An Accra Circuit Court yesterday remanded the embattled Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1, in police custody pending investigations.
The beleaguered businessman, who arrived from Dubai on Thursday morning and was quickly apprehended by the police, was yesterday hauled before the court which had issued a warrant for his arrest when he was out of the country.
NAM1 has been in jail in Dubai since last December and was brought to the country by Dubai Interpol and handed over to its counterpart in Ghana.
The troubled ‘millionaire’ has been accused of defrauding some 16,000 customers over GH¢1.68 billion between January 2017 and September 2018 under false pretences.
Charged alongside NAM1 is his wife, Rose Tetteh, including his sister, Benedicta Appiah; for aiding him in his alleged fraudulent act.
NAM1 is facing a total of four counts relating to fraud and operating without licence.
He has been charged with two counts of abetment to defraud by false pretence and two counts of abetment to carry out banking business without license contrary to section 6(1) of the banks and specialized deposit-taking institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
Two of his companies – Brew Marketing Consult and Menzgold Ghana Limited – represented by him have each been charged with defrauding by false pretence contrary to sections 20(1) and 13(1) of the criminal offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
Apart from NAM1, his sister and wife have also been slapped with two counts of abetment to defraud by false pretence and two counts of abetment to carry out banking business without licence contrary to section 6(1) of Act 930.
The two women who are said to have aided Menzgold to carry out the fraudulent acts are still at large as their whereabouts still remain a mystery to the police.
NAM1 was virtually ‘sneaked’ into the court yesterday by police officers “for security reasons.”
The police, the accused person and his lawyers were on the premises of the court as early as 6am long before the gates to the premises were even opened.
He was then kept in the courtroom until around 9am when the court commenced sittings.
The security did not allow scores of journalists who gathered to enter the courtroom where NAM1 was being tried and was immediately whisked away after the short proceedings.
Per the fact of the case as cited by DAILY GUIDE, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in October 2018 received a petition from 16,000 complainants that Menzgold through NAM1 and the other accused persons urged them to deposit monies which would accrue a monthly interest of 10 per cent.
According to the facts, the complainants deposited various sums of monies totaling GH¢1,680,920,000.
It said Nana Appiah, Benedicta Appiah and Rose Tetteh had absconded and their offices and residents were later locked.
It said a warrant of arrest was issued for the arrest of the accused persons until NAM1 returned to Ghana last Thursday when he was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport.
The prosecution, led by ASP Sylvester Asare, told the court that they do not intend to take the plea of NAM1.
According to him, the matter was still under investigations and prayed the court to remand the accused for them to do thorough work.
The court, presided over by Harriet Akweley Quaye, remanded NAM1 in police custody to return to court on July 26, 2019.
The woes of Menzgold emerged on September 7, 2018, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed it to suspend its gold trading operations with the public.
The directive, according to SEC, was based on the ‘fact’ that Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients without a valid licence from the commission.
The move, SEC explained, was in contravention of “section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.”
The company was, however, allowed to continue its “other businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of gold.”
By Gibril Abdul Razak