The Securities and Exchange Commission of Ghana (SEC) has lamented about the unavailability of laws that will enable the Commission to prosecute fraudsters who defraud unsuspecting Ghanaians of huge sums of money.
According to the Head of Policy Research and IT at Securities and Exchange Commission, Emmanuel Ashong, the situation explains why the country has not been successful in prosecuting even a single fraudster.
“Ghana has not been able to prosecute cases of fraud due to the unavailability of sufficient laws. Many people are wondering what has become of those instances of fraud cases; but this is the issue. There is no clear law to make prosecuting such fraudsters easy.”Mr Emmanuel Ashong
Mr Emmanuel Ashong noted that cases are dragged because prosecutors do not provide enough evidence to be able to defend their cases in court.
“If we want to use a law like frauding under false pretenses, the person will say I am not fraudulent and he can even bring one or two people who have benefited from his fraudulent activities as witnesses, then he will say if it had not been the regulators coming in, I would have paid you. So, you see? It is very difficult to nail them. The judges work with the law and evidence.”Mr Emmanuel Ashong
Creating Awareness Among Ghanaians through Public Lectures
The Head of Policy Research and IT at Securities and Exchange Commission made this known at a public lecture organized by the University of Ghana chapter of the International Improving Financial Awareness and Literacy Association (IIFALA), on the theme: ‘Warding off fraudulent Investment Schemes in Ghana’. The aim of the public lecture is to educate Ghanaians and the public on investment and the presence of fraudulent Investment schemes.
Mr Emmanuel Ashong indicated that the lecture formed part of the financial literacy month observation to sensitize the public about Ponzi, pyramid, and fraud schemes in Ghana’s financial sector. He also tasked the public to take into cognizant some characteristics of Ponzi schemes, including investments with complex strategies and the lifestyle of promoters of such investments.
The Head of Policy Research and IT used the opportunity to advise the public on how to identify what is fake and what is genuine. He entreated prospective investors to always do background checks on investment companies before proceeding to invest with them.
“Come to the Securities and Exchange Commission office, ask if this investment company A or B is registered or not. Explain to them [SEC officials] the modules they use. Then we will investigate them and if they’re not genuine, we will raise alarm… Always be vigilant. If the company is unable to reproduce your money, you have to know it is a fraudulent venture.”Mr Emmanuel Ashong
Meanwhile, this education may be the answer to the question on the lip of many Ghanaians wondering why fraudsters are not prosecuted. One of such cases is the infamous case of gold dealership company – Menzgold. The case involving Menzgold is still in court after 3 years of pressing criminal charges against the owner of the company.