The CEO of the gold trading firm Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) has been in the news lately for allegedly defrauding a cross-section of Ghanaians.
Currently, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has started investigations into the operations of Menzgold and also froze all accounts of NAM1.
In 2014, Bank of Ghana discovered that Menzbank was operating microfinance in Central Region, Kasoa and illegally using the word ‘bank’.
On 11th March 2015, Bank of Ghana issued a notice by publishing a list of companies that were doing business illegally and Menzbank’s name was on that list.
With this new development, they changed their name from Menzbank to Menzbanc and on 13th April 2016, Bank of Ghana issued a notice— warning people about the deposit-taking that was going on at Menzbanc and told people they were not licensed.
Bank of Ghana wrote to Menzbanc to question them about the illegal deposit-taking activity and they still didn’t stop. On August 2nd, 2016, Bank of Ghana invited Menzbanc and their management to talk about their illegal deposit-taking activity.
On 16th August 2016, Bank of Ghana contacted officials from the Minerals Commission and Precious Mineral Marketing Company (PMMC) to check on the license status of Menzbanc and started investigations into their gold trading activities.
Bank of Ghana had no idea about what was going on in Menzbanc because they were not regulated by the Bank of Ghana or government and to do what Menzbanc was doing you need to have a registered company under the law, which they had and a license to trade gold which they also had.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of Ghana and Government of Ghana couldn’t simply shut Menzbanc down without proof of illegal activities going on.
While all these investigations were going on into Menbanc, the NDC government left power in 2016.
In 2017, the company Menzbanc which was under investigations changed its name to Menzgold. So Menzbanc company that Bank of Ghana was investigating was inexistent.
With an interest rate ranging from 7- 12 per cent, they were able to get a lot of customers to invest but it got to a time they wanted to get more people because there was a time frame to their scheme.
So NAM1 opened other companies such as Zylofon Media and signed celebrities with a huge following to spread the word of Menzgold to get more people. He signed artiste like Kumi Guitar, Becca, Joyce Blessing, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Zynell Zuh, Bibi Bright among others.
The 12 celebrities that were signed by Zylofon had over 10 million followers online and most of these followers trust the celebrities so they were inclined to invest in Menzgold.
That wasn’t enough, NAM1 opened Tv and radio stations to promote Menzgold because that was where the money that was used to sign all the artistes was coming from.
With every artist he signed, he advised them to reinvest their signing bonus into Menzgold. So he gives you money and takes it back without you realising it.
Menzgold agenda to take over Ghana wasn’t enough so they made sure they were always in the news and always publicised any activity they partook in.
Radio and Tv stations were promoting their products by talking about them and even some online bloggers were begging Nana Appiah Mensah for phones and laptops.
According to the Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, NAM1 was part of a ten-member Ghana Football Association (GFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) delegation that visited Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, President of Ghana at the Jubilee House.
He was part of the delegation because Zylofon Cash was the number one sponsor of the premier league so that was how NAM1 got a photo with the President of Ghana and not necessarily that he endorsed his business.
Menzgold worked their plan not just through celebrities they signed unto Zylofon but other top artists like Sarkodie and several others.
Currently, people still defend Menzgold and blame Bank of Ghana for this mess. They also made it appear that they had many companies outside Ghana to get people to trust them.
Ace journalist Isreal Laryea did a report on the Menzgold office in the United Kingdom and Nana Appiah Mensah took to social media to lambast him ‘celebrating his stupidity‘.
All these were able to increase Menzgold customers to over 85 per cent which is how they grew to 1.8million customers and over 200 million dollars investment.
People got greedy and wanted to make more money quickly by investing everything they had. Also, Bank of Ghana invested 8,000 Ghana cedis into Menzgold to figure out how things were operated at the gold trading firm.
Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission did shut Menzgold’s acclaimed gold depositing down because they suspected that they were running a Ponzi Scheme and warned Menzgold to stop accepting new deposits and pay off initial deposit including their interest.
This was the reason behind Nana Appiah Mensah going after Bank of Ghana and Securities and Exchange Commission and telling Ghanaians that they are shutting Menzgold down.
Where was NAM1 investing these huge amounts of monies people were investing at Menzgold?
It is believed that NAM1 reinvested some of the money from Menzgold into cryptocurrency and the day the two companies (Bitworld Center and Crypto World) collapsed that was the same day Menzgold was shut down.
However, it was not only Bank of Ghana that warned Ghanaians about the illegal operations of Menzgold but Gideon Aduku who claimed to be a friend of NAM1 before he rose to fame 2 years ago.
According to Gideon, NAM1 is a fraudster who has been involved in several scams since 2012 and that formed a company called EssefGold Ghana Limited with his partner William Atsu Tekpor where they defrauded hundred’s of people.
He also revealed that in August 2017, NAM1 scammed people with the intention of securing an international visa for them and was never arrested because he was backed by the NDC government.
Who is Nana Appiah Mensah also known as NAM1?
Nana Appiah Mensah rose to fame and prominence in 2017 with his Zylofon Media Company Limited after his association with Ghana’s creative arts industry.
NAM 1 owns a number of businesses. He is the CEO of Brew Marketing Consult Company Limited, Menzgold Espana S.L, T.I.A. Holdings (USA), Brew Energy Company Limited, Brew Realty Company Limited and Cheetah Security Co. Limited.
He also became the headline sponsor of the Ghana Premier Football League.
He is married to Rose Appiah Mensah, who is the CEO of Rozzy’s Collection, a fashion shop in Accra, and they have a son.