Ghana must step up efforts in combating cybercrime – EOCO Boss


The Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) COP Mrs Maame Tiwaa Yaa Addo-Danquah has called for a more sustained effort in fighting cybercrime in the country.

Recent reports have shown that Ghana’s internet penetration rate currently stands at 23.5 million of the total population, an observation COP Tiwaah says, has exposed users to all forms of cybercrimes.

Such threats, she stressed have serious implications for the country’s international reputation.

“The move towards a digital society has created new attack vectors for criminals to both conceal their identity and target new victims. It is worth noting that Ghana through these cybercrimes gained global recognition as a major cybercrime hub thereby contributing to the global cybercrime vocabulary with the word ‘sakawa’ – which refers to cybercrimes committed by Ghanaian perpetrators.

At a point in time, major international e-commerce operators and online merchants including Amazon, Paypal and other online retail outlets blacklisted Ghana where residents were unable to purchase goods and services online with their credit cards because of cyber fraud”, she said.

Madam Tiwaa was speaking at a public lecture on Cyber Security at the Kumasi Technical University on Thursday (March 23). The EOCO Boss also called for more collaborative efforts which include the private sector, international cooperation and continuous government investment in fighting the menace.

“Ghana must step up its coordination and engagement with the private sector, foreign partners such as the US Department of State and Justice, US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the British MI6, etc. to build capacities, exchange information which Motiwala (2017) argues, will bolster Ghana’s cyber security capabilities.

“Deliberate resourcing of Crimefighting bodies such as the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and Cyber Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service, The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) must be done to win the war on cyber-criminal activities in the country”, she indicated.

COP Tiwaah additionally urged the public to be vigilant and take measures to protect themselves from Cyber threats. She advised individuals to regularly change their passwords, avoid clicking on suspicious links, and refrain from sharing sensitive personal information online, therefore advising the public to report such suspicious characters to State security for immediate action.

The Kumasi Technical University organized a public lecture on the topic: “Building a sustainable Cyber-crime-free Society for Economic Development”. It was organized by the university’s Institute of Research, Innovation and Development (IRID) week celebration.

The Director of the Institute Dr Smart Sarpong said the forum was to open a broader discussion on the issue as it remains one of the ways by which businesses lose revenue but fail to report out of shyness.

He said the university as part of its measures to help curb the menace has introduced a new programme of study on Artificial Intelligence to help simulate information on cyber-crime for solutions to them before they occur. He thus urged other educational institutions to cooperate with authorities to help reduce the menace.


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