The Accra High Court has sentenced two persons to 12 months imprisonment for engaging in Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) fraud, in Accra.
Additionally, the court presided over by Mrs Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe ordered the convicts to pay a fine of GHC 24,000 each or in default serve 24 months in prison.
The convicts, Linda Abakah and Solomon Ofosu,who were charged with conspiracy to steal, stealing and money laundering, illegally withdrawing GHc257,472.22 from Mobile Money Accounts of 11 customers.
Two other accused, Derick Obeng, aka Chilling, and Ezekiel Otoo, who were at large, at the time of sentencing, were, however, charged with the same offences.
The court said it was lenient with the convicts because they were held in custody for six months and the fact that the bulk of the benefit or proceeds of the crime has not been accrued to them.
It would be recalled that in April, 2022, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) and the Ghana Police Service, arrested a syndicate, based in Assin Fosu, in the Central region.
The syndicate was involved in mobile banking application fraud and sim swap fraud, through SIM swap and mobile banking application fraud schemes.
The mobile application fraud is an online scamming method in which monies are stolen through social engineering by luring customers of banks to divulge their phone numbers, passwords, pin codes, and One Time Password (OTP).
After having access to these information, fraudster take over the customer’s bank account, mobile and electronic cash.
The fraudsters fraudulently withdraw money from customers’ accounts at Agency Points. This was mostly achieved with support of agents from the banks and staff of telecommunication companies to swap SIM.
Through their fraudulent activities, customers’ mobile numbers were swapped without their knowledge and allowed them to gain access to their mobile banking application to steal funds.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI