US$35m of Menzgold clients’ deposits unaccounted for; NAM1 must answer for that – Clinton
The lawyer for some aggrieved customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Ms Amanda Clinton, has refuted suggestions that the government of Ghana revoke an Interpol red alert on the troubled company’s CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1), to enable the young businessman recover some US$39 million owed his firm by a Dubai gold company, Horizon Royal Diamonds, so that he can return home to Ghana, from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to pay his thousands of aggrieved clients whose investments have been locked up in Menzgold since August 2018.
A letter signed by Mr Mensah’s lawyer, Kwame Boafo Akuffo, which was dated 3 June 2019 and addressed to the government, said it was unimportant for the red alert to be issued since Mr Mensah’s location was known to government officials.
“It bears noting that, according to Interpol’s regulation, a ‘Red Notice, is a request to law enforcement, worldwide, to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition…’ – It is unequivocally recognised by the legal and law enforcement communities worldwide that the issuance of the Red Notice is premised on the whereabouts of the individual in question being unknown (i.e. the individual being a fugitive).
“In Mr Mensah’s case, his whereabouts were, at all times, known to the Ghanaian authorities. Officials from the Ghana Embassy from the UAE were constantly in touch with Mr Mensah on almost a weekly basis and a high-level Ghana government delegation visited Mr Mensah on the 17th of January 2019.
“Mr Mensah himself called the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) on the 5th of January 2019 (approximately 3 p.m. UAE time), confirming his whereabouts and circumstances. Despite this, the Red Notice was issued on the 11th of January 2019. Giving that the Red Notice (the sole purpose for which is to locate a person of interest) was requested by the Government of Ghana while in contact with Mr Mensah and fully aware of his exact whereabouts, any claimed legal motives for issuance of the Red Notice are self-evidently questionable,” the letter noted.
It continued: “Since the 25th of March 2019, Mr Mensah is being held in custody, solely based on the Interpol Red Notice requested by Ghana”.
The letter further explained that: “Mr Mensah met with the prosecutor for the Interpol (Red Notice) case on the 23rd of May 2019 and it was made clear to Mr Mensah that, although he has no criminal liability in Dubai, it is presently not possible for him to be released unless the Government of Ghana authorises Interpol to revoke the Red Notice”.
The lawyer for Mr Mensah, therefore, appealed to the Ghanaian government to stand down the red alert.
“We respectfully request the Ghana Government to facilitate and allow Mr Mensah to fully and actively pursue Horizon Royal Diamond and the US$39,000,000 owed to Menzgold Ghana, so that this money is used to repay all Menzgold customers. The Interpol detention is seriously hampering his efforts in respect of recovering the money from Horizon Royal Diamond”.
Responding to Mr Akuffo’s letter, Ms Clinton told ClassFMonline.com that having worked at the Attorney General’s department in Ghana – within the newly re-established international team for over three years – where she personally dealt with Mutual Legal Assistance requests, UN requests and other internationally-related matters, “I can assure you that the government’s decision to file for and be granted the Red Alert was sound and above board”.
She insisted that: “Mr Mensah just needs to submit to the authority; that is Ghana, come back and answer to the charge of defrauding by false pretences and the government will decide whether to release him or not”.
Ms Clinton pointed out that Mr Mensah “is not a free man and has to submit to the authority and the jurisdiction; that is Ghana, so that we can find out more information about how more than US$35 million worth of depositors’ principal sums remain unaccounted for, due to his company’s activity at Menzgold Ghana Limited”.