The Chief Executive of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, also known as NAM1, has been granted GH¢1 billion with five sureties, three to be justified by a circuit court, in Accra.
The businessman was detained in police custody for almost two weeks for allegedly defrauding several customers of more than GH¢1.6 billion.
Nana Mensah pleaded not guilty to all 13 charges levelled against him and would appear again on August 12.
The charges include money laundering, undertaking gold business without licence, taking deposit without licence and defrauding by false pretence.
Nana Mensah was ordered to report once every Wednesday at the police station until the court decides otherwise.
The accused arrived at the premises of the court at 9am amidst cheers from his customers who besieged the place to catch a glimpse of the Menzgold boss.
Also, facing different charges are Benedicta Appiah, the wife of NAM1, and Rose Tetteh, his sister-both at large.
Two of Nana Mensah’s companies, Menzgold and Brew Marketing Consult Limited, had also been charged with two counts of defrauding by false pretence.
Nana Mensah was arrested by the police when he arrived at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on July 11, 2019.
Appearing before Mrs Jane Harriet Naa Akweley Quaye, counsel for the accused, Mr Kwame Akufo, said, his client was not ‘a flight risk’ and that he (Nana Mensah) came to Ghana on his own volition.
He told the court that the accused was a law abiding citizen and would appear to stand trial.
Mr Akufo stated that the law enforcement agencies knew where his client was, adding that Nana Mensah travelled to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to retrieve $39 million owed him by a company in that country.
The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, said in October, 2018, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) received complaints from more than 16,000 people to the effect that the gold dealer, acting through Benedicta and Rose asked the public to deposit money for a fixed period.
The court heard that customers’ deposits would be used to purchase gold from Menzgold at an interest rate of 10 per cent per month.
Upon such representation, the prosecutor stated that customers deposited various sums amounting to more than GH¢1.6 billion.
The court heard that a complaint was lodged with the police, but the accused locked their offices and left the jurisdiction.
He said a warrant of arrest was issued for the arrest of the accused and on July 11, 2019, Nana Mensah was arrested upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) secured a court order to freeze all landed properties and vehicles belonging to NAM 1, including Menzgold Ghana Limited and Menzgold Office Complex, Zylofon Art Complex.
After months of speculations about the case and demonstrations by aggrieved customers, the embattled CEO won his court case in Dubai, with an order by the court that the Dubai-based company, which called for his arrest and later prosecution, to pay him all outstanding debts.
The case had been adjourned to August 12, 2019.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA