A report by Class News has it that a private legal practitioner, Amanda Clinton, who is serving as Counsel for several aggrieved investors of troubled gold-trading firm Menzgold Ghana Limited, has revealed that as many as 1.8 million Ghanaians invested in the firm during its five-year operations.
And within that period, at least $200 million dollars were invested – the highest single investment being $6 million.
Since August 2018, the company, owned by 32-year-old Nana Appiah Mensah, has not been able to pay extra values earned on investments to its clients nor their principal capital, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked Menzgold to stop its gold vault market operations over regulatory infractions.
In Ms Clinton’s view, the government of Ghana must, in a way, intervene in the debacle by giving Ghanaians a full report about how a company that was given several warnings by the regulators to stop operations over the five years, still managed to attract so many customers and have so much money pass through its vaults as an “unregulated” business.
She told Samson Lardi Anyenini on Multi TV Saturday, 29 December 2018 that the SEC should have stopped Menzgold from operating “within the first week”, since, according to her, there were too many red flags to ignore.
“Before $200 million was pumped into an unregulated company, the first week, Menzgold should have been shut down for three reasons. The first reason is they’ve opened as a bank twice; the same people opened as a bank twice and then they come to you with a different name and then you try to look into them, that’s a red flag because you are the same people and you’re trying to take deposits. The second issue, February of 2017, the Chairman of the finance committee of parliament comes out and says: ‘Look, as of February 2017, we had a meeting with Menzgold and we told them they are an illegal outfit. And, so, an illegal outfit as of February 2017 categorically isn’t shut down immediately?” Ms Clinton wondered.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who referred to the Menzgold clients as “greedy” people on, at least, two different occasions, has already said the government will not spend a pesewa of state funds in paying the locked-up funds.
Menzgold petitioned parliament’s select committee on finance to mediate an amicable resolution of its differences with the regulators, but the lawmakers said there was nothing they could do to help the situation.
The ranking member of the committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, urged the state to confiscate all assets of the company and its CEO Nana Appiah Mensah, sell them off and use the proceeds to pay off the clients.
Nana Appiah Mensah is currently out of the country – his whereabouts unknown.