EOCO invites Menzgold CEO for questioning

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has invited the CEO of Menzgold Nana Appiah Mensah over the operations of the gold investment company.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 issued a public notice that it is in discussions with relevant regulatory authorities to sanction Menzgold Company Limited for engaging in “solicitation, receipt of money or investment and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients” without a licence to do so.

EOCO has taken the issue up to investigate the dealings of the “Gold hub”.

Sources close to the Executive Secretary of the anti-graft institution Mr. K.K. Amoah have told the Menzgold CEO has been invited on several occasions to the Old Parliament House “but has failed to honour the invitations.”

“We’re looking for him. We’re not getting him on phone, but we’ll pursue it,” the reliable source noted.

Following the BoG’s public announcement, understands EOCO has intensified its efforts to track down the philanthropist to “hold discussions about his business dealings.”

Central Bank’s claims

According to the Central Bank, Menzgold, which is known as a precious minerals trading company, is carrying out unlawful transactions by taking deposits.

Menzgold is currently operating with a license granted it by the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

In a public notice issued by the BoG, it said the company has no authority to engage in what it says are the “solicitation, receipt of money or investment and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients.”

The central bank maintained that Menzgold is in breach of section 6(1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).

BoG further said in spite of several warnings to the company, Menzgold continues to engage in the illegality; hinting that discussions were already underway with regulatory authorities to enforce the appropriate action on the company.

“Accordingly, anyone who transacts any of the above-mentioned businesses with Menzgold Ghana Company Limited does so at his or her own risk and the Bank of Ghana will not be liable in the event of loss of investments or deposits.”

Menzgold’s response

But Menzgold in a statement on Tuesday said “we hereby state emphatically that we DO NOT accept deposits from customers or carry on a deposit taking business in Ghana. Our activities are not within the scope of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions, Act, 2016, Act 930. It therefore CANNOT be said that we are in breach of the Act.

“The activities of Menzgold Ghana Limited is restricted to allowing customers to purchase gold or deal in gold as an alternative investment. The Bank of Ghana is clearly aware that these activities are outside the scope of The Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions, Act, 2016, Act 930.

“Menzgold Ghana finds it unfortunate and disparaging that the Bank of Ghana, with whom we have had a number of engagements over the years and taken them through our business procedures would still issue such a statement. Unfortunate and insensitive as the statement may be, we are resolved and even keener to continue to deliver the best of service to our customers in Ghana and beyond.

“Management assures the general public that doing business with Menzgold is safe. The Company is growing in strength and expanding with offices recently opened in United Kingdom, Spain and soon in Nigeria. Our doors as always are open to the Bank of Ghana and any other organization that would want to seek clarity on our business.

“That said, it is imperative that Government and other State Intuitions support indigenous business initiatives to thrive in this economy while putting in the correct supervisory mechanisms to ensure that they operate within the remits of the law. We pray that authorities will show more interest in building, nurturing and supporting business growth in an enabling atmosphere as anything to the contrary could be detrimental to the economy of the Nation.”