EOCO Recovers GH¢99m From Looters

The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has recovered proceeds from financial fraud totalling GH¢99,165,369.29.

The
amount represents recoveries and other proceeds of crimes such as default
taxes, royalties, unearned salaries, recovery from defrauding by false
pretences, stealing and money laundering.

The
money retrieved between 2014 and March 2019 are resources which otherwise would
have been lost to state institutions like Ghana Revenue Authority, National
Petroleum Authority, BOST, Ghana Tourism Authority, MASLOC, Scholarship
Secretariat, and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

Commissioner
of Police (COP) Frank Adu-Poku (rtd), Executive Director of EOCO, speaking at
the maiden stakeholder engagement on the activities of EOCO on the theme:
“Combating Organized Crime In Ghana – A Shared Responsibility,” said a total of
1,855 cases involving tax fraud, defrauding by false pretences, money
laundering, prohibited cyber activities, bank fraud, payroll fraud and human
trafficking had been investigated by the organization.

Out
of the number, 102 cases investigated by EOCO were prosecuted, with accused
persons in four of the cases being discharged while 12 convictions were secured.

Touching
on new initiatives of the organization in fighting organized crimes, the EOCO
Executive Director said his office had reached out to other groups to
collaborate in the fight against economic and organized crimes as well as
educate the public through its awareness programmes on prohibited cyber
activities.

“We
admit that the office can do more given the needed request,” he said.

Attorney
General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo, in
her keynote address, commended EOCO for the initiative, adding that it would
bring transparency and build public trust in the organization.

She,
however, cautioned the organization that inasmuch as it wants to be open it
should be careful not to succumb to the pressure of the public to prosecute
cases without the required evidence.

The
event was sponsored by EU-funded Accountability, Rule of Law and
Anti-Corruption programme in partnership with the Ghana Anti-Corruption
Coalition (GACC) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

It was attended by representatives of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Tranparency International, Institute of Economic Affairs, Star Ghana, CHRAJ, NCCA, PIAC, Office of the Special Prosecutor, Ghana Police Service, Financial Intelligence Centre, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Immigration Service and the Food and Drugs Authority.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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