The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) has arrested four persons engaged in SIM swap fraud.
Suspects, according to a representative of the Association of Banks, 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.
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.
In 2020, the banking sector fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana indicated that banks 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 were 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 was 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 stands at GH¢25.40 million, as compared to an estimated loss of GH¢33.44 million in 2019, representing a 24.0 percent decrease.
Meanwhile, some 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, the 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, Mr. 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.