- EOCO boss COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah has disclosed that the state is facing challenges in prosecuting some criminal cases
- Citing an example, she mentioned the alleged defrauding by false pretense and money laundering charges against Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1)
- She also said the existing laws for the prosecution of some financial crimes were not exhaustive
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The head of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has caused a stir after stating at a public forum that the state cannot prosecute Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) due to lack of evidence.
COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, EOCO Director, said the state is facing an uphill task of jailing the founder of Menzgold Ghana Ltd, which has been described as a Ponzi scheme.
Menzgold took depositors' money and promised returns way above market interest rates. But after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) pointed out legal breaches in Menzgold's operation, depositors started withdrawing their money.
This caused a major crisis for the company, with thousands of customers disclosing that their capital and interests had been locked up.
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Delivering an address at a forum organised by Asante Professional Club, COP Addo-Danquah said the state is determined to convict the young businessman, but available laws make evidence against him weak.
She said existing laws are not exhaustive enough to allow for conviction of some alleged crimes.
"Sometimes you know someone has committed a crime but lack the relevant law to support your case…An example is the Menzgold case. Which law, which Act did he break? And it is becoming difficult even prosecuting that case because no law will define the offence," GhanaWeb quoted the EOCO boss in a news story.
According to her, her agency finds it difficult to carry out its mandate because financial crimes are among the most difficult cases to prosecute.
Her comments have drawn sharp criticisms from some politicians and members of the public. For instance, opposition Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said COP Addo-Danquah's assertions are unfortunate.
He said the EOCO boss is suggesting that NAM1 was running a legitimate business with his defunct gold dealership.
"What this EOCO Boss is saying must be taken seriously. I smell official complicity in this matter. Lack of Applicable Laws means we have no laws in Ghana under which to charge NAM1 in court. Really? So does it mean NAM1 was engaged in lawful business?" the MP questioned.
Ongoing Prosecution Against NAM1
State prosecutors have not been able to prove a fraud case against the embattled businessman whose companies were hit by the allegations that he was running a Ponzi scheme.
He is facing 50 criminal charges, including money laundering and defrauding by false pretences by taking deposits without a licence.
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According to reports, state prosecutor, ASP Sylvester Asare, has called for an amendment of the charge sheet to include 13 complaints of fraud amounting to GH¢1.1m.
The complainants are as follows:
Volkan Basler GH¢350,000;
Kofi Tweneboah, GH¢100,000;
Godfred Oduro Yeboah, GH¢94,500;
Evelyn Twerefuor, GH¢170,000;
Emmanuel Oppong Cobby, GH¢200,000;
Rachael Siam GH¢28,000 and
Frank Konadu Agyemang GH¢26,000.
Special Prosecutor Hunts Down Customs Division; Investigates Vehicle Auctions From July 2016 To Date
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in a separate story that the woes of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) are deepening by the day.
This comes after a full-scale probe of all vehicle auctions at Customs by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
The OSP, as part of measures to make corruption unattractive in the country, initiated investigations into the conduct of some government agencies, which revealed corrupt acts involving Labianca and some Customs officials.
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