Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM 1
Details are emerging about how the embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of gold collectibles firm, Menzgold Ghana, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1, was arrested in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A source close to NAM1
briefed DAILY GUIDE about how authorities in Dubai arrested the
Menzgold boss on December 7, 2018, upon his arrival in that country.
According to the source,
someone introduced officials of an Emirati-owned company Horizon Royal Diamond
managed by a Lebanese to Menzgold for the supply of gold.
NAM1, according to the source, traded normally
with the Arab firm through his beleaguered Menzgold for some time.
Unfortunately, the source averred that there
was delay by Menzgold in supplying gold to Horizon Royal Diamond at a point and
that apparently made the Arabs unhappy.
Manager of Horizon Royal Diamond, whose name
was given simply as Daniel based in Dubai, was said to have instructed a representative
of his outfit, one Zacca, who is believed to be an Angolan, to travel to Ghana
to possibly find out why Menzgold was delaying in supplying the gold to the
Upon his arrival in Ghana, according to the
source, Zacca visited NAM1 at his office and there he met a Nigerian named
Ayodele and a Ghanaian called Charles, who were believed to be the business
partners of Menzgold boss.
After Zacca’s meeting with NAM1, he reportedly
held talks with the Nigerian and Ghanaian, who unknown to NAM1, promised to
supply gold from Sierra Leone at a cheaper rate to Horizon Royal Diamond as
compared to what Menzgold was offering at the time.
Zacca reportedly contacted his boss Daniel in
Dubai to inform him about the new arrangement and on the blindside of NAM1,
they reached an agreement with the Nigerian and Ghanaian but they failed to
supply the gold from Sierra Leone as promised, leading to losses worth $51
million to Horizon Royal Diamond.
After suffering the
misfortune, officials of the Dubai-based company reportedly went back to NAM1
to revive their business.
They accordingly apologized
to him, saying “let bygone be bygone.”
NAM1 agreed to trade with
them once again and began supplying them but they were not paying as expected,
according to the source.
As a result, the source
said the Dubai Company owed Menzgold about $30 million.
The source indicated that
after their failed attempt to get gold from Sierra Leone, officials of Horizon
Royal Diamond proposed a joint venture arrangement to NAM1 for the acquisition
of a gold mine called Oware in the Ashanti Region.
NAM1 subsequently agreed to
commit $2 million to commence the acquisition process while Horizon Royal
Diamond pledged to inject $100 million into the operations of the mine.
checks revealed that the move was to ensure regular supply of gold to Horizon
However, when the plans
failed to materialize, NAM1 reportedly sourced gold from small-scale miners
across the country.
According to the source,
with the start of the Menzgold crisis back home, one of the lawyers of NAM1
(name withheld) decided to visit Dubai to get the Arab company to settle its
debt to Menzgold in order to pay its customers who were agitating in Ghana.
Upon arrival in Dubai last
year, the lawyer could not get the company to pay, as it reportedly refused to
honour its financial obligations to Menzgold.
That trip was said to have
been paid for by Horizon Royal Diamond.
According to DAILY
GUIDE’s source, Menzgold’s lawyer was compelled to hire a ‘local’
lawyer in Dubai to retrieve the money for his company.
But the Dubai lawyer
accordingly charged Menzgold an amount of $1.8 million as legal fee.
However, Menzgold’s lawyer
told his Dubai counterpart that his company could not afford to pay such an
amount upfront, but noted that if the lawyer succeeded in retrieving the money
for Menzgold, the Ghanaian company could give him more than that.
That arrangement did not
work out apparently and Menzgold’s lawyer returned to Ghana before December
Meanwhile, in December
2018, Menzgold’s lawyer visited Dubai again but this time, he was said to have
gone there for a private visit that was not related to the issue.
NAM1’s Arrest Plot
According to DAILY
GUIDE’s source, NAM1 contacted his lawyer to know his whereabouts and he
told him that he was in Dubai.
NAM1 reportedly instructed
the lawyer to wait for him in Dubai to see how best they could work to retrieve
the $30 million from the Arabs.
The lawyer reportedly
obliged but unknown to NAM1, according to the source, officials of Horizon
Royal Diamond submitted his name to Dubai immigration officers for his arrest
upon arrival in the country.
NAM1 could not meet the
lawyer because he was picked up by Dubai authorities upon his arrival on
December 7, 2018.
Apart from Horizon Royal
Diamond, another Arab, whose name was given only as Ahmed in Dubai, owes NAM1
an amount of $3 million.
He reportedly embarked on
the trip to retrieve the monies to pay the irate customers in Ghana.
The source said Horizon
Royal Diamond made the report against NAM1 apparently to ‘destroy’ him so they would
keep the money.
DAILY GUIDE has
learnt that EOCO, the anti-graft body, invited him after Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bank of Ghana (BoG) had lodged complaints against
Sources told the paper that
EOCO did not ask NAM1 to submit his passport.
Gov’t Delegation Urged
A high-powered government
delegation made up of Deputy Attorney-General, Joseph D. Kpemba, representatives
from the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and Ghana Police, have travelled
to Dubai to meet NAM1.
The source stressed the
need for the Ghanaian government to ensure the retrieval of the amount owed
Menzgold to assist the company pay its angry customers.
Meanwhile, the Director of
Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has debunked a report by state-owned
newspaper DAILY GRAPHIC that President Akufo-Addo called an emergency cabinet
meeting over the arrest of NAM1.
How The Crisis Began
The woes of Menzgold began
after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a letter dated September
7, 2018, directed it to suspend its gold
trading operations with the public.
SEC, at the time, said the directive was based
on the fact that Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of
gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns
with clients without a valid license from the Commission.
The regulatory agency averred that the move was
in contravention of Section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016
(I) of the same Act.
Menzgold was, however, allowed to continue its other
businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of
started demanding their investments gradually at the onset of the legal battle
with SEC, but the situation worsened after Menzgold initially said that it
could not pay its customers because of the directive from SEC.
reported that it had started paying off some of its customers.
A source at the
time told DAILY GUIDE that the percentage payment
schedules had been grouped into 100 per cent, 50 per cent, 30 per cent, 20 per cent
and 15 per cent, respectively.
payments of the customers did not go on smoothly as planned, forcing customers
to embark on a massive demonstration on January 8, 2019, in Kumasi which compelled
government to intervene in the matter.
GUIDE’s source, Menzgold has between 46,000 and 48,000 customers and not
1.8 million as reported earlier.
source indicated that Menzgold owes customers between $50 million and $60
million and not $200 million as being speculated.
insisted that Menzgold is not a Ponzi scheme as the public is being made to
believe, adding that NAM1 is a businessman who set up the company to do genuine
NAM1, the source added, was trying to retrieve monies owed him to pay the customers before his arrest.
By Melvin Tarlue