Beleaguered owner of gold-trading firm Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah is to be tried in Dubai on misdemeanour charges, Ghana authorities have announced.
Mr. Mensah was arrested by the Police in the United Arab Emirates on December 7, 2018 on suspicions that that he had been involved in a gold-trading deal, which had gone bad.
Popularly known as NAM1, the man who is currently wanted in Ghana to face prosecution over charges of defrauding by false pretences and possible money laundering is set to be put before an Emirati court on February 2.
Ghana’s delegation to Dubai which had sought to seek custody of and extradite Nana Appiah to Accra announced Friday that the Emirati authorities have resolved to prosecute him first before they could hand him over.
The delegation was to determine the nature of the legal processes against NAM1 in the UAE and the appropriate means by which Ghana could take custody of him to assist with investigations into the Menzgold crisis.
“It is the understanding of the Ghanaian delegation that Mr Mensah faces misdemeanour charges in the UAE and will be available to Ghana upon the final determination of his current matter in the UAE” a joint statement by the EOCO and the Ghana Police said.
Notwithstanding, the delegation said they have managed to obtain statement from Mr. Mensah on the Menzgold crisis that has caused thousands of people in and outside the country to lose their lifetime savings and investments.
“Mr Mensah has provided an extensive statement to Ghanaian security and legal officers to assist in investigations into the Ghana matter for further action, the statement indicated.
The authorities say despite their inability to get him extradited to Ghana in the shortest possible time, they shall continue with investigations and processes aimed at bringing a closure to the case against him in Ghana by following due process.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of NAM1 on January 9 following complaints lodged against the man in the wake of the Menzgold crisis that triggered series of protests from customers of the gold-trading dealership.
Menzgold has since late 2018 failed to pay customers returns on their investments; a situation the company said was due to its issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission which said the gold firm was engaged in an illegality.
Operations of the company were shut down and based on information provided to EOCO by the SEC, NAM1 was invested for investigations but authorities say he resolved not to cooperate with investigations.