The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has cautioned the general public not to deposit any cash money with Menzgold Company Limited, an investment company, dealing in gold, for it has not been licensed to receive cash deposits.
According to BOG, Menzgold has been licensed by the Mineral Commission to transact in gold and not to receive customers’ cash money in its premises as part of its business investment.
Dr. Johnson Asiamah, a deputy governor of the bank, made the revelation when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament in Accra yesterday.
The Bank of Ghana was before the PAC to answer queries on the Report of the Auditor General on the Statements of Foreign Exchange receipts and payment of the Bank of Ghana for the half year ending of June 30, 2016.
Answering a question posed by Hon. Alex Kow Abban, as to whether BOG has given clearance to some firms and companies in gold business to be receiving cash deposits and others.
The Second Deputy Governor answered in the negative and stated that the central bank has not issued licence to any company in gold transaction business, including Menzgold Investment Company.
According to Dr. Asiamah, clients and customers who defy the notices and do so, do that at their own financial risk.
It appeared the BOG has learnt a lesson from the yet-to-be settled infamous DKM and Jesta Motors financial scandals where scores of Ghanaians were defrauded in millions of cedis.
The Second Deputy Governor told the committee: “Only last week we caused a publication in the newspapers about Menzgold to the effect that we have not licensed them to accept deposits, because, to accept deposits, you will need a license from the Bank of Ghana. We have not licensed them and hence if you go ahead to do any business with them, it is at your own risk.”
He added that: “So we took the first step by notifying the public. If they ask you to give them deposit don’t do it.”
At the committee meeting, it was also discovered that the Bank of Ghana had bought shares from the Afrexim Bank, but failed to disclose it on the notes of the reserves accounts per the Auditor’s Report.
The committee also took a swipe at Management at the Bank of Ghana for failing to comply with standard of best practices and transparency for having failed to disclose in the notes of the country foreign reserves of $254,065.00 shares bought from the Afrexim Banak.
“We noted that dividend earned from the Afrexim Bank for the period of 30th June 2016 was used to acquire 15 additional shares at a cost of $254,065.00 in the same Afrexim Bank. However, this acquisition had not been disclosed in the notes of the reserves,” the report revealed.
The committee questioned the Deputy Governor and his entourage of officers on the foreign exchange receipts and payments, including embassies.
The committee is expected to query the Ministry of Finance and other state funds bodies as part of its scrutiny on the public purse.