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Why clawback Nam1's assets?

Arrest Menzgold2 Customers of the gold firm have been agitating about recent developments

Wed, 26 Dec 2018 Source: Mary Lamptey

Amanda Akuokor Clinton has been advocating steadily on GhanaWeb that this government should work with international counterparts in order to claw back NAM1’s assets that have been moved abroad and purchased abroad (money, property, cars, jewelry, investments etc.) as well as clawback any other assets that still remain in Ghana.

Government's international counterparts can aid in tracing NAM1's financial footprint and all proceeds of crime returned to Ghana after being liquidated abroad and placed in an investors pool of money. If the government isn’t used to such operations, they can seek international assistance in executing this large scale project, look active, be seen as doing something, communicate to 1 million people who are grieving after stupidly investing their life savings and not spend a penny of government's money whilst appearing compassionate to the plight of Ghanaians.

In the West where most sophisticated ponzi schemes are undertaken; governments know that you must ensure the perpetrator has no financial benefit after the crime even though he swindled millions of people. It is to leave the con artist worse off financially than when he started the con and to ensure that the ‘victims’ are not the only ones whose standard of living changes dramatically after the con. This is not about 'greedy investors' but holding to account con artists and removing wealth they gained through fraud- against over 1 million Ghanaian citizens.

For our government to not identify a large group of people who have been seriously scammed as 'victims' and instead label them 'greedy' is perhaps why we have not matured as a leading nation that thinks strategically, and why we have a leadership filled with promises and no action.

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 them legally binding commercial agreements that stated what an investor could receive from the investment.

Bernard Murdock’s ponzi scheme in the United Sates 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 were penniless this Christmas having invested their life savings in Menzgold. They reaped no rewards as guaranteed by their commercial legally binding investment agreements.

We were captured as a nation on BBC News global, the masses wailing over life savings wiped and all our leader can do is issue a pre-recorded Christmas message that next year will be better than this and not say 1 word towards the plight of over a million people scammed during his tenure. The President's days of fighting for the common man who might be too ignorant to make better choices seems clearly behind him.

This effort of clawing NAM1’s money is not chasing a mirage since assets can be clawed back if our government reaches out to their international counterparts. Clawing back ill gotten gains is about making sure that monies that was moved offshore to ensure NAM1 would be able to live off the money for the rest of his life and have a private jet to spare is traced; properties liquidated with the help of international counterparts; jets liquidated; cars liquidated and all monies put in a fund to be enjoyed by investors since this is their principle money invested.

Government warned the masses

This is therefore not a matter of whether government warned the masses because arguably

1. Warning by government is to shut down operations as early as you see that the business model is a sham designed just to take in depositors money

2. Warning by government is to shut down Menzgold in February 2017 when the Chairman of the Finance Committee of parliament said that they told Menzgold directly that they were operating an illegal business

3. Warning by government is to even shut down Menzgold in their first month of operations since it is a red flag they had tried and failed to open two banks before Menzgold and were shut down immediately therefore Menzgold should have been more closely scrutinised

4. Warning by government is not to legitimize NAM1 by so recently taking pictures with him and the President of Ghana

Why should NAM1 end up rich from the scam?

Ghana may not have the technical capabilities within F.I.C, E.O.C.O, C.I.D etc. particularly as it seems government officials have been compromised if CID won’t even formally open a file against NAM1-three months later and not freeze any accounts. They can however rely on countries who have experienced ponzi schemes on a large scale to help cull the monies to go immediately in a fund to be distributed by government and government won’t need to spend a penny.

Why government should care about how they are coming across to the public

Optics is how a situation looks. If a government comes across unsympathetic, non-responsive, lacking communication, non-committal, cruel in only commenting about ‘greedy investors’ at the most senior echelons of government; whether they are right to or not is besides the point. It’s about whether the ‘silly’ investor thought leadership showed leadership to them the 1.8 million plus and not 1 million investors as has been misquoted.

Government begged the people to get into power, pandering to the idea that they would serve the people-yet not a peep from a leader who spent 20 years talking about how he would fight for the common man. The common man is often illiterate, ill advised etc. so it is this group that needs direction and guidance even after a fall they helped to create.

Who better to serve than the people who could have advised themselves better whilst leaving the real work to international counterparts and not putting a penny of government’s money to the effort. It shows leadership, ingenuity, care, utilising external resources and the mark of the party to win Ghana’s 2020 elections.

Compassion means caring about the ignorant and ill advised. Without that, such people may not believe they can have compassion to the candidate they finally gave a chance to.

SEC SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE GOLD DEALERSHIP FIRM FROM OPERATING AT THE BEGINNING

As noted in one of Lawyer Clinton's spirited appeals to government "[For Menzgold to have] a company face such as Menzgold and then tell every customer who invests in Menzgold to funnel their money to Brew Marketing Consult Ltd. raises enough suspicion for SEC to prevent Menzgold taking in new deposits much earlier than February 2017 instead of September 2018 which is the date Menzgold was prevented from taking in new deposits.

The passage of time however allowed Menzgold to continue taking in new investors who on average invested larger deposits since Menzgold had been in operation for 6 uninterrupted years with a good track record of paying deposits every month. This in turn meant that the most recent investors invested what ended up being larger investments upwards of even 6 million U.S dollars at times per transaction," Lawyer Clinton wrote.

Furthermore, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament last week admitted that they told Menzgold in February 2017 that they were an illegal operation. SEC should have therefore shut down an 'illegal operations' from taking in new deposits immediately since the company was offering 'sweets/incentives' that was too tempting to an unsuspecting public who saw that the business was still in operation and being endorsed by senior members of government indirectly since they were pictured with the CEO of Menzgold.

Menzgold also tried to open up as a bank twice before venturing into the entity that is Menzgold. That should also have been a red flag to SEC when they opened up Menzgold to take in deposits.

Our leaders need to aid in clawing back ill-gotten gains. If investors are worse off, so should the crooks and their associates.

Columnist: Mary Lamptey
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