The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mobile Money Limited, a subsidiary of telecommunications giant, MTN, for enhanced cooperation to combat mobile money fraud and other fraudulent activities in the digital space.
The MoU aims to promote collaboration in areas such as sharing information on trends and patterns of scams, developing training guides to build capacity of investigators, coordinating investigations and exploring ways to enhance the effectiveness of building strong dockets for the prosecution of perpetrators.
At a brief signing ceremony at the EOCO head office in Accra yesterday, the Executive Director for EOCO, Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo Danquah, initialed for her outfit, while the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Mobile Money Limited, Shiabu Haruna, signed for his organisation.
Before sealing the pact, Mrs Addo Danquah said EOCO was committed to staying ahead of criminals through collaboration with all stakeholders.
“If the criminals are working together, what about those of us who are fighting them,” she asked.
EOCO, she revealed, recently secured convictions for some criminals who were behind SIM swap fraud with support from some telecommunication service providers and the banking industry.
“The conviction should send a signal to perpetrators that you cannot get away with such crimes,” she said.
Digital financial services and transactions, she said, had “made life easy and while it is making life easy for us in terms of making payments and transferring money, some people have taken advantage of that to defraud unsuspecting persons.
How do we stop them?”
Following the MOU, she said EOCO would receive training support, while Mobile Money Limited would share information of vulnerabilities and things to look out for when it develops new products to help investigators know what to watch out for in handling cases.
For his part, Mr Haruna said the partnership would help the organisation to better protect its customers from online scams in the country.
“Mobile money has become an integral part of our lives as individuals and businesses but we are saddled with issues of fraud that have permeated the services.
We will use the partnership to combat the increasing rate of financial crimes,” he said.
Citing a recent Bank of Ghana report on fraud relating to digital financial services, he said it showed an increase in the number of cases reported between 2021 and 2022.
The report, he said, also showed a significant amount of GH¢26million was lost through the Electronic Money Issues (EMIs) which was about 103 per cent growth in financial crime.
“This shows that there is some value that our customers are losing to organised and financial crime and it is our responsibility to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” said Mr Haruna.
He said the two organisations would work together to fight emerging crimes in relation to financial crime.
“As a leading provider of digital financial service, we owe it to our customers to collaborate and support the fight against crime and ensure our customers have a safe environment to conduct their business and personal transactions,” he said.