Members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold (CACM) have given the government a 7 February 2019 ultimatum to establish a Commission of Inquiry to adequately address their concerns or they will embark on a demonstration across the country to register their disappointment and “zero level of confidence in the government”.
The customers, who, according to the Acting Communication Director of Menzgold number about 60,000, have had their investments locked up after the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the embattled gold dealership firm to stop taking deposits from clients because they were not licensed to do so.
The company has since shut down its operations, with its CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah, currently in the custody of the police in Dubai over a non-related matter.
Apart from the demonstration, the customers, in a statement, have threatened to “leak” certain names and also “petition all foreign embassies and consulates to deny government officials that we believed collaborated and failed on their jobs, visas from travelling outside the country until the Menzgold saga is resolved.”
They are also demanding that the heads of state institutions, (BOG, SEC, Minerals Commission, and Registrar General’s Department), who failed to protect investors of Menzgold, be fired.
Furthermore, they want all celebrities, government officials, state institutions, and foundations which benefited from the CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, to refund all the money and assets donated to them.
Below is the full statement from CACM:
COALITION OF AGGRIEVED CUSTOMERS OF MENZGOLD – CACM
DATE: Monday 4th February 2019
RE: CUSTOMERS POSITION AND DEMANDS ON MENZGOLD SAGA NOW
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, and Good Morning to our fellow members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold (CACM).
With regard to the ongoing discussions on the Menzgold issue in the media, and government’s responses and actions taken so far, we members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers Of Menzgold(CACM), do not seek to dabble in the usual political blame game which always ends up with glib rhetoric, while leaving our problems unresolved. In view of this, we have called you here to respond to some of the emerging issues and to ultimately propose concrete solutions which we believe, would enable state authorities to retrieve our millions of locked up investments.
We wish to seize this opportunity to acknowledge other like-minded and well-meaning Ghanaians who believe in our cause and support our quest for justice with the ultimate goal of retrieving our hard-earned investments. In this regard, we wish to commend the leadership of the Congress of Youth Economic Empowerment Seekers (COYEES) and Mr Joseph Osei Yeboah (JOY2020) for their relentless support in this journey. We shall continue to deepen our collaboration towards ensuring that our concerns are adequately addressed.
Friends from the media, we the Menzgold customers wish to draw the attention of the Ghanaian people, and the relevant authorities to the issues outlined as follows for swift consideration and action.
Misplaced and ineffective manner in which BOG and SEC issued warnings
Government’s position on using tax payers monies to settle menzgold customers
Nana Appiah Mensah’s arrest in Dubai and its effectiveness in retrieving our monies
Government Establishment of a Commission of enquiry involving all key stakeholders and relevant professionals
CACM’s deadline to Government and our next line of action
MISPLACED AND INEFFECTIVE MANNER IN WHICH BOG AND SEC ISSUED WARNINGS
Distinguished Friends from the media, we Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold (CACM) members, overall impression of successive government handling of this situation has been abysmal. Sadly, leading and high profile individuals, including Ministers of State, prefer to ridicule suffering clients of Menzgold with name callings such as “Greedy customers’’, forgetting that we the so-called “Greedy Customers” voted them into power to protect us from falling into such a calamity which we found ourselves in now.
How could we, customers of Menzgold think otherwise, when leading state officials had described Menzgold as alleged “Ponzi Scheme”? Our verified information has established that Menzgold Company was duly registered with Registrar Generals Department and was licensed by the Minerals Commission to purchase and export gold, for which PMMC confirms that on several occasions, Menzgold has exported gold in large quantities and fell fourth (4th) to fifth (5th) positions in their rankings of Gold Exporting Companies in Ghana
These two institutions ( Registrar Generals Department and Minerals Commission) are government regulatory bodies mandated to regulate and protect vulnerable Ghanaians, but could not collaborate among themselves and with BOG to ensure sanity in the operations of Menzgold Company to protect Ghanaian investors.
Ladies and gentlemen, where were they with their law enforcement and regulatory authorities when BOG and SEC were issuing warnings to the public and to an institution that fell directly under their control over a period of five years? What was Minerals Commission doing when for five continuous years, an institution that they regulate was alleged to have veered from its mandate of operations right from the time they had their license to export Gold?
Secondly, what has SEC been up to, ever since BOG issued their first public warning? Were they not aware there is a Law that mandates them to investigate Menzgold? At least, we expected them to ensure their standard protocols per SEC regulations are followed-through
Thirdly, Government encouraged customers of Menzgold to seek legal redress in the courts since both the SEC and BOG have no mandate whatsoever to interfere in the contractual obligations binding MenzGold and its clients. This stance is equally troubling since the current quagmire was not the result of MenzGold voluntarily reneging on its contractual obligation to clients; neither did the company die a natural death or folded up intentionally. On the contrary, SEC directed the shutdown of MenzGold’s central trading operation based on the belief that MenzGold was engaged in illegal deposit-taking and secondary derivative investment activities. It is standard protocol under the Securities Industry Act 929 section 123 Subsection 2, which states thus:
“Where the commission is satisfied that a person has obtained monies without a licence or contrary to the terms of the licence of the person, the commission shall, in writing, instruct the person to:
(a) Repay all the money obtained and the profits accruing to the person
(b) Return assets acquired as a result of the illegally obtained money or deposits; or
(c) Pay any interest or other amounts, which may be owed by that person in respect of those money, to the respective persons from which those money were obtained.
In SEC’s own investigation before the shutdown, the following conclusion was made that: “There is the need to conduct further investigations, and for the relevant institutions to coordinate action to close the operations of the two companies down and prosecute its directors and relevant officers for the breaches of the SEC laws. There is also the need to consider how to protect the investments of customers”
Regrettably, the above protocols were not duly followed, as SEC in a rather puzzling move granted MenzGold further room to operate for almost Five (5) years. It is baffling, that SEC with such evidence of misconduct reneged on its role to ensure full closure in a timely manner thereby allowing MenzGold ample time to dissipate bank accounts and possibly sell off personal and corporate properties that may have been useful to clients in a court suit. While we affirm our confidence in the legal system of Ghana, we fear the lackadaisical approach of SEC has caused significant damage, with possible disposal of property and dissipation of bank accounts in the past five(5) months likely to defeat the purpose and viability of legal action. We cannot risk any more time and money on a legal action as we fear that by the time the court grants a judgment, there will be nothing left to lay hands on. Our only hope is for Government to take up the issue and use the power of multiple agencies at its disposal to locate and claw back our investments wherever it may have been expended because government created the mess and must bear full responsibilities to solving this issue.
Irrespective of the above laws that SEC had and never enforced for over five 5 years of Menzgold’s operations, it has subsequently given Menzgold the opportunity to argue that, Its operations as a trading company falls outside the scope of the regulators’ intervention, hence leading to the complexity of the issues.
Now we the customers want to ask “How then does SEC justify its intervention in the operations of Menzgold when it did not enforce its laws in the first and second year of Menzgold operations?”
Why couldn’t BOG clamp down on Menzgold faster and swiftly with collaboration from SEC, Minerals Commission and EOCO in their early years of operation, just as they did to God Is Love and Jaster Motors which were not in their scope of regulations?
Did some powers in high authority aid Menzgold to grow into a Monster today? Surely the truth shall one day come out.
In the light of these and other emerging evidence, it is logical for us as CACM members to conclude that Menzgold operated in the public domain with the requisite business licences making them a legitimate business with a significant number of employees in both Ghana and abroad. Menzgold was made to comply with statutory government direct and indirect taxes and levies including SSNIT contribution for its workers for five (5) continuous years which affirmed its legitimacy in the minds of well-meaning investors and Ghanaians. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the government could attempt shirking its responsibilities to millions of affected Ghanaians whose investments are locked up with Menzgold over a case of clear regulatory overreach.
We, therefore, call on the government to do the needful in order for us to receive our MONIES IN FULL just as it is working hard to salvage Ghanaians investments and deposits in the collapsed Banks owned by private individuals with Ghanaian taxpayers monies for which we CACM and Menzgold Company’s “paid taxes” are included.
GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON USING TAX PAYERS MONIES TO SETTLE MENZGOLD CUSTOMERS
Friends of the Media, we want to say empathically with NO revocation that we CACM members are looking forward to receiving our monies IN FULL (100%) of our Principal before we can rest in this our struggle for justice and accountability. In the same way, the government was able to burn its fingers to salvage the collapsed banks owned by private individuals because of failed government regulatory institutions, the same way, we CACM members want the government to burn its fingers to fulfil our demand for our 100% principal life savings locked up with Menzgold due to the failure of government institutions like Minerals Commission, SEC, BOG and Registrar Generals Department to collaborate in regulating or clamping down on Menzgold in their early years of operations.
In fact, we are Ghanaians who also pay our taxes to the government and have every right as citizens of Ghana to also call on the government to lend an ear to our plight which is of National Interest. We also believe that as well-meaning citizens of the state, the government owes us the duty of care, right to fair and equitable treatment and transparency under the provisions of the constitution.
We are very clear in our minds that the issue of Menzgold customers and the company has long assumed a national security issue and a National Disaster that has befallen Ghana. This is clearly evident in the number of deaths, strokes and their serious ailments reported among our colleague customers. We are therefore asking the government to establish a Public Hearing of in a nature of a Commission of Enquiry which will ensure a complete and holistic resolution of all the issues surrounding Menzgold. We believe that the revelations from the Commission of Enquiry will ensure that, never again would such an alleged “Ponzi scheme” raise its ugly head in our dear Country.
NANA APPIAH MENSAH’S ARREST IN DUBAI AND ITS EFFECTIVENESS IN RETRIEVING OUR MONIES
We wish to commend the courts for the issuance of an arrest warrant for Nana Appiah Mensah. We also appreciate the effort of the EOCO, Bureau of National Investigation and Ghana police for the concerted effort to bring Nana Appiah Mensah to the shores of Ghana, even though EOCO’s alleged recent freezing of assets and properties of NAM1 and Menzgold appears rather belated. However, we are concerned that Interpol’s database is yet to register the details of Nana Appiah Mensah even though his warrant is a red alert. We also seek clarification as to the whereabouts of his sisters, other directors and the self-acclaimed Board Chairman, Fred Frimpong who has appeared in many times to negotiate with customers on the payment of their principal. This is in reference to the allegations raised by the CROs of Menzgold. A copy of their press release is here for your reference with various names of Management staffs.
We also demand that all Menzgold company bank accounts and Nana Appiah Mensah’s personal bank accounts be frozen and published. All Board of Directors and all management staff of Menzgold should be arrested and investigated and where possible, their accounts frozen and confiscate their assets acquired within their working period with Menzgold. Details of all Bank accounts frozen and assets confiscated should be published in the public domain for purposes of transparency and accountability to all concerned Ghanaians, since the Menzgold saga is a national disaster and of national interest.
We demand that government comes clear, to inform the public on their investigations on how Nana Appiah Mensah jumped self-recognizance bail in Ghana and travelled to the UAE without the knowledge of EOCO and other security agencies in the country. CACM members want to know whether truly Horizon Royal Diamond owns Menzgold to the tune of $36 Million being Gold exported to Horizon Royal Diamond as claimed by Menzgold officials with their letter of evidence addressed to their Board Chairman Mr. Fred Frimpong.
We also demand that the State ascertains the veracity of information available to us that Horizon Royal Diamond has lost over $50 Million dollars to any Ghanaian Company that is under investigation by EOCO, which could be linked to Nana Appiah’s arrest. Adequately addressing these questions, we believe will bring transparency and clear a lot of doubts. We are finally beginning to see some effort on the part of the government in respect of government involvement in helping us retrieve our locked up investment with Menzgold and hope that government will be transparent in handling the issues of investigation on Menzgod. As customers, we got worried when the purported team that was supposed to have visited Dubai came with a wrong date of NAM1’s appearance in court. This made majority of we, customers to believe that government and some state agencies were perhaps not giving us the right information for us to understand the real situation. We urge the government and state agencies handling the matter to provide us with right and timely information.
Today being Monday on the 4th Feburary, We CACM members wants to know if Nana Appiah Mensah has been put before any court in Dubai, If he has, what is the outcome of the Court per the joint doubtful report from EOCO and the Police Department.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY
In view of the complex nature of the menzgold issue, and the apparent display of regulatory arbitrariness, we wish to call on the government to speed up its investigations into the Menzgold saga to save Millions of Ghanaian citizens affected, both home and abroad, who are experiencing great turmoil and have developed chronic diseases while others have fled from their homes due to fear from arrest and death threats from their debtors. Over ten of our members have been counted dead while so many are contemplating suicide due to the loss of their entire life savings especially the single parent mothers and the many retired senior officers among us.
In view of the crisis our members are going through, with their families and distant relations, we demand that the President establishes a Commission of Enquiry in accordance with Article 278 clause (1) of the 1992 constitution which states subject to article five (5) of this constitution, the President shall by constitutional instrument, appoint a commission of Enquiry into any matter of public interest.
We CACM members expect the Commission of Enquiry to demand from Menzgold the overall database of its legitimate customers in all the various branches. This we believe will provide the government with the actual total investment locked up with Menzgold.
We also demand that the investigation team for both the security agencies and the Commission of Enquiries should include the representatives of the Customers (preferably CACM Leadership) to ensure transparency in handling the whole Menzgold Saga to the end.
CACM’s DEADLINE FOR GOVERNMENT AND OUR NEXT LINE OF ACTION
Friends of the media, the membership of CACM came up with the above revelations after a careful thought through, on the various ongoing discourses in the media and our various undercover findings from the activities of Menzgold Management and the various security agencies.
In view of this, CACM members fully associate with the ultimatum given to Government at a recent public forum for Aggrieved Menzgold Customers at Tarkwa, organized by the Congress of Youth Economic Empowerment Seekers (COYEES). This ultimatum expires on Thursday, 7th February 2019 for government to adequately address the aforementioned issues and other concerns of our members.
In the event that government fails to act faster and swiftly on our plight, and neglects our call for a Commission of Enquiry, CACM will lead a one Million membership demonstration across the country to register our disappointment and Zero level of confidence in government with regard to its doubtful investigations and lackadaisical attitude towards retrieving our locked up investments
in Menzgold, and the General failure of the entire financial system in the country under the leadership of our President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo.
Secondly we CACM members will leak out names and petition all foreign embassies and consulates to deny government officials that we believed collaborated and fail on their jobs, visas from travelling outside the country till the Menzgold saga is resolved.
We wish to inform the government that we are unable to sleep, and hence we are also not going to allow them to sleep, so far as our monies remain locked up with Menzgold and other financial institutions.
Finally, we also wish to advise politicians against the politicization of our plight as we fear that such attempts will ultimately discolor and dilute the much-needed passionate discourse and actions to ensure a lasting solution. Nevertheless, we welcome any action of theirs that can lead to our FULL 100% retrieval of our investments.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, in addition to the earlier stated demands, we CACM members want to emphasis on the following:
1. Heads of State Institutions, (BOG, SEC, Minerals Commission, and Registrar General Department) who failed on their duties to protect investors of Menzgold must be FIRED!!!
2. Politician who benefited from the alleged $51 Million must refund the monies as alleged by Nana Appiah’s Father.
3. Celebrities, Government Officials, State Institutions, and Foundations which have benefitted from NAM 1 Mission must refund all their monies and assets donated to them.
Friends of the Media leadership of Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold members wish to express our gratitude to you all for your continuous support and walk with us in these difficult times.
LEADERSHIP OF COALITION OF AGGRIEVED CUSTOMERS OF MENZGOLD