Members of a group calling itself Aggrieved Menzgold customers have revealed that some well-known individuals and institutions in the country who are customers of Menzgold are not speaking up due to the fear of stigmatization.
In an interview on Citi TV’s Point of View show with Bernard Avle, three bold customers who agreed to share their experiences with the company said they know certain high profile people in society who have their monies locked up with Menzgold but cannot agitate or speak up for fear of being ridiculed and criticized.
One of the aggrieved customers said in the past, some people including a Member of Parliament once branded Menzgold customers as lazy people who did not want to do any hard work.
Others have described the customers as greedy and ignorant people.
Kofi Ankomah, one of the customers, said he’s no more able to defend the company due to public reactions.
“I told you earlier that people were not talking because of stigmatization. I was more like a PRO to Menzgold; I defended them… People were saying you people are lazy people. People cannot sleep, but people are just not confident enough to come out. I do not know why you coil into your shell.. people outside the shores of Ghana want an update”.
Another customer, Nii Ayerh, added that “When an MP had come out to say people who did business with Menzgold were glorified lazy people, you don’t expect all the big men to show up… but we know that people can’t sleep.”
“So you feel there are a lot of respected people who don’t want to come out to say anything because they are afraid,” Host of the show, Bernard Avle asked.
“Oh yes, a lot.” – all three Menzgold customers on the Point of View said almost simultaneously.
Kenneth Nimo, also a customer on the show said that there are also various security agencies’ personnel as well as other institutions and welfare schemes who have also invested in Menzgold.
According to him, the payment schedule and interest was desirable to individuals and such institutions who did not have immediate use of their monies decided to invest for profit.
“We have security people, a lot of them. Soldiers, police, fire service. The nature of returns was made attractive for people who had money and did not have immediate uses, and we had a lot of such people including pensioners who had received monies from their children. We even heard stories from a soldier who invested his peacekeeping monies.” He said.
It was however clear from the responses of the three customers that they all had a different understanding of how Menzgold operates and were mostly interested in the enticing extra value.
The customers did not even know that to buy a gold as they were doing one needed a license to do so.
Menzgold is not a Ponzi Scheme – PRO
The Head of Communications at the gold trading firm, Menzgold, Nii Armah Amarteifio, has urged the company’s customers to disregard claims that it is operating a Ponzi scheme.
According to him, the company does not solely rely on investments from new clients to pay the matured returns of existing ones, as they’re engaged in other ventures from which they generate revenue to pay customers.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Mr. Armah Amarteifio added that the company has consistently been engaging its customers in order to assure them that their investments are safe.
Menzgold – The story so far
A letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September ordered Menzgold suspend its gold trading operations with the public.
According to the SEC, Menzgold has been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns for clients without a valid license from them.
The SEC’s directives and the responses from the company have received mixed public reactions with some applauding the regulator for its actions, while others have described it as a witch-hunt.
The regulator added that Menzgold’s actions are in contravention of “section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.”
The company has however been cleared to continue its “other businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of gold.”
The initial September 19 date the company had set for reopening was pushed back to September 28, as talks between Menzgold and the regulator continue.
Menzgold then hired a UK law firm, Baker & McKenzie LLP, to legally confront the SEC.
The latest development, however, which was to come as a relief to their customers, is Menzgold’s suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Ghana.
The company in its suit is seeking from the court an order directing the two institutions to stop interfering in its business.
Menzgold among other things asked the court to stop the Bank of Ghana and the SEC from publishing what it described as “derogatory notices” against its business.
By: Jude Mensa Duncan/CitiNewsroom.com/Ghana