On September 4, 2023, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Dame, made a statement regarding the Menzgold case. The government has pressed 39 charges against Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1), the former CEO of Menzgold. Dame addressed this during his keynote speech at the 40th Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime. He emphasized that prosecuting NAM1 is part of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government’s efforts to combat financial crimes in Ghana. Dame characterized individuals who operate fraudulent institutions like Menzgold as people who lead luxurious lifestyles by exploiting ordinary citizens through illegal means.
“Mr. Chairman, last year, I spoke about a phenomenon that afflicted the financial sector of Ghana between 2018 and 2020, that is, the emergence of many unlicensed financial entities operating illegally. The leaders of such entities often lived a lavish lifestyle on the proceeds of their illicit activities.
“I indicated that prominent among such entities was an amorphous organisation operating a microfinance institution under the guise of – guess what – gold trading and illegally using the name of a bank. It called itself Menzbank, before metamorphosing into “Menzgold”. It dealt in the purchase and deposit of gold collectables from the public and issued contracts with guaranteed returns to clients without a licence from the relevant authorities,” he said.
Dame explained how individuals like NAM1 exploit the desperation and greed of certain Ghanaians in order to defraud them.
“The success of these fraudsters relies on key factors, as demonstrated by the workings of that particular company. These factors include the ignorance, vulnerability, and greed of their targets. In this case, the vulnerable and uninformed nature of many hardworking Ghanaians became the foundation for the company’s operations, similar to what we often observe in Ponzi schemes worldwide. Victims entrusted their life savings to the suspects, resulting in losses worth millions of dollars and, tragically, even loss of life.”
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