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4 arrested in GH¢200k SIM swap fraud in joint EOCO and GAB operation

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks, has arrested four (4) persons engaged in SIM swap fraud.

Suspects, according to a representative of the Association of Banks, Mr. Ransford Nana Addo Jnr, were picked up at various locations in the country for colluding and illegally accessing the accounts of some Ghanaians from which they stole various amounts.

It emerged that they managed to withdraw an amount of about GH¢200,000 in their modus operandi before their cover was blown and subsequently apprehended by the security agency which was working closely with the banks.

SIM swap fraud occurs when fraudsters obtain a new SIM card from a person’s mobile service provider using the person’s registered phone number.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks, has arrested four (4) persons engaged in SIM swap fraud.

Suspects, according to a representative of the Association of Banks, Mr. Ransford Nana Addo Jnr, were picked up at various locations in the country for colluding and illegally accessing the accounts of some Ghanaians from which they stole various amounts.

It emerged that they managed to withdraw an amount of about GH¢200,000 in their modus operandi before their cover was blown and subsequently apprehended by the security agency which was working closely with the banks.

SIM swap fraud occurs when fraudsters obtain a new SIM card from a person’s mobile service provider using the person’s registered phone number.

The reported value of fraud for 2020 was GH¢1.0 billion, as compared to GH¢115.51 million recorded in 2019.

The notable increase in the value reported was a result of high values recorded in attempted correspondent banking fraud (forgery of SWIFT advice).

Even though the banking sector did not suffer any losses from any of the correspondent banking fraud attempts, it posed a reputational risk to some banks, whose staff were found culpable in two of the three reported incidents.

Losses incurred as a result of fraud for 2020 stand at GH¢25.40 million, as compared to an estimated loss of GH¢33.44 million in 2019, representing a 24.0% decrease.

Meanwhile, it is gathered that suspects are due for interrogation and will be arraigned before court later this week on various charges.

The latest arrest comes months after the Executive Director of EOCO, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah (Mrs) met with Mr. John Awuah CEO of the Ghana Association of Banks to collaborate with them in fighting fraud in the sector that is causing revenue leakages.

Commenting on the successful operation, the CEO of the Ghana Association of Banks, Mr. John Awuah praised the collaborative efforts with EOCO resulting in the arrest of the fraudsters.

He cautioned miscreants to be warned as banks were sharing intelligence and have enhanced cooperation with all security agencies, especially EOCO to rid the banking sector of fraudsters.

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