The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has reportedly initiated investigations into operations of gold purchasing firm, MenzGold and has invited its Chief Executive, Nana Appiah Mensah, following concerns by the Bank of Ghana over the operations of the company.
the Executive Director of EOCO, K.K. Amoah is believed to have has confirmed the invitation but declined to comment on the reasons for the invitation.
The action comes after the Bank of Ghana issued fresh caution to the public against dealing with MenGgold, which the central bank said had not been licensed to trade in the business. According to the central bank, MenzGold has no authority to engage in the solicitation, receipt of money or investments and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients which is captured in Section 6 (1) of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
In a statement issued a day after the BoG notice, MenzGold maintained that they are a law-abiding company “working within the remits of our license.”
“We hereby state emphatically that we DO NOT accept deposits from customers or carry on a deposit taking business in Ghana. Our activities are not within the scope of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions, Act 2016, Act 930. It therefore CANNOT be said that we are in breach of the Act,” the statement read in part.
The back and forth confrontation between the firm and the regulator has caught the attention of the investigating authority, which has invited Mensah for questioning.
MenzGold has confirmed the invitation, which is said to have been scheduled for Friday, August 10.
A source close to the firm, however, discounted reports suggesting their boss had refused to honour past invitations by the EOCO.
“The board chairman, Lawyer Fred Frimpong, has met the EOCO boss a couple of times in the last couple of days therefore [it is] untrue that MenzGold officials are running away from EOCO,” the source said.
According to the source: “There are records to show that one Nana Ofei an official of MenzGold had been to EOCO not less than four times to meet with the Deputy EOCO Boss upon their invitation.”
According to the Central Bank, MenzGold, which is known as a precious minerals trading company, is carrying out unlawful transactions by taking deposits.
Menzgold is currently operating with a license granted it by the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
In a public notice issued by the BoG, it said the company has no authority to engage in what it says are the “solicitation, receipt of money or investment and the payment of dividends or returns to its clients.”
The central bank maintained that Menzgold is in breach of section 6(1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
BoG further said in spite of several warnings to the company, MenzGold continues to engage in the illegality; hinting that discussions were already underway with regulatory authorities to enforce the appropriate action on the company.
“Accordingly, anyone who transacts any of the above-mentioned businesses with MenzGold Ghana Company Limited does so at his or her own risk and the Bank of Ghana will not be liable in the event of loss of investments or deposits.”
But MenzGold in a statement on Tuesday explained: “The activities of MenzGold Ghana Limited is restricted to allowing customers to purchase gold or deal in gold as an alternative investment. The Bank of Ghana is clearly aware that these activities are outside the scope of The Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions, Act, 2016, Act 930.”
“MenzGold Ghana finds it unfortunate and disparaging that the Bank of Ghana, with whom we have had a number of engagements over the years and taken them through our business procedures would still issue such a statement. Unfortunate and insensitive as the statement may be, we are resolved and even keener to continue to deliver the best of service to our customers in Ghana and beyond.”
“Management assures the general public that doing business with MenzGold is safe. The Company is growing in strength and expanding with offices recently opened in United Kingdom, Spain and soon in Nigeria. Our doors as always are open to the Bank of Ghana and any other organization that would want to seek clarity on our business.”
“That said, it is imperative that Government and other State Intuitions support indigenous business initiatives to thrive in this economy while putting in the correct supervisory mechanisms to ensure that they operate within the remits of the law. We pray that authorities will show more interest in building, nurturing and supporting business growth in an enabling atmosphere as anything to the contrary could be detrimental to the economy of the Nation.”