The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has recovered GH¢79 million proceeds of crime as of the end of June 2023.
The retrieval exceeds its GH¢60 million target for this year.
Last year, EOCO retrieved GH¢50 million from crime proceeds as against a target of GH¢30 million.
The proceeds of crime included money retrieved from businesses and individuals who under-declared taxes to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other wealth illegally acquired at the expense of state institutions such as the Gaming Commission and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
Proceeds of crime is the term given to money or assets gained by criminals during the course of their criminal activity or illegal wealth acquisition at the expense of the state.
EOCO has a five-year strategic plan with an aim to recover and manage proceeds of crime worth GH¢350 million by June 2028.
The office is mandated to investigate crimes such as financial loss to the state, money laundering, human trafficking, prohibited cyber activity, tax fraud and other such serious offences.
Per Section three of the EOCO Act, 2010 (Act 804), the office also has the power to take steps to recover the proceeds from such crimes.
During an interaction with editors and media practitioners in Accra last Wednesday evening, the Executive Director of EOCO, Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, said some of the achievements of the office could not be quantified financially.
Those she listed included rescuing and uniting human trafficking victims with their families, creating awareness of activities that could make people fall into the arms of perpetrators of economic and organised crime, and working with other law enforcement agencies to combat and prevent crime.
She said her outfit played a crucial role in the country’s efforts in combating economic and organised crimes.
One of the pillars of the five-year strategic plan (2023-2028) of EOCO, COP Addo-Danquah said, was to partner the media to educate the public on operations of the office and sensitise the public to crimes they could refrain from.
She said EOCO operated an open-door policy and was ready to partner the media to fight crime in Ghana.
EOCO, COP Addo-Danquah said, also collaborated with international partners to bring criminals who committed crimes outside the country but could be traced to Ghana, to be booked and to face justice.
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, commended the management of EOCO for deciding to partner the media to achieve the objectives of its five-year strategic plan.
“The media has always been a partner for development and we welcome the strategic partnership with EOCO to contribute to the transformation agenda of the office,” he stated.
The fight against organised crime, Mr Dwumfour said, was the collective responsibility of all stakeholders.
“Economic and organised crimes are complex and dynamic and the advancement in technology has made it even more complex.
To fight economic and organised crime in today’s world requires collaboration with other stakeholders such as the media,” he said.
Mr Dwumfour urged EOCO to help train members of the GJA who were into investigative journalism to sharpen their skill, increase their knowledge and deepen the fight against crime in the country.
“The GJA is always ready and willing to support EOCO to achieve its mandate but we will also criticise where necessary as part of our accountability mandate,” he said.
The Board Chairman of EOCO, Stephen Raymond Dapaa-Addo, said EOCO would institute an award for the best crime story published in the media which was biased towards the office.