Thursday, 21 September

Menzgold imbroglio: NAM1 pleads not guilty to 39 counts, granted ¢500m bail

Nana Appiah Mensah

Nana Appiah Mensah, the former CEO of the now-defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited, has entered a plea of not guilty to face 39 charges levelled against him in connection with an alleged defrauding scheme amounting to GHC1.68 billion.

NAM1, as he is popularly known, along with Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult, has collectively been charged with 39 counts. 

These charges encompass 22 counts of defrauding by false pretence, seven counts each for money laundering, and fraudulent breach of trust.

Additional counts include one charge each for inducing investment, operating an unlicensed deposit-taking institution, and selling gold without a valid licence.

According to the case's particulars, Nana Appiah Mensah, through Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult, is accused of persuading Menzgold customers to part with GHS1.68 billion. The charge sheet indicates that portions of these funds were transferred into the personal accounts of NAM1 (Nana Appiah Mensah), Zylophone Media, and an individual named Abigail Mensah.

Furthermore, Nana Appiah Mensah is alleged to have utilised his media company, Zylophone Media, as a vehicle for money laundering activities, knowingly handling funds that were the proceeds of criminal activities.

The court granted NAM1 a GH¢500 million bail with four sureties, none to be justified.

He has also been directed to deposit his passport at the court registry as part of the bail conditions.

In August this year, NAM 1 said he is the most significant victim of the vanished investments in the gold collectables company.

He conceded that he is shouldering the brunt of the fallout from the debacle.

He attributes this assertion to the personal losses he claims to have incurred as a consequence of the downfall of Menzgold.

"If you're looking for the primary casualty in this entire affair, I am that person," he stated during a Twitter Space conversation on 22 August 2023.

He clarified that he has not personally profited from customers' funds, countering allegations to the contrary. 

He explained, "The notion that funds were funnelled directly to me is unfounded. It's not as if the company routinely handed me money, and I carried it home. That's not how it operated."

Concerning reports of the death of some customers as a result of their vanished investments, NAM1 said: "I certainly sympathise with the circumstances that have unfolded, and if I had the means, I would rectify it. Efforts are underway," he affirmed.

He reiterated that payments are slated to commence on October 20, 2023, following the completion of the validation process.

Customers with claims are supposed to pay GHS650 to verify their investments before payment.

In a recent notice, NAM1 warned that failure to pay the amount is an automatic waiver of all rights to their alleged funds.