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General News Wed, 30 Oct 2019

Determined Menzgold customers hire chairs to get validated

Some customers of the embattled gold trading company, Menzgold, determined to get back their investment in the company, decided to hire their own chairs and sat for longs hours, waiting for their turn to have their accounts validated.

The development, which some aggrieved customers described us unfortunate, followed the failure of the company to provide sitting arrangements for the numerous clients they had invited to validate their accounts.

What even made the situation worse was the heavy downpour witnessed in some parts of Accra yesterday, with some of the customers struggling to find shelter.

The customers, who were livid about the way they were being treated, warned that their patience was being overstretched by the nonchalant conduct of Menzgold.

According to them, they could no more trust the company because all previous promises were not honoured.

Following an announcement that the company would embark on validation of documents, to be followed by payments, some customers pitched camp at the premises of the company in Accra and all the branches across the country.

Most of the aggrieved customers who thronged the various Menzgold offices nursed the hope that they would either get all their investment or part of it, but at the end of the day there was a no show.

Menzgold had issued a statement telling customers to be at their various branches from 9am, beginning Monday, October 28, 2019, but as early as 4am people had already flooded the offices.

After waiting for several hours without any sign, some clients left the premises in disappointment, claiming they had wasted their time for nothing.

In 2016, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) cautioned the public against Menzgold, saying that the company had no authorisation to accept deposits from customers.

The BoG said Menzgold had only been registered by the Minerals Commission to buy and sell gold.

But the company rubbished the claims by BoG, indicating there were not under the regulation of taking deposits from customers, and assured clients to also disregard BoG.

On September 7, last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a letter, ordered Menzgold to suspend its gold trading operations with the public, but the firm swiftly responded that it was not under the regulation of SEC.

The issue escalated when customers began to ask for their capital, because the future of the company was in shambles.

According to SEC, Menzgold was engaging in ‘unlicensed’ deposit-taking. It reported the issue to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for interrogation.

Whilst EOCO was waiting to meet with Menzgold’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1, for questioning, he left the country for Dubai. where he was arrested on December 7, 2018.

The Ghana Police Service later sought an arrest warrant on NAM1, who subsequent report indicated he had been arrested in Dubai. He was said to have attempted to enter that country to retrieve a purported $31 million owed him by an Emirati firm, Horizon Royal Diamonds.

After his release from Dubai and upon arriving in Ghana, he was picked up and arraigned before the court. His charges were defrauding by false pretence and money laundering, which he is still battling in court.

Meanwhile, in his first public statement after the Dubai debacle, NAM1 pleaded for state support to retrieve his money from Dubai to be able to pay customers.

He also commended government for the support it continues to give the company. He was also hopeful something good could happen for the company to pay its customers as quickly as practicable.

The validation exercise which began Monday, October 28, 2019, ends on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

Source: thechronicle.com.gh
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