Menzgold customers’ outrage justified

In August last year, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of controversial gold dealership firm, Menzgold, addressed a press conference in Accra and appealed to the government to help his outfit to pay customers who have been living in fear of losing their investments.

He was addressing the media soon after returning to Ghana after his release from custody in Dubai and after securing bail from an Accra court where he was arraigned and charged with over 61 offences against the state.

The offences, including money laundering, fraud, taking illegal deposits and trading in unlicensed minerals, were brought against NAM 1. The amount involved is GH¢1.68 billion ($308.4m) collected from 16,001 investors.

From 2014 to 2018, Menzgold was said to have offered the investors interest rates of seven to 10 per cent per month on gold deposits.

On paper, the offer was very attractive and more generous than what traditional banks offered at the time.

But as is public knowledge, the business went bust and since last year the customers have made many efforts to retrieve their investments without success.

To back their demand, hundreds of the Menzgold customers on many occasions in the past protested in different parts of the country demanding retrieval of their monies.

Some even went as far as to demand payment from the government citing regulatory failures by the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and allied bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Unfortunately, all the efforts have not yielded results and as some of them would want us to believe, many of the investors have died and others continue to agonise over the loss of their investments.

To make matters worse, however, NAM 1 continues to flaunt his wealth around by organising flamboyant events, many of which the customers justifiably consider offensive.

The question on the lips of many of these customers is that, if he still has what it takes to organise such lavish ceremonies, why then is he not paying their monies back to them.

Of course, that does not appear to be his priority and that has angered the investors who have called for his immediate arrest.

Under an umbrella group, the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold (CACM) Ghana, the investors said “we are very much appalled by the bravado and open disregard for the laws of the land seeing NAM1, a man who has been slapped with 61 criminal charges including money laundering still signing financial contracts and being escorted by macho men.

In fact, the actions of NAM1 do not show any empathy towards the sufferings of his customers who he has failed to pay in the past several months and he goes ahead to rub salt into their wounds by organising a lavish public event that has gone viral on social media.

The Ghanaian Times sympathises with all the customers who are yet to retrieve their investments and urge state institutions which are handling the case in court to deal with it quickly, so that, the investors can get their monies back.

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