More than 1,000 people in the Western Region who invested their funds in the “Tilapia” business, operated by the Safeway Tilapia Company Limited (STCL), are demanding a refund of their investment.
They have accused the STCL of defrauding them of thousands of Ghana Cedis and have appealed to government to intervene to help them retrieve their investments.
At a press conference in Takoradi, Warrant Officer Francis Affizie (Rtd), the Spokesperson and Chairman of the aggrieved investors, said some of them began investing between GHC 1, 000 and GHC 50, 000 in Safeway’s tilapia business since 2012.
He said the guaranteed returns ranged between 80 percent compound interest and 100 percent for the first, second and third years respectively.
He said they entered as equity partners in the tilapia business and were given certificates as evidence of their investments.
However, when their investments matured and went to the regional and national offices of the Company for payment, all the offices were closed down while contact numbers provided could not be reached.
Warrant Officer Affizie (Rtd) said the management members of the company included Mr Torkornoo Menson, a former Managing Director of Amalbank as the Board Chairman and Mr Jim Walter Foster, as the Chief Executive Officer.
Safeway Tilapia Company Limited is the subsidiary of Safeway Estates Limited undertaking tilapia hatchery project at Abui in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region.
The company has amongst others also invested in Tilapia Cage Farms at Jaketi, north of Akosombo in the Eastern Region, an agro-business and a housing project at the Agona East District in the Central Region.
The tilapia hatchery project at Abui was in 2014 adjudged the best national fingerlings producer by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Aquaculture.
Meanwhile, Mr Mama Martey, the Public Relations Officer of the Company, in a separate interview with the GNA said the company had secured new investment into the tilapia venture and had started re-engineering works at the Abui hatchery project adding that production of tilapia fingerlings would commence by the end of June.
The PRO said the company had started series of meetings with the investors across the country, to explain the circumstances that led to the failure to honour the payment plan.
Mr Martey appealed to the investors to exercise patience as a new payment plan would be discussed and a satisfactory agreement would be reached.