The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has declared three suspected persons for their involvement in a SIM swap fraud.
The three suspects identified as; Ezekiel Mensah Otoo, Nicholas Gyekye, and Derrick Obeng, aka Chilling have been tasked to provide the EOCO with information about some persons believed to be fraudsters to report them for their arrest.
According to the EOCO, Ezekiel is wanted for the alleged offense of stealing and involvement in SIM swap fraud.
In the case of Nicholas, the EOCO did not state what crime he is alleged to have committed but only urged the public to provide it “with information on the said Nicholas Gyekye” through a phone number.
Derrick is being sought after by the EOCO for the alleged offenses of stealing, defrauding by false pretense, and money laundering.
Early last year, EOCO received intelligence that there was a syndicate of fraudsters targeting local banks in the country and stealing funds from their customers’ accounts.
The modus operandi of the fraudsters is via a fraudulent swap of the mobile numbers of the customers of the banks. This fraudulent swap causes the customers’ mobile numbers to be inactive whiles the same numbers are activated on the fraudsters’ SIM cards enabling them to access and control the customers’ bank accounts and steal funds from the account.
Another modus operandi of these fraudsters is to act as Bank officials and social engineer customers to divulge their phone numbers, passwords, pin codes, and One Time Password (OTP).
After having access to this information, they will take over the mobile banking application of the customers’ thereby enabling them to fraudulently withdraw funds from the accounts.
In April 2022, EOCO in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Bankers and the Ghana Police Service identified and arrested some of the perpetrators, who were mostly based in Assin Fosu.
Amongst those arrested, two have been convicted at the High Court and are serving their sentence at Nsawam Prison.
EOCO added that others identified to be part of the syndicate are still at large, thus Derrick Obeng aka Chilling, Nicholas Gyekye aka Payges, Ezekiel Otoo, and Frederick Anzi Quainoo, alias Kakra.
The perpetrators are estimated to have stolen a total of over GH¢2,000,000.00 from the accounts of various customers of the banks
-BY Daniel Bampeo