An Accra Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Ellen Ofei-Ayeh on Wednesday, 13th April 2022 has granted four out of five persons arrested for Sim Swap Fraud by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Association of Banks.
This was after the four persons pleaded not guilty to nine (9) counts of conspiracy to steal, attempt to steal and participating in an organised criminal group.
Two (2) of the accused persons, Stephen Arthur and Nicholas Gyekye were each granted bail in the sum of GHC6 million with three sureties who should be gainfully employed.
Two others arrested for the same crime Ahmed Ansah and Daniel Kodzi were each granted bail in the sum of GHC5 million with three sureties who should be gainfully employed.
The case has since been adjourned to 17th May 2022.
Meanwhile, the fifth suspect who is a female has been remanded into prison custody to reappear on the next adjourned date.
The Economic and Organise Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Association of Bankers, Ghana had arrested four (4) persons engaged in SIM Swap fraud.
Suspects according to a representative of the Association of Bankers, Mr Ransford Nana Addo Jnr were picked up at various locations in the country for colluding and accessing the accounts of some Ghanaians.
It emerged that they managed to withdraw an amount of about GHC200,000 in their modus operandi before their cover was blown and subsequently apprehended by the security agency.
Involvement of Telecom Workers
It emerged that two staff of MTN are among the five suspects who were arrested in connection with the SIM swap fraud.
The two according to security agencies, are contract staff but have access to their database which they used in aiding their accomplices to perpetuate the fraud.
Sim Swap Fraud In Ghana
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. They can get One Time Passwords (OTPs) and other alerts required to conduct financial transactions through the person’s bank account with the help of this new SIM.
The 2020 banking sector fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana witnessed a marginal increase in reported fraud incidents with a minimal decrease in losses.
The reduction in losses was mainly due to a reduction in the rate of success for most fraud types. A total case count of 2,670 cases was recorded in the year 2020, as compared to 2,311cases in 2019.
The Reported value of fraud for 2020 was GH¢1.0 billion, as compared to GH¢115.51million recorded in 2019. The notable increase in the value reported as 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.