Opinions of Sat, 22 Dec 20188
Justice will be served - Menzgold clients lawyer
In relation to the Menzgold matter, justice will be served, sadly even if it’s not in court. Customers of Menzgold are that angry and have told me in Initial Client Consultation meetings that they will seek Nana Appiah Mensah out one way or the other. I would not subscribe to such action even if in Ghana Nana Appiah Mensah appears to be so above the law that he has not been called in for questioning by the police or sought out and returned to our shores.
When large scale ponzi schemes are discovered by authorities in the West, the investors are identified as victims because a con artist tricked them into parting with money by offering legally binding commercial agreements that stated what an investor could receive from the investment.
Bernard Murdock’s ponzi scheme in the states is a good example because when investors were not paid back their investments by the government from Murdock’s business funds, the government clawed back as much as they could including Murdock’s wife’s jewellery since that was bought with investors monies.
Tens of thousands of people will be penniless this Christmas having invested their life savings in Menzgold. They reaped no rewards as guaranteed by their commercial legally binding investment agreements.
In Ghana a person has been jailed for 14 years in the North for stealing a chicken, if someone steals a purse in Makola they can be attacked by the mob. Yet this alleged white collar crime with upwards of 60 million U.S dollars invested in the company by 1 million Ghanaians is not enough to inspire the government to call Nana Appiah Mensah in for questioning; determine his assets; claw back investor assets and pay investors from what they can salvage.
Government should earmark Menzgold assets so it can’t be disposed by the company and cull investors monies moved outside the country
As the ranking member of parliament's Finance Committee, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, has said government must intervene in the Menzgold imbroglio by tracing, seizing and selling off all assets belonging to the gold-trading firm, as well as of its Chief Executive Officer Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) and all the company's managers and, in turn, using the proceeds to pay the between 700,000 and one million clients whose investments have been locked up since August this year.
However Nana Appiah Mensah’s protection seems to go all the way to the top since even questioning the man in a police station is considered too below Nana Appiah Mensah.
Government’s 'I-don't-care' attitude is not good enough because the government should intervene to ensure that, at least, at the minimum, the assets of the owners of Menzgold are confiscated, very much so, if possible, sell them and then defray the debt with it. This view has also been shared by some members of the Finance Committee of Parliament.
Government is running away from their responsibility, and that is a shame because they are only in power to serve the people and if over 1 million people have been caught up in an alleged sophisticated ponzi scheme, it is for government to undertake a forensic analysis of the company accounts; deliver a report to the public since this is a high profile public interest matter; seize what they can for investors; bring people before the law and show leadership.
Even if government won’t pay a penny towards investors; the government should use their machinery to claw back funds that have allegedly been moved from our shores to prevent investors having access to their own principle sums invested.
Do 1 million people matter?
If the government doesn’t care about these 1 million people now, these people might just decide not to care about government during the next elections out of disappointment. Whether they are right to take that position or not is besides the point, it’s about whether those affected and their family think that this government cared enough to look into the matter effectively.
Court Cases against Menzgold for retrieval of funds
We are pursuing the matter in court for several clients to ensure that investors are paid their monies back yet it is for government to aid in the process by clawing back investors monies that has allegedly been moved offshore whilst working with international counterparts to determine what property was bought from investors monies in order to claw back as much as we can.
Investors were warned about Menzgold
The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament Mark Assibey-Yeboah said last Friday that the government warned those who put their monies there as late as February 2017. He also said that at that point, if anyone wanted to take out their funds they would have been able to do so and that investors are crying over spilt milk.
This isn’t spilt milk; this is breach of contractual agreements and if the government knew that operations at Menzgold were seriously questionable as far back as February they should have prevented Menzgold from taking in deposits as far back as February 2018 and not September 2018 since the more time that passed, the more customers Menzgold got from word of mouth referrals since Menzgold had paid people 10% as promised in the previous years.
Comparison with DKM microfinance
The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament Mark Assibey-Yeboah also said that people are comparing this one to DKM and that DKM was regulated by the Central Bank. Yet one million people affected by this crises expect government’s support, intervention and leadership even if Menzgold wasn’t regulated because life savings are gone and no one has been held accountable even if a sophisticated ruse was allegedly employed to get lots of customers to invest.
1 million people matter during elections and so do their families
I hope the government does realise that 1 million people matter during elections even if investors could have advised themselves better and are considered ‘greedy by some Ghanaians.’ What affects a man’s day to day pocket, affects his vote.