Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has confirmed reports that some enlightened and prominent Ghanaians invested their monies in gold dealership company, Menzgold, despite the unlicensed company’s unrealistic rates.
He revealed that some staff of his Ministry and those from the Bank of Ghana, as well as military personnel, invested their hard earned monies in the troubled company.
“…As I look at the Ministry of Finance and I see some people who are at the Ministry of Finance who have invested there [in Menzgold], I look at the Bank of Ghana and I see some people who have [also] invested there, and of course the military etc,” he added.
Ofori-Atta was speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Wednesday, in Accra.
Mr. Ofori Atta said the customers of menzgold were driven by greed since the returns on investment promised by the company was unrealistic.
He also added that the gold dealership company did not have the license to operate the kind of business they were into.
Ofori-Atta added that some staff of his Ministry and the Bank of Ghana as well as other educated persons who invested in Menzgold ought to have known better.
“As we try to clean up the financial services center, I know the SEC has come down hard, strong and justifiably on Menzgold. But the issue with a company of Menzgold, as I look at the Ministry of Finance and I see some people who are at the Ministry of Finance who have invested there, I look at the Bank of Ghana and I see some people who have invested there and rarely and of course the military etc, so it becomes an issue of greed as a people and our own behaviour, when we are so clear as educated as we might be that when we went there, there was no license.”
The Finance Minister added that government will not recoup their locked up funds since they invested the monies at their own peril.
“I think it is not in the place of government to fund or get your money back for you. It was an obvious trap that you went into. Maybe we as an industry should also push the whole issue of education and empowerment so that people do not fall prey to that,” he added.
High profile Menzgold customers silent due to stigma – Customers reveal
Members of a group calling itself aggrieved Menzgold customers in October 2018, revealed that some well-known individuals and institutions in the country who are customers of Menzgold are not speaking up due to the fear of stigmatization.
In an interview on Citi TV’s Point of View show with Bernard Avle, three bold customers who agreed to share their experiences with the company said they know certain high profile people in society who have their monies locked up with Menzgold but cannot agitate or speak up for fear of being ridiculed and criticized.
“So you feel there are a lot of respected people who don’t want to come out to say anything because they are afraid,” Host of the show, Bernard Avle asked.
“Oh yes, a lot.” – all three Menzgold customers on the Point of View said almost simultaneously.
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.”
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.
We’ll be watching Menzgold’s online platform – SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has said it will be keeping a close eye on Menzgold Company Limited’s online ventures.
Menzgold Ghana is set to launch an online gold store, a buying and selling market platform, known as Menzgold Global Market on Monday.
While it remains unclear how the company will be operating online, the SEC said it will intervene if it determines Menzgold is working within its purview.
“We have also picked signals in public on the issue about an online business. We are monitoring. As long as it offends our legal or regulatory regime, we will come into play,” the Head of Legal and Enforcement at SEC, Nii Oman Badoo said at a press soirée.
80% of DKM arrears settled – Ofori-Atta
This comes not long after the government announced that it had paid substantial amounts owed persons who lost their investments to Diamond Microfinance Limited (DKM), Finance, in what many considered a scam.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who made this known while presenting the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament last week, said about 80 percent of funds owed DKM customers had already been settled.
“Mr. Speaker, you would recall that DKM Diamond Microfinance Limited had its license revoked in February 2016 with considerable suffering imposed on depositors, without any meaningful response from the previous government. That has significantly changed. The official liquidator received 99,858 claims and the validated claims amounted to GH¢502 million. I would like to inform the country that out of the 99,858 claims, 79,708 (80 percent) have been settled and depositors have been paid,” the Minister said.