Legal representative for dissatisfied Menzgold customers, Amanda Clinton, commended Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame for initiating new charges against Nana Appiah Mensah, the CEO of the now-defunct Menzgold.
According to Amanda Clinton, the decision by the Attorney General’s office to concentrate on the 39 charges indicates that substantial groundwork has been undertaken to ensure the viability of these charges and their successful prosecution in court.
Previously, the Attorney General’s office had brought forward 61 charges against Nana Appiah Mensah in the Circuit Court. However, following the voluntary discontinuation of that case, the Attorney General filed 39 fresh charges against the embattled CEO in the High Court. Amanda Clinton and many Menzgold customers view this as a positive step in the right direction.
“This is encouraging from the Attorney General’s department, particularly because the concern was Mr Mensah was emboldened due to the delay in the prosecution. You know, five years later and 36 adjournments and people were like is he so bold because they aren’t prosecuting him? So the media doing their job, and the investors being in uproar has hopefully led to the government revisiting this and the Menzgolders that I have spoken to are very grateful that the attorney general has taken this up and moved this to the hight court.
“The charges are pretty much the same as the previous one but it is less in terms of count but this is because they want to go after charges that can actually stick.”
According to court documents seen by GhanaWeb, NAM1 is facing 39 counts from the Office of the Attorney.
The charges include 25 counts of “Defrauding by false pretence contrary to sections 131(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29); and seven counts of “Fraudulent breach of trust contrary to section 128 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29)”.
The other charges are seven counts of “Money Laundering contrary to section 1(2)(a)(i) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044).”
The Office of the Attorney General claimed that its investigations had established that NAM1 had indeed committed the crimes for which he has been accused.
“Investigations revealed that the accused persons under false pretences took a total sum of One billion, sixty hundred and eighty million, nine hundred and twenty thousand Ghana cedis (GH 1,680,920,000) from their customers which these customers have not recovered.
“Investigations further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused persons transferred huge sums of depositor’s funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd. and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd to Zylofon Media, a company related to Al. Huge sums of money were also withdrawn by Al or transferred into his bank account for his personal use.
“Investigations have established that the money fraudulently obtained from depositors and dishonestly appropriated by the accused persons remained unpaid as Menagold Ghana Company Ltd.’s licence was revoked. In the course of investigations, a number of vehicles were recovered from the accused persons which have been auctioned, and the proceeds kept in an exhibit account. Some gold bars were also recovered from the accused persons,” parts of the court document, reads.
The court has scheduled September 19, 2023, as the commencement date for the trial.
Between November 2016 and March 2019, numerous customers of MenzGold reported to the police, alleging that they had invested substantial sums of money with the accused individuals but were unable to recover their investments despite their persistent efforts.
Initially, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM 1) was charged with 14 counts, including abetment of crime, defrauding by false pretences, conducting a deposit-taking business without a license, selling minerals without a license, engaging in unlawful deposit-taking, and money laundering.
Subsequently, the charges were revised from 61 counts, with the defendant yet to enter his plea on these charges.
It is alleged that the accused obtained various amounts of money, totaling GH¢1.6 billion, from customers.
On June 24, 2020, the state filed new charges against the CEO of Menzgold, also known as NAM 1, at the Accra Circuit Court. DSP Sylvester Asare informed the Court that he had been instructed to withhold the new charges and the plea-taking of the accused.