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Menzgold brouhaha: Lawyers petition Parliament to freeze NAM 1's assets

The legal team representing the aggrieved customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited have petitioned Parliament to freeze the local and international assets of the embattled Chief Executive Officer of the defunct gold-trading firm, Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM 1.

Embattled CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah

The lawyers Amanda Clinton and Bianca Clinton in the petition requested specialist guidelines for the government agencies including the AG, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Security, Interpol, CID, NIB, Office of the President on the fight against Ponzi schemes.

"We ask that Parliament, and in particular the finance committee, work with the Attorney General’s department, even at this late stage, to cull as much assets as possible so that our clients may be able to retrieve some funds," the petition reads.

The lawyers of the aggrieved Menzgold customers want Parliament to work with the Attorney General's (A-G) Department to pass legislation that will deal with Ponzi schemes in Ghana.

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"Furthermore, if parliament works with the Attorney General’s department to follow suit with other countries and actively pass legislation dealing with Ponzi/pyramid schemes, this is another way of addressing the Menzgold matter, even at such a late stage and to set a precedent so that this level of financial loss to the general public never occurs again particularly since Menzgold was caught by Act 929, but illegally remained unregulated".

The petition further warns that the failure to deal effectively with perpetrators of Ponzi schemes mars the credibility of Ghana's public institutions both locally and internationally.

"It is an open invitation to future criminals since government maintains its position that it can do nothing for those who invested in an unregulated company (whilst admitting that the company fell under their remit but somehow remained unregulated and open for business for years without sanction or adequate consequences)," the petition stated.

Here's the full petition to Parliament:

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

According to the SEC, Menzgold has been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid license from the Commission.

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

The company was however cleared to continue its “other businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of gold.”

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Despite initial protests, Menzgold complied with the directive. It has however failed to fully pay its numerous aggrieved customers the value on their gold deposits as well as their entire investments.

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