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Over 300 customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited on Wednesday, 12 September 2018, besieged the head office of the company at Dzorwulu in Accra to demand payment of their investments.
This follows an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the gold-trading firm, to stop forthwith, all investment trading in gold without licence.
In the 3 September 2018 letter signed by Deputy Director General, Paul Ababio, the SEC said: "In September 2017, the SEC issued a public notice indicating that it does not regulate Menzgold. The SEC began further investigations into the activities of Menzgold in July 2018. In August 2018, the Commission called for an inter-sectoral meeting that involved the Minerals Commission, Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Meeting concluded that it is evident Menzgold’s activities appear to go beyond the mandate authorised in its licence".
The SEC said: "It is our expectation that being your licencee, MINCOM, would call Menzgold to order and direct it to conduct its business in accordance with the licence issued to it by MINCOM".
It follows several warnings from the Bank of Ghana to the local gold firm, to stop trading in gold without licence.
The central bank, on 7 August 2018, issued a public notice, the fourth of many, that it was in discussions with relevant regulatory authorities to sanction Menzgold for engaging in “solicitation, receipt of money or investment and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients” without a licence to do so.
The panic-stricken customers said they want the company to pay them their seven and 10 per cent extra values on their investments plus the principal amounts they invested.
The customers were permitted to enter the offices of Menzgold as staff tried to calm them down and reassure them that their investments were safe.
The situation was no different at the East Legon branch of Menzgold, as over 200 clients of the company stormed the firm to demand payment of their deposits.
Meanwhile, Head of Communications at Menzgold Ghana Limited, Mr George Quaye, has entreated the gold-trading firm’s clients not to panic.
“We are not afraid, we know we are running a legitimate business and everybody is welcome to take a look.
“We encourage our investors to have faith in us, their investments are safe and business at all Menzgold branches are running as usual,” Mr Quaye told Class 91.3FM’s Ekow Annan in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, 12 September 2018.
Mr Quaye said: “It is unfortunate that a document of this nature will be leaked to the public” by the SEC, and indicated that Menzgold’s legal team is handling the matter.
“It is unfortunate that they could not even wait for us to issue our response on the 14-day mandate they [SEC] gave us, and I think every well-meaning media person should ask themselves: ‘why’,” he noted.
Mr Quaye disclosed that Menzgold is “not worried” if government agencies are doing what they are mandated to do; however, they should ensure that they “do not defeat investor confidence in the bid to sanitise the system”.
“We do not believe we are doing anything wrong,” he underscored.
He stressed that if Menzgold were doing anything illegal, they would have found “excuses not to let them [authorities] know what we do, but we never did that and opened up whole-heartedly just like how we did for the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in times past”.
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