Despite Yesterday’s Legal Victory
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of embattled gold dealership firm, Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, alias NAM 1, yesterday won his court case against the Dubai-based company, Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC.
The Herald gathered that the Dubai court, has ordered Horizon Royal Diamonds to pay the US$51 million owed NAM1 for the gold supply, his legal fees, as well as compensation for keeping him in custody, since last year over claims of fraud.
Although, NAM 1 is to walk free, the only thing keeping him in Dubai now according to multiple family sources, is a government of Ghana request to INTERPOL to detain him and later hand him over to Ghana, to face concerns raised by Menzgold’s customers over their investments with his company.
INTERPOL, is said to be acting on a request letter handed them by Ghana’s Minister of State in-Charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) of Abetifi Constituency in the Eastern Region, when he led a Ghanaian delegation to that country in the heat of the Menzgold debacle.
Ghana Consul General in Dubai, Gifty Bukari, has revealed that, the embattled CEO of defunct gold dealership firm Menzgold, intended looking for money to pay aggrieved customers in Ghana prior to his re-arrest by INTERPOL in Dubai.
NAM 1, is being held for a misdemeanour charge over a US$23-million deal gone bad. On the 4th of March, 2019, he was granted bail but due to the red alert notice on him, he was rearrested on the instructions of Interpol.
A Dubai-based businessman reported Mr. Mensah for fraud in May 2018. Unaware that he was on the Dubai police’s wanted list, he went to the Emirates with the hope of receiving a huge amount of money due him as a result of his earlier transactions with the Emirati, only to be arrested when he presented his passport to undergo immigration formalities.
The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service at a press briefing last week revealed that Nana Appiah Mensah cannot be extradited to Ghana now even though he is on bail in Dubai.
According to the CID Boss, NAM 1 can only be brought to Ghana after the completion of his trial in UAE.There have been several demonstrations by aggrieved customers demanding for the release of locked up investment with Menzgold.
Speaking to Kasapa News, Ghana Consul General in Dubai, Gifty Bukari stated that her briefing from the Officer in charge of consulate issues who has keenly followed the NAM 1 case, suggest the latter is hopeful of settling his indebtedness to the customers.
“When NAM 1 had the bail my briefing is that he planned to look for monies to come down to Ghana and pay the teeming customers but Interpol was also on his neck. As soon as he was granted bail Interpol got him arrested. He’s hopeful of being done with the case in Dubai soon, then after he will attend to the several thousands of Menzgold customers because he himself is not a free man. He’s helpless now as he is on remand.”
Meanwhile, the Head of Communications at Menzgold, Nii Amarh Amarteifio in a Facebook post also alluded to NAM 1’s victory in court.He posted: “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. To God be the Glory.”
The Herald’s investigation had unearthed shocking details on the US$51 million gold fraud in which Dubai-based gold buyer; Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC, fell victim and consequently caused the arrest and detention of the owner of Menzgold boss.
Firstly, this paper’s security sources in Ghana, have revealed that Accra-based Ace Anan Ankomah of Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah law firm in his capacity as the legal representative of Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC of Dubai, was among those who reported the US$51 million gold scam to the country security apparatus.
It also emerged that there was an official of Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC by name Zeka Gomez Rodriguez, who aided the fraud on his company, and has since fled Dubai, and being sought after by the owner of the company whose name was only given as Daniel.
Additional information available to The Heraldwas that one of the two suspected fraudsters, a Nigerian whose name this paper has since obtained as Adentunji Adewoye Olorunfemi alias Ade travels on a Ghanaian passport number G1028125.
The passport was issued on August 7, 2015 to expire on August 6, 2020. The passport claims that Ade, who is currently on run according to official of Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) was born in Lagos – Nigeria. Date of birth was given as January 12, 1976.
He is believed to be hiding somewhere in Nigeria or Sierra Leone. It is not clear, if this is his first Ghanaian Passport.
Interestingly, Ade, has an ECOWAS-CEDEAO card in which he bears a different name, and this has been cited by The Herald.
In the ECOWAS documents, he gave his name as Oguntomole Yinka, born in Nigerian city of Lagos. His date of birth was given as December 1, 1980. His home address was written as a Plot 47 Lola Holloway Omola Estate Ikeja Lagos.
The third suspected fraudster, who is connected to the US$51 million scam, has been identified as Charles Opoku-Darko, alias “Chairman”. He is a Ghanaian businessman linked to a couple of real estate houses in parts of Accra, especially East Legon.
He is mentioned as one of the top financiers of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and has been mentioned in some high-profile cases which shook the foundation of this country.
He is said to have received his share of the bootie through a Fidelity Bank account, and was investigated by EOCO and Financial Intelligence Centre Ghana (FIC) for a period until nothing incriminating was found on him aside a tax liabilities of his estate company, for which he was made to pay the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) more than GHC2million.
He was made to walk away with the rest of his share of the Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC cash, from Dubai.
Both Ade, was said to be a friend to the Menzgold boss. He was privy to Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC, wanting to purchase gold from Menzgold and quickly travelled to Dubai promising the gulf company a better offer than what Menzgold was offering.
This paper’s information is that, the Dubai-based gold dealership company, Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC, had been in contact with officials of the EOCO to get two alleged fraudsters; a Ghanaian and Nigerian, who had used a phony company “Just Gold Company Limited” to defraud the Emiratis the sum of US$51 million, arrested and prosecuted.
The games played at EOCO with the owners of “Just Gold Company Limited” forced the Dubai-based company to smartly get the Menzgold boss detained by the Dubai police in an effort to get the Ghanaian law enforcement agents to act when he traveled there to have his US$39 million paid him by the gulf company over 750 kilograms of gold supplied it.
On the US$51 million, The Herald had learnt that the activities of Ade and Charles are well known to the state officials, including FIC.
Indeed, the FIC had once blocked the release of parts of the US$51 million to the two, but an order came from government circles and the money was released to them to blow with reports that some known state officials profited from theUS$51 million fraud cash, hence EOCO’s disinterest in the investigation, arrests and prosecution.
Insiders told The Herald that while Ade, cannot be traced by the law enforcement agents having gone into hiding, Charles, has been frequenting the premises of EOCO and meeting with its officials, but it is not clear, how close the state institution is retrieving the US51 million from Just Gold Company Limited for Horizon Royal Diamonds of Dubai.
The whereabouts of Menzgold boss only became known after heavily armed Police officers dispatched from Accra and Central Region, stormed a house in Cape Coast belonging to the parents of Nana Appiah Mensah looking for him over alleged fraud and money laundering in the Menzgold Ghana saga.
The Menzgold boss, had been under arrest in Dubai since December 4, 2018, because Ade, one of the owners of Just Gold Ghana Limited, was known to him.
He had travelled to Dubai late last year in the hope of collecting US$39 million owed Menzgold by a Dubai-based company, Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC, for the supply of gold.His intention was to use the money to settle investors of the Menzgold, following the closure of the company by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Sources familiar with the story had indicated that in 2016, an unnamed official of the EOCO, had recommended Menzgold to officials of Horizon Royal Diamonds for the supply of huge quantities of gold. That recommendation came because, according to the sources, the Dubai company, had earlier been duped by some Ghanaians.
Horizon Royal Diamonds and Menzgold duly established contact, however, before the deal could be struck, persons privy to the discussions presented themselves to Horizon Royal Diamonds with the promise of a better deal, to which officials of the Dubai-based company fell for.It turned out that Horizon Royal Diamonds alleged later that it parted with not less than US$51 million for which no gold whatsoever was supplied.
Officials of Horizon Royal Diamonds, later reverted to Nana Appiah Mensah in 2018, to supply them the gold, upon which request he is said to have demanded an undertaking not to be linked to the transaction with Just Gold Company Limited, the company Horizon Royal alleged it paid the US$51 million.
That undertaking duly arrived, spelling out Menzgold’s disconnection with the deal said to have gone bad and its lack of liability. Following that undertaking, Menzgold proceeded to supply 750kg of gold to Horizon Royal Diamonds, at an agreed price of $28 million at the time of supply.
“Per the arrangement between the two companies, it is now worth $39 million and Nana had gone there to facilitate the retrieval of the money when the SWIFT transfer account details the guys in Dubai provided turned out to be fake. He wanted his money to come and sort out the current situation with his company, but the guys rather reported him to the Dubai authorities accusing him of fraud. That is why he was arrested but God willing, he will be out by Wednesday to return to Ghana,” Graphic Online had reported a source close to Nana Appiah Mensah as saying.
The source said, Menzgold had duly reported the fake SWIFT detail to EOCO, insisting that “his arrest has nothing to do with Ghana police or Interpol; he only wanted his money to come and sort out Menzgold customers.”
Ahead of the trip to Dubai by NAM 1, Horizon Diamond Limited, had refuted claims that Menzgold and its CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah, had defrauded the company. An undertaken signed by Jean-Luc Imbert of the Legal Department of the company had said NAM 1 and the company, cannot be held liable for the bad deal and the list of funds it suffered.
The document said: “Menzgold Ghana Limited with its Chief Executive Officer, Nana Appiah Mensah is not in any way connected to Horizon Royal Diamond’s business dealings with Just Gold Company Limited that has lead to a loss of Horizon Royal Diamond’s funds and that Menzgold Ghana Co. Limited is not liable, cannot be held responsible for any claim whatsoever.”
“Horizon Riyal Diamond extends an invitation to Menzgold Ghana Co. Limited’s delegation to pay business visit to Dubai to discuss and conclude pending business relationship. Horizon Royal Diamond hereby undertakes and guarantees Menzgold Ghana Company Limited’s delegation best hospitality and security whilst in Dubai.”
The Herald has seen copies of the undertaken by Horizon Riyal Diamond, the fake SWIFT detail dated May 3, 2018, by the company from NOOR Bank in Dubai and the invoices from Menzgold to Horizon Riyal Diamond showing a total of 750 kilograms of gold was supplied the company.