The Registrar-General has cautioned customers of Diamond Microfinance Limited (DKM) against paying money to some unscrupulous persons extorting money from depositors ostensibly to process their claims for them at the Registrar-General’s Department.
These unscrupulous persons are going round in the Sunyani metropolis in the Brong Ahafo Region portraying themselves as agents of the Official Liquidator (OL) appointed by the Registrar-General.
Currently, the Official Liquidator has collated approximately 63,000 depositor claims which will be thoroughly examined and validated.
Mrs Jemima M. Oware, acting Registrar-General, who gave the warning, said this worrying development has also come to the notice of the Official Liquidator.
“The OL wishes to inform the General Public and Depositors of DKM that the OL has not authorised anybody to collect monies from depositors to process their claims.
“Anybody who gives money/monies to any such person/s does so at their own risk.
“The OL wishes to assure all stakeholders of DKM that the liquidation process is ongoing and is on course. We will issue press releases as and when it is necessary to do so to inform depositors about the status of the liquidation,” she added.
She explained that the OL, in accordance with Section 7 of the Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963 (Act 180), placed DKM in Official Liquidation on March 29, 2016, and is conducting the official liquidation of the company in accordance with the provisions of Act 180.
Mrs Oware said to assist the OL in the orderly winding up of DKM, the OL appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana Ltd (PwC) and De-Georges Law Consult (legal advisors) as her financial and legal consultants respectively under Section 10 of the Act.
The main objectives of the liquidation are to establish the true financial position of DKM through the conduct of a forensic audit, maximise asset realisations for the benefit of creditors, including mainly depositors, and distribute realisations in accordance with the relevant provisions of Act 180, to satisfy the indebtedness of the company to its body of creditors to the extent possible.
According to the Registrar-General, as a result of a paucity of records, it is not clear the true state of affairs of DKM as at the date of liquidation.
As per the Balance Sheet of the Special Audit Report covering the period October 25, 2013 to May 11, 2015, the company had a Net Liability position of negative (GH¢21m) GH¢21,030,142, making it insolvent and thereby unable to fully settle its obligations to its creditors, whose status are mainly Preferential and Unsecured.
Operating a 10-branch network in the Brong Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West regions of the country, the assets of the company comprise landed properties, motor vehicles and chattel assets.
To secure the books and records of the company, as well as assume control over the company’s assets, Mrs Oware said on commencement of the liquidation, the OL dispatched teams of officers to all the branches of DKM in these regions to take custody of resources of the company in order to determine the current state of affairs of DKM and to critically determine the depositor base of the company.
She noted that whereas most of the books and records of the company cannot be found and therefore retrieved, the offices were shut down through forced entry and seizure by some creditors. The OL noted that most of the assets of the company are the subject of legal attachments and are therefore in the custody of either the court or some creditors of DKM.
She assured that every effort is being made to trace the records and to recover properties owned by the company.
These include application of Forensic Technology Solutions to image and reconstruct data and engaging with the creditors and lawyers of these creditors, as well as the courts to wrestle company assets and realise them for the benefit of the body of creditors.
Mrs Oware said the critical steps being taken include accessing depositor data stored on the DKM’s servers, completing the compilation of data on depositors from documentation retrieved from the DKM’s branches, complete the collation and analysis of depositor claims, resolve issues related to encumbrances on the DKM’s assets and recover assets, commence the validation of depositor claims, as well as hold First Creditors meeting.