Lawyer Kwame Akuffo
Lawyer of Menzgold Company Limited, previously known as MenzBank, Kwame Akuffo, has indicated that claims by Precious Mineral Marketing Company (PMMC) with respect to the revocation of MenzBank’s operating licence are not supported by any record.
Managing Director of PMMC, Kwadwo Opare Hammond, in an interview with the media, said Menzgold was violating Ghanaian law in its gold dealings in the country.
Mr. Opare Hammond disclosed that although Menzgold was granted a licence in 2014, it had long been revoked.
The MD also complained about the 7 to 10 percent interest that Menzgold was reportedly offering to ‘depositors.’
But in response, Lawyer Akufo flatly dismissed the claims by the PMMC Managing Director, saying “PMMC’s position with respect to the revocation of MenzBank’s licence is not supported by the record.”
According to him, PMMC’s claim “is intended to undermine the integrity of the business entity (Menzgold),” daring Mr. Opare Hammond to make public the said revocation document.
Menzgold Ghana Limited has come under regulatory pressure after Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Monday, August 6, 2018, published a notice, announcing that Menzgold’s deposit-taking activities are in breach of Section 6 (1) of Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930), as it has, reportedly, not been licensed.
In that notice, the Central Bank observed that it was in discussions with other relevant regulatory authorities aimed at taking appropriate action against Menzgold, but the company later released a strong-worded statement in which it categorically denied allegations by the Bank of Ghana.
However, true to the words of Bank of Ghana, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) subsequently invited the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, for questioning over claims made by the Central Bank.
But Lawyer Akufo is contending that contrary to the claims by PMMC that Menzgold’s licence has been revoked, there is evidence that in August 2014, Menzgold, then Menzbank, applied for a gold trading licence.
According to him, “The licence was granted after monies and necessary registrations had been paid. The licence was from September 4, 2014 to September 4, 2015.”
Subsequent to the expiry of the licence, he stated, my client (Menzgold) applied for a renewal, which was granted on November 3, 2015 to expire on November 2, 2016.
The lawyer further contended that “there has never been an occasion where the licence issued to Menzgold Ghana Limited was revoked by any governmental entity.”
He debunked claims that Menzgold was operating illegally.
PMMC’s Independent Status
With PMMC becoming an independent assayer following a court case between the state entity and the Gold Exporters Association of Ghana, the lawyer was of the firm belief that Menzgold does not have to renew its licence anymore, lamenting that “Mr. Opare Hammond’s claim has caused economic deficit for his client.”
The lawyer explained that “we do not need a licence from the PMMC. What is happening in the republic now is that nobody has a commodity trading act.”
He said: “My clients are engaged in commodity trading. That is why the Bank of Ghana, for example, in 2012 has never issued a notice to say don’t deal with them.”
“After six years, the Bank of Ghana has not been able to say anywhere in this republic that what they are doing is illegal per se,” he added.
By Melvin Tarlue