The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of embattled gold dealership company, Menzgold Ghana Limited, will make his third court appearance in Dubai on Thursday, February 14, where he is facing a misdemeanor charge over a US$23 million deal, gone bad.
Nana Appiah Mensah, alias NAM 1 is currently being held on remand at the Al Barsha police cell.
The criminal charge of a misdemeanor in Dubai is equivalent to a Second Degree Felony in Ghana and if found guilty he could spend up to two years in prison.
A source familiar with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) justice system told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) he could also face civil charges from the complainant, who is seeking to retrieve 23 million dollars and his failure to pay that money could earn him an additional three-year jail term.
Back home the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO), has frozen the properties of Menzgold and its associated companies.
Menzgold is holding up the investments of thousands of customers, who have since September, last year, been unable to access both their interests and principal.
A Dubai-based businessman reported Nana Appiah and eight of his business partners, to the Dubai Police for fraud in May 2018.
Their names were, consequently, put on the UAE’s Police list of Wanted People on May 24, 2018.
Unaware of this, Nana Appiah responded to an invitation from the complainant to Dubai, but on his arrival, on Friday, December 7, he was arrested at the airport when he presented his passport for immigration formalities. He was first sent to court on Wednesday, January, 30.
The news of Nana Appiah’s arrest in Dubai came to light after the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service secured a warrant of arrest from an Accra Circuit court on Wednesday, January 9, for his arrest on charges of defrauding by false pretenses and money laundering.
This was preceded by media reports that he had violated the terms of the bail granted by the Bureau of National Investigations, which was investigating him and he could not be traced.
Meanwhile, some of Nana Appiah’s anguished customers had brought up a case against him in court over the inability of Menzgold to pay their returns or principal, since September 2018.
The company was paying between seven and 10 percent in monthly interest rates on investments, but both the Bank of Ghana and the Security and the Exchanges Commission (SEC) warned Ghanaians over the risk of their investments, likening it to a Ponzi scheme.
The SEC, subsequently, directed Menzgold to stop receiving deposits, amidst protests from both the company and its customers.
According to EOCO, though it was also investigating Menzgold for a possible breach of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institution Act, 2016, (Act 930) as reported to it by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), there was a lack of cooperation on the side of its boss.
A fact-finding delegation sent by the Government reported that the Emirati authorities would make Nana Appiah available to their Ghanaian counterparts upon the final determination of his case.
A joint EOCO and Ghana Police statement, issued after the visit on Friday, January on 18, said he cooperated with the delegation and provided the security and legal officers an extensive statement to assist in their investigations into the Menzgold saga for the requisite action to be taken.
The statement, jointly signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) David Eklu, the Director-General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service and Mr Abu Issah, acting Head of the Legal and Prosecution outfit of EOCO, pledged the resolve of the two bodies to continue their investigations and processes to bring a resolution to the matter.