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15 July 2016

Investment Clubs scam hits Ho as hundreds demonstrate

ho protestOver 40,000 aggrieved customers of investment clubs in Ho, in the Volta Region have threatened not to partake in the upcoming elections if government fails to assist them in retrieving monies from the clubs.

Clothed in red outfits, the over two hundred placard-wielding customers who invested huge sums of monies in the clubs hit the streets of Ho Thursday, to protest the locking up of their monies by the companies.

The network groups which gain prominence between 2014 and 2015 included Little Drop Investment Club, Prosperity and Good Health, Develop Winners, Royal Foundation, Global Lead, Royal Care, Jodeq, Clear Image Investment, Devine Rain among others.

According to the schemes, some persons who invested about GH¢380 and GH¢450 were promised returns of GH¢6000 and GH¢5000 after five months.

“They showed us photocopies of their certificates with the Coat of Arms on it and said their companies had been authorised by the Registrar General’s Department to operate,”  a protestor, Maxwell Donku told Joy News Mawuli Yevu Agbi.

He said the companies presented some investment deals which was meant to double the deposits of customers in after some months.

“We took loans from banks to invest in the microfinance companies…I, for instance, took GH¢3,000 and invested,” he added.

“It was about a year and a half ago when this network groups came to Ho promising to give us GHC6,000 after 5 months when we invest GHC380. The early investors had their returns. But till date payment has stalled. The operators of these network groups have run away with our monies, now we are suffering to pay back our loans and feed our families. We are pleading with the government to help retrieve our monies for us,” Ellen Ahima wailed.

The leader of the group, Maxwell Donku said, “our findings have revealed that these network companies were duly registered with government hence government must step in to help retrieve their monies else they would be forced to boycott the upcoming general elections.”

According to the customers, the companies began closing their branches in Ho after several residents had made deposits.

“We want the government to intervene and help us retrieve our monies from the microfinance operators,” another demonstrator indicated.

The Brong Ahafo, Upper East and West regions were rocked with similar scams after God Is Love Fun Club, Jastar Motors and investments Company Limited, and others held the deposits of their customers ‘hostage’ for several months due to the closure of their companies by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

Dozens of the customers in these regions also demonstrated while some headed to court to retrieve their monies.

In a related development, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Microfinance Companies, Joseph Donkor says the companies involved are investment clubs and not microfinance companies as some of the victims are claiming.

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