Mobile telecommunications giant, MTN Ghana on Friday, trained some judges in the country on the schemes carried out by fraudsters to manipulate mobile money transactions and defraud innocent Ghanaians.

The workshop was organized by MTN Ghana in collaboration with e-Crime bureau to enlighten the judiciary with enough information and also show them the various means used by perpetrators to defraud people.

“It is important that the magistrate and judges who sit on these cases are also schooled and educated on this service, heights, works, functions, what to look out for, and the various typologies we picked out around fraud and how people are trying to use other people for the service.

“So today’s section is just to achieve that and bring the judiciary on board in the whole mobile money journey so that together we can work to ensure that this wonderful service which is geared towards our digital agenda and at the forefront of financial inclusion in this country is able to meet our expectations in our economy and developmental drive.

“The partnership is to foster a stronger bond between us and the judiciary because we work together in delivering the service and all the associated issues.

“Also to bring the judiciary up to speed on latest development on the industry and the future so that with that knowledge it also helps them put together their judgements and their thoughts around issues that come to their various courts and be able to properly adjudicate cases based on the right knowledge,” Mr Eli Hini, General Manager of MTN Mobile Money Limited, Ghana, explained.

Mr Hini also stated that, there is still ongoing discussions on tax payments with government and is hopeful that the additional taxes on the way will wait while the services involved develops.

“The tax discussion will continue and we will continue to engage government in all relevant institutions because I believe that we all want the good for this country and therefore whatever we do will be aimed towards the best for the economy and we will continue to engage along those lines.”

“Our belief is that the service has still not reached the level where we should be discussing taxes, moreover there are already taxes being paid through Agent’s Commissions as well as cooperate tax and other related taxes today and therefore the additional one that is coming we believe can wait while the services involved develops and is sure at the right time it will be an opportunity to review again,” He hinted.

Dr. Herbert Gustav Yankson, Chief Superintendent of Police and the Head of Cybercrime Unit also added that the fraudsters use some form of intrusion and malicious software to manipulate their way through and so there is a need to educate the judiciary so as to empower them in disseminating appropriate punishment to those found guilty.

“In fighting cybercrime and especially mobile money fraud, because of privacy of data, we need the court to give us an order to be able to obtain the data that we need to investigate such cases so letting them understand what goes into the investigations and the need for some quick response is key and that is why letting them appreciate the challenges that we are facing and letting them understand is key,” he added.

He said that there is a need to create awareness and sensitize the general public so as to reduce cases of fraud.

“About 60 to 70% of all the cybercrime cases are related to fraud… and so if 70% of the cases are based on fraud, then awareness is key. Meaning that if we all empower ourselves with knowledge. If we all become aware and sensitize the general public then we can reduce the cases by 70% and which is a big achievement,” He said.

According to Mr Yankson, getting rid of cybercrime is impossible because crime is part of our society but it can be reduced to barest minimum.

He also urged Ghanaians to protect their data especially from third parties. We are in a human society and we can’t rule out crime.

“Crime has been part of our society for years so we can’t rule out crime but we should be able to reduce it to the barest minimum… but getting it out entirely I doubt if that is not possible. That is why empowering the general public is key, that is where awareness is very important.”

Over the years the workshop has been organized to educate the police and media, to sensitize them on the right information and tools on how to go with their investigations on fraud cases.

The e-Crime Bureau is hopeful that with the focus on the judiciary, it would help the judges understand the operations and investigation of criminals especially mobile money fraud.

“From what we have seen as an industry player technically, their eco-system needs to bring all the players to understand the invasive nature of the mobile money fraud that happens every day and that is why e-Crime Bureau has stepped in. This is one of the programs we have with MTN.

This time we want to bring the focus on the judiciary because we want them to appreciate the development within the ecosystem especially when we come to the fraud topologies, the modus operandi of the criminals, when it comes to mobile money fraud because we’ve gathered a lot of intelligence as to how the criminals operate,” Business Operations Manager e-Crime Bureau, Philip Danquah Debrah explained.