The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) says it is working towards making Ghana an unattractive destination for economic criminals.
Mr. Abdulai Bashiru Dapilah, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, EOCO, said the Office was repositioning itself and collaborating with its development partners and other law enforcement agencies to deal with economic and organized crime activities.
“We want to stay ahead of crime— and to make Ghana a hell for economic criminals. Ghana will not be an attractive destination for economic criminals,” Mr Dapilah told the Ghana News Agency.
He added: “Those seeing their colleagues in crime and thinking it is an easy way of making money, they better not 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.”
Mr. Dapilah said the Office was 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 learned 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.
Mr 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 enable the Office to finance its activities and to be financially independent.
He cautioned the public against the purchase of stolen cars, saying EOCO was 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,” Mr Dapilah said.
He said EOCO had also frozen those vehicles and issued freezing orders, adding that: “For the period of investigation, anybody who will 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 in possession of 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.