Nana Appiah Mensah, Chief Executive of Menzgold, the self-styled gold dealership at the centre of heated controversy since its collapse in September last year, has been arrested in Dubai.
He was detained in Dubai before Christmas.
A warrant for his arrest was issued by a circuit court in Accra on 9 January after he failed to pay back monies owed to investors in his failed company.
The arrest follows huge pressure by the government of Ghana on the law-enforcement agencies and financial regulators to bring the failed company boss to book.
The Daily Statesman has confirmed through sources inside Interpol that the fugitive boss, popularly known as NAM1, was arrested following a complaint by a gold dealer who alleges that he has been duped by the Ghanaian.
The Dubai dealer reported that his company, Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC, had attempted to close a deal with Appiah Mensah involving 750 kilos of gold. The deal was believed to be worth US$51 million.
The complainant is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates.
NAM1 is said to be issuing a countersuit alleging that Horizon Royal Diamonds DMCC owes Menzgold $28 million.
Before the arrest there had been reported sightings of Appiah Mensah everywhere from Nigeria and South Africa to Spain, where he is rumoured in the past to have lived in a mansion next door to the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
It appears that he travelled to Dubai from London early last month in the hope of retrieving the money “owed” Menzgold by Horizon Royal Diamonds.
The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) had been investigating Appiah Mensah before he jumped bail conditions set by the Bureau of National Investigations. EOCO has confirmed that it has established contact with the detainee in Dubai.
Officials of Ghana’s embassy in the UAE say they have also been able to visit Appiah Mensah in detention. The contact became possible once Interpol issued an alert.
Law-enforcement agencies in the UAE had not informed the Ghanaian authorities immediately after carrying out the arrest. Exclusive sources say that at the time the UAE officials were unaware that NAM1 was under criminal investigation in Ghana and had jumped bail.
Menzgold promised clients monthly interest of between 7 and 10% interest on “gold collectibles” deposited with the company.
The unlicensed dealership was said to have attracted up to 60,000 depositors despite repeated warnings by the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission not to do business with the company.
In the past week, apologists for Menzgold from senior spokesmen fror the opposition NDC to NAM1’s self-appointed chief defender Bulldog, head of A&R at Appiah Mensah’s Zylofon Artists, had scrambled to argue in his defence and criticise Ghanaian officials for clamping down on his dealership.