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2 Out Of 4 SIM SWAP Fraudsters Found Guilty After A Year Trial

Only two of the four arrested and charged for engaging in SIM SWAP fraud last year were passed through the process of the law to receive judgement at the Accra High Court, per a report by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

Linda Abakah, Solomon Ofosu, Ahmed Ansah, Derick Obeng and Ezekiel Otoo were arrested in April 2022 for illegally withdrawing an amount of GHc257,472.22 from 11 customers.

They were charged with the offence of conspiracy to steal, stealing and money laundering but only two of them got convicted on April 6 when they appeared in court for the last time.

This is because Derick Obeng and Ezekiel Otoo are at large.

Linda Abakah and Solomon Ofosu were handed down a year of imprisonment and a fine of two thousand (2000) penalty units each. In default, they will serve twenty-four months in prison in hard labour.

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.

After having access to this information, they take over the customer’s bank account, mobile and electronic cash.

The fraudsters fraudulently withdraw the remaining balance from the customers’ accounts at Agency Points. This is mostly achieved with the support of agents from the banks and staff of telecommunication companies to swap sim.

A total case count of 2,670 was recorded in the year 2020, as compared to 2,311 cases in 2019.

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.

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