transferred huge sums of depositor’s funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd to Zylofon Media, a company related to A1. Huge sums of money were also withdrawn by A1 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 Limited’s license was revoked.
In the course of investigations, a number of vehicles were recovered from the accused persons which have been auctioned, and the proceeds kept in an exhibit account. Some gold bars were also recovered from the accused persons.