The second prosecution witness in the trial of Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1, has told the Accra High Court that NAM1’s two companies failed to pay him the dividends due him after he had invested over GH¢1 million with the companies.
Appearing before the court presided over by Justice Ernest Owusu-Dapaah, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, Edward Otu Larbi, was led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, to give his evidence in chief.
The witness, a sales manager, who was under the cross-examination of counsel for the accused, Kwame B. Akufo, told the court that he believed so much in the companies that he invested so much.
“But along the line, the promises made by the company have not been honoured. The two companies failed to pay the dividends, which is why I am here in court,” the witness said.
The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, January 17, 2024, for the state to call its next witness.
NAM1 and two of his companies — Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited — have been charged with 39 counts of selling gold without a licence, operating a deposit-taking business without a licence, inducement to invest, defrauding by false pretence, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.
The allegations levelled against them relate to defrauding their customers of various sums of money between 2016 and 2018, totalling GH¢340,835,650.
NAM1 has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is on bail of GH¢500 million with four sureties.
According to the prosecution, between 2017 and 2018, NAM1 and Menzgold invited members of the public to purchase gold and gold collectables from Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited and to deposit same with Menzgold.
The prosecution said in various forms of invitations, the accused persons representing the two companies as deposit-taking businesses, invited the members of the public to deposit purchased gold and gold collectables with Menzgold in return for profits ranging from seven to 10 per cent.
The prosecution said in response to this invitation, over 16,000 members of the public deposited huge sums of money with the expectation that they were dealing with an authorised deposit-taking business, which would guarantee them the returns as advertised by the accused persons.
Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited, the prosecution said, continued with their operations despite several engagements and warning notices issued by the relevant agencies.
“Meanwhile, members of the public started facing challenges, either with delayed payments or reduced dividends; a number of cheques issued by NAM1 and Menzgold were also dishonoured,” the prosecution said.
On September 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed Menzgold to suspend its business for operating without a licence.
Between November 2016 and March 2019, the prosecution said, many customers of the accused entities petitioned the police, complaining that they had invested huge sums of money with the accused, but were unable to realise their investments despite persistent efforts.
“Investigations revealed that the accused persons, under false pretences, took a total sum of GH¢340,835,650 from their customers, which these customers have not recovered.
“Investigations further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused persons transferred huge sums of depositors’ funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd to Zylofon Media, a company related to NAM1,” the prosecution said.
It added that huge sums of money were also withdrawn by NAM1 or transferred into his bank account for his personal use.
“Investigations have established that the money fraudulently obtained from depositors and dishonestly appropriated by the accused persons remained unpaid as Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd’s licence was revoked,” the prosecution stated.