BNI uncovers another microfinance scam

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has uncovered another scam involving a non-bank financial institution, First Assurance Lending Services.

Although the company was licensed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to provide lending services for its clients, it turned round to collect deposits with the promise of providing nearly 47 per cent interest on the deposits.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Stephen Mortson, is currently in custody after he was remanded by the Accra Circuit Court last Tuesday.

The extent of the scam is yet to be established, although one client is reported to have deposited nearly GH¢600,000 with the company.

This came out as part of investigations by the BNI into the activities of microfinance and other non-bank financial institutions following the scandal that has rocked clients of some of the institutions.

A source at the BNI told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the suspect was scheduled to reappear before the circuit court on February 1, 2016.

The source said although the suspect’s office was often opened, he never went there.

It said an office clerk was always at post to inform clients of the company whose investments were due for payment that the CEO had travelled and would return to sign the cheques.

It noted that it took a whistleblower to lead one of the clients to the suspect’s house, in the company of security operatives, to arrest him.

The source appealed to members of the public who might have deposited money with the company to report to the BNI to assist in investigations.

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