Accra, Ghana – The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has launched a manhunt for four individuals accused of orchestrating a sophisticated SIM swap fraud scheme, resulting in the theft of over GH¢2 million from numerous bank accounts.
The suspects, identified as Derrick Obeng, also known as Chilling; Nicholas Gyekye, alias Payges; Ezekiel Otoo; and Frederick Anzi Quainoo, known as Kakra, are now at the center of a nationwide search.
EOCO, in collaboration with the Police and the Ghana Association of Bankers, recently conducted a joint operation that led to the arrest of two accomplices, Linda Abakah and Solomon Ofosu.
The authorities swiftly brought Abakah and Ofosu to trial, and they were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to steal, stealing, and money laundering by the High Court in Accra. Both individuals received a 12-month prison sentence and are currently serving their time at the Nsawam Maximum Prison.
According to a press statement released by EOCO, the investigation was initiated in April 2022 after receiving intelligence regarding a syndicate of fraudsters targeting various banks in Ghana and siphoning funds from customers' accounts. The agency's inquiries revealed that the fraudsters employed a modus operandi centered around fraudulent SIM card swaps.
By conducting unauthorized SIM card swaps, the criminals rendered the victims' mobile phone numbers inactive while simultaneously activating the same numbers on their own SIM cards. This granted the fraudsters unrestricted access to and control over the customers' bank accounts, allowing them to initiate unauthorized withdrawals and steal funds.
EOCO further disclosed that the suspects would often impersonate bank officials and social engineers to deceive customers into revealing their phone numbers, passwords, and PIN codes. Armed with this confidential information, the criminals then seized control of the victims' mobile banking applications, facilitating the fraudulent withdrawal of funds from their bank accounts.
Upon receiving information about the activities of the alleged fraudsters, EOCO swiftly collaborated with the Ghana Association of Bankers and the Ghana Police Service to identify and apprehend several suspects primarily based in Assin Fosu, located in the Central Region of Ghana.
EOCO is now urging the public to come forward with any information that may aid in the capture of the remaining fugitives and bring them to justice. The agency remains committed to tackling financial crimes and safeguarding the interests of banking customers across the country.
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