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Opinions of Monday, 20 May 2019

Columnist: Kofi Adu

Did TCL Ghana Ltd go bust because their management invested in Menzgold?

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Initially, the company operated as a deposit-taking investment institution until October 2018 when Bank of Ghana issued a disclaimer (under the Notice Number BG/GOV/SEC/2018/19) against it and other illegal institution which is against their mandate as a company.

After being confronted with BG/GOV/SEC, it changed its operating mode to cryptocurrency.

If we pay a little attention to it, the same pattern was used by Menzgold who, in order to get away from legal regulations, was hiding under the sale of gold. But TCL as for it, choose the sale of bitcoin as a cover to continue operating without suspicion.

After a year of operation, it is in 2018 that TCL made huge profit; thanks to the increasingly large deposits made by its customers. The same year, Menzgold who has more than 4 years in the system, also made its biggest profit. Coincidence or linkage?

Many of the customers who invested in TCL Ghana Ltd and Gold Coast Securities Ltd invested upwards of US$300,000.000. Therefore a lot of these aggrieved and unsatisfied customers are steadily retaining attorneys in Accra, including Lawyer Clinton who secured a number of judgements in favour of Menzgold customers.

When asked whether TCL Ghana Ltd and Gold Coast Securities Ltd are similar to Menzgold which was discovered to be a Ponzi scheme, Lawyer Clinton said “well the court will be lifting the veil in each these instances to see if indeed they found that an element of swindling was involved. Promising quick returns, made up of money from new investors, lures victims, particularly high-net worth individuals into much bigger risks.”

When asked whether the prevalence of Ponzi schemes in Ghana is similar in nature to international Ponzi schemes, Lawyer Clinton said: “What we are finding in Ponzi cases in Ghana is that they mirror those around the world. For the main aim of these companies is a long term strategy to get bigger investors by continuously paying the initial small investors consistently, which often peaks the attention and investment of wealthier customers.”

It was brought to our attention by some employees that TCL were carrying transactions out with Menzgold. Could this be the reason why the company cannot pay its customers? Would the money be blocked at the trigger of the virus?

Returning to a so-called link between these two companies with fraudulent purpose. In mid-2018, Menzgold is shut down and becomes unable to pay its desperate customers. Likewise TCL closes its doors under the excuse that this is an order given by the SEC. When they were asked by clients for tangible proof, they were unable to provide.

TCL Ghana Ltd just like Menzgold, proposed a rate of interest after a determined period which contrary to Menzgold, was from 3 to 6 months instead of one. According to our source, this period was given time for TCL to have pulled enough monthly profit by investing the money of its customers elsewhere (Menzgold).