The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has announced a successful recovery of GH¢79 million in proceeds of crime by the end of June 2023, surpassing its annual goal of GH¢60 million.
According to a report by graphic.com.gh, in 2022, EOCO retrieved GH¢50 million crime proceeds, exceeding its target of GH¢30 million.
These proceeds were obtained from both businesses and individuals who had under-reported taxes to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), as well as from those who had acquired wealth unlawfully, often at the expense of state entities such as the Gaming Commission and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
Proceeds of crime refer to funds or assets acquired by criminals through illegal activities or illicit wealth accumulation, often at the detriment of the state.
During an interaction with the media on August 23, 2023, the Executive Director of EOCO, Commissioner of Police (COP), Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, noted that several gains by the office extended beyond financial gains.
Among these achievements were rescuing and reuniting human trafficking victims with their families, raising awareness about activities that could make individuals vulnerable to economic and organized crime perpetrators, and collaborating with law enforcement agencies to combat and prevent criminal activities.
COP Maame Tiwa also shed light on EOCO’s crucial role in the country’s fight against economic and organised crimes.
She noted that one of the primary pillars of EOCO’s five-year strategic plan (2023-2028) involves collaborating with the media to educate the public about the office’s operations and also sensitise citizens about preventable crimes.
She said EOCO operated an open-door policy and was ready to partner the media to fight crime in Ghana.
Also, she highlighted EOCO’s commitment to working alongside international partners to clamp down on criminals who committed offenses abroad but can be traced back to Ghana, ensuring their prosecution and accountability.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) devised a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, aiming to recover and manage GH¢350 million in proceeds of crime by June 2028.
The office’s mandate includes investigations into various offenses, including financial loss to the state, money laundering, human trafficking, cybercrimes, tax fraud, and other serious transgressions.
As per Section three of the EOCO Act, 2010 (Act 804), the office is vested with the authority to take actions towards recuperating proceeds from such criminal activities.