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Jan 17, 2019 | Politics

Gov’t Not Liable For Menzgold Customers – Deputy Minister

By Modern Ghana
Gov’t Not Liable For Menzgold Customers – Deputy Minister

Pius Hadzide, Deputy Minister of Information, has stated that government cannot be held liable for the current struggles of customers of gold dealership company, Menzgold.

Mr. Hadzide was responding to comments by the Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, accusing the government of complicity in the matter.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Sammy Gyamfi said the government cannot deny its role in the current circumstances surrounding the company's inability to pay its numerous customers their investments.

“After carefully analyzing the facts of the Menzgold saga, we in the NDC have come to the inevitable conclusion that Government is responsible for the present woes of Menzgold customers. The Akufo-Addo government is complicit,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, Pius Hadzide said the arguments made by NDC’s chief communicator were both legally and morally baseless, adding that no government can be blamed for the decision of any Ghanaian to invest in Menzgold.

“I suggest strongly that nothing [Sammy Gyamfi] said is compelling enough and no case has been established either in law or morally to compel any government and for that matter the current one to be held liable for the individual actions and inaction of persons who have engaged themselves in a contract. He has not established any case that is grounded in law that government can be held liable in this Menzgold matter.”

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Sammy Gyamfi

Sammy Gyamfi had said at the press conference that the CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1 enjoyed “full state honours” during the current government’s tenure.

He added that this boosted the image of both NAM1 and Menzgold and encouraged more people to invest in the company.

The NDC are hence calling on the government to ensure that, as was done in the case of DKM, the customers who have lost their investments are paid back.

“Government cannot feign ignorance of the events that have led to where we are today in a desperate attempt to shirk its responsibility of ensuring that Menzgold customers are paid back their investments.”

However, Mr Hadzide stated that while state regulators had failed to properly supervise the operations of DKM, which was a fully-licensed company, Menzgold’s operations did not fall under any of the regulatory agencies and cannot be handled the same way.

“The two scenarios are entirely different. In the case of DKM, it was fully registered and fell under the purview of a certain state regulatory body. It was the state’s responsibility to have kept an eye on the operations having issued a license for the company to conduct business in that area.”

“In the case under consideration, it has been established clearly that Menzgold was not operating within any licences given by relevant state authorities and did not come under the direct purview of any regulatory body. There’s a clear distinction.”

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Chief Executive Officer Menzgold Ghana Company Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah

Menzgold was asked to suspend its gold trading operations with the public by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectables from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid license from the Commission.

This, the SEC said was in contravention of section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.

Menzgold's Chief Executive Officer, Nana Appiah Mensah, has been under arrest in the United Arab Emirates since December 08, 2018.

Mr. Hadzide confirmed that a delegation from Ghana, including “representatives from the country’s security agencies aided by an official from the Ministry of Justice” are on their way to Dubai “to engage with Emirati security forces on the possible extradition of Nana Appiah Mensah.”

He clarified however that it was a “security operation” and not a state delegation, adding that he was yet to receive any updates.

The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has also frozen some accounts of NAM1.

Citi News sources at EOCO say the office also plans to seek out accounts belonging to Menzgold and other related businesses. | Ghana

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