PMMC has lost rights to license gold dealers - Lawyer reveals

Thu, 9 Aug 2018 Source: Ghana Guardian

The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) has lost the rights to license gold exporters and it is not the body to authorise the operations of Menzgold, a top lawyer in the country revealed on Thursday.

Kwame Akuffo, the lawyer for Menzgold, revealed that the Minerals Commission is the body that authorizes Menzgold's trading in gold despite claims by the PMMC that it is the body mandated to carry out such business.

This comes after the Managing Director of PMMC, Kwadwo Opare Hammond claimed on Wendnesday that it had revoked the license of Menzgold.

The claim by Hammond has sparked the reaction from Menzgold who said they consistently abide by all the regulations governing their operations until the PMMC lost its status to license the operation of gold dealers in the country.

The gold investment company in Ghana says since the PMMC lost it rights to license their operations, they rely on government's mandated body, the Minerals Commission, to carry out their business activities legally.

“The Minerals Commission has duly given our client the license to deal with the export, what the PMMC does presently under the legal framework is to become the independent assayer of gold that leaves the republic,” Akuffo told Joy FM on Thursday.

“Nobody has a Commodities Trading Act in the country…my clients are engaged in commodities trading that is why the Bank of Ghana for example in 2012 has issued a notice and said don’t deal with them.

“But until six years the BoG has never been able to say anywhere in this republic that what they (Menzgold) are doing is illegal.”

The Bank of Ghana(BoG) revoked the export license of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), a company that exports gold and other minerals last year.

Even though now the CEO of the PMMC is claiming to have the mandate to license the operations of gold traders, he himself confirmed the revocation of their license by the BoG last year in an interview with the Citi Breakfast Show.

“As at now, we are not doing shipping of Gold. Even with our diamond which we do not have any problems with, most of the time I have to really go and plead with them(BoG) to allow us to move. In fact, Bank of Ghana is really upset with this situation that we came to find ourselves in. But as we speak now, PMMC cannot export goods because of what happened previously” Mr. Hammond said.

The BoG ‘s decision follows PMMC’s inability to account for gold proceeds of 2.3 billion dollars that were exported out of the country.

“2.3billion dollars worth of gold was shipped through PMMC and none of the money that was earned was returned into the country as required by law” he stressed.

The Bank of Ghana in 2016 announced PMMC as the sole exporter of gold but was forced to revoke the license because of some corrupt activities.

PMMC is a limited liability company operating under the Companies’ code, with the Government of Ghana as the sole shareholder.

The Association of Gold Exporters of Ghana (AGEG) asked the BoG to rescind appointing the PMMC as the certifier for gold exports as they argued that the PMMC was involved in dubious business deals including money laundering by Indians and Chinese with help of some managers of PMMC.

Source: Ghana Guardian
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