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Here are 4 individuals accused of major scams in Ghana

In recent times, Ghana has been rocked by a series of high-profile scams that have captured the nation's attention.

Some Ghanaians accused of fraud

Some individuals stand accused of masterminding major fraudulent schemes that have shaken the foundations of various sectors in the country.

These alleged scams have not only resulted in substantial financial losses but have also raised serious concerns about the integrity of institutions and the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks.

We, at Pulse Ghana, have chronicled four such scams that got Ghanaians talking:

Chef Smith: On 2 July 2024, Ghanaian Chef Ebenezer Smith, popularly known as Chef Smith, claimed that the Guinness World Records had awarded him a certificate for setting a new record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.

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Chef Smith announced his achievement at a press conference at the La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra. He had started his cook-a-thon on 1 February 2024, cooking for 820 hours and ending his marathon on 6 March 2024, though he initially targeted 1,200 hours.

However, doubts surfaced about the legitimacy of his claim, prompting an investigation by Guinness World Records.

In an official response to an email sent by GHOne TV, Guinness World Records stated: “No, this is not true at all. He does not hold the GWR title and that is not our certificate. The current and true record holder is: The longest cooking marathon (individual) is 119 hr 57 min 16 sec and was achieved by Alan Fisher (Ireland) in Matsue, Shimane, Japan, from 28 September to 3 October 2023.”

This revelation led to disappointment and disbelief among Chef Smith's supporters and the wider culinary community in Ghana.

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Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1: NAM1 is facing trial in Ghana for various charges bordering on fraud after investors in his defunct gold dealership company, Menzgold, lost their investments.

On 14 January 2018, Dubai authorities arrested NAM1 in connection with a gold deal that went bad. His arrest followed a Ghanaian court’s warrant after his company, Menzgold, failed to reimburse clients for their money.

“His arrest in Dubai is to facilitate investigations into suspicions that he had been involved in a gold trading deal gone bad within the Emirati jurisdiction,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Eklu, who is now a DCOP, told the media at the time.

The CEO of the defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited was granted bail on 19 September 2023 to the tune of GH¢500 million with four sureties, none to be justified, after he was dragged to court for allegedly defrauding his clients.

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Recently, NAM1 disclosed that Menzgold had paid 5,000 of its customers. The company initially requested all necessary documentation from customers to facilitate the payment validation procedure.

However, in a subsequent communication, the company clarified that a significant number of submitted claims contained inconsistencies, rendering 60 percent of the claims ineligible for settlement.

Dr. UN: One Ghanaian man who addresses himself as H.E. Dr. Kwame Owusu Fordjour organised the “2020 Global Leadership Service to Humanity Awards” held at Alisa Hotel in Accra.

The event saw famed Ghanaians, including rapper Sarkodie, being given awards supposedly affiliated with the United Nations and spearheaded by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

More than 20 influential Ghanaians, including a Member of Parliament, a University Vice-Chancellor, and many media personalities, have been awarded at various ceremonies under Fordjour’s United Nations Blueprint Mission.

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He claimed that the mission was “spearheaded and instituted by Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the finest Global Performing Honour or Achievement Belt of defined Service to Humanity that has Divine Cord of Global Governance, in building Nations through Peace and Prosperity, Democracy, Law and Order etc.”

According to a researcher and journalist, Abdul-Karim Ibrahim, who started making allegations of the award’s fakeness, his conviction was based on Mr Fordjour’s incoherent statements when he appeared on Wontumi TV in June 2020 to present the said award to the owner of the media house, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi, who is the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He said while he was shocked that the UN would award Chairman Wontumi, Fordjour’s comments gave impetus to suspicions that the award was dubious. “There was also the other issue of communication; horrible grammar, the citation was incoherent, the storyline that the winner was only 5 of 200 people selected across the world by a UN panel among others. Generally, Fordjour’s demeanour too. He didn’t cut the regular figure of someone at such high levels in diplomatic circles. This may seem a bit classist but it’s a poignant fact nonetheless,” he told Dubawa.

“I looked into his official website (UN blueprint missions) and found out the UN had no such mission. I also found out that he’d been arrested in the past over attempts to defraud,” Ibrahim added.

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Indeed, a September 2010 Ghanaian Times newspaper report indicated the said arrest of Fordjour over an attempt to defraud rural and community banks.

Fauster Atta Mensah: Fauster Atta Mensah claimed in 2014 that he had won a Nobel Prize for his supposed excellence in the sciences.

This won him immediate praise and admiration. He was subsequently invited to GTV for an interview.

However, his incoherence during the interview gave him away as a fraud as the host, Abdul Hayi Moomen, asked probing questions on some of his claims.

Mr Atta Mensah also claimed to be working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, where he asserted he had Directors under his care.

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