Story: Yaw Takyi
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) says it is working to make Ghana an unattractive destination for economic criminals.
Abdulai Bashiru Dapilah, Deputy Executive Director of Operations at EOCO, said the Office was repositioning itself and collaborating with its development partners and other law enforcement agencies to deal with economic and organised crime activities.
“We want to stay ahead of crime and make Ghana a hell for economic criminals. Ghana will not be an attractive destination for economic criminals,” Dapilah told the Ghana News Agency.
He added: “Those who see their colleagues in crime and think it is an easy way of making money, they better don’t go into it, because we are coming after them and whatever they would have acquired when we get them, we will deprive them of it and still send them to jail.”
Dapilah said the Office is collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – Nigeria, and GIZ, among others to achieve its targets.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – Nigeria has done it. We have learnt from their experiences, we have exchanged ideas, shared intelligence and strategies, and we are collaborating to confront economic criminals wherever they may be in the two countries,” he said.
He said EOCO had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Bank of Ghana, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), BOST Company and others towards that aim.
Dapilah said the Office was amending the EOCO Act to enable it to raise funds through recoveries of proceeds of crime, adding that it would allow the Office to finance its activities and to be financially independent.
He cautioned the public against the purchase of stolen cars, saying EOCO is collaborating with the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on that.
“We have sent the Vehicle Identification Numbers of those vehicles to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) that anybody who brings any of such cars to register, the person should be arrested and the car detained so that they inform us to come for them,” Dapilah said.
He said EOCO had also frozen those vehicles and issued freezing orders, adding, “For the period of investigation, anybody who does not verify from us or do due diligence and buys any of such vehicles, does so at his or her own risk.”
On Tuesday, April 18, EOCO issued a statement ordering persons possessing some 95 vehicles believed to have been stolen from the USA and Canada to hand them over immediately.
The statement further provided details of the vehicles, including identification numbers, car models, and addresses of some individuals suspected of having the luxury vehicles smuggled into Ghana.