Ghana has lost $19,800,000 through fraud and criminal activities, last year, as against at least $11 million the previous year, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Herbert Gustav Yankson, Director of the Child Protection Digital Laboratory and Cybercrime Unit, has disclosed.
Additionally, the unit recovered $101,000, six cars, three plots of land bought with proceeds of fraud.
ACP Dr Yankson, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra, yesterday, said cases reported to the unit included cyber fraud, sex image abuse, child pornography and Facebook account crime, and the victims or complainants were males.
He said the unit also recorded cases involving charlatan advertisements, illegal sale of examination questions, forgery of documents, sale of pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards and publication of false news.
ACP Yankson stated that the unit recorded an increase of 39 per cent in fraud, due to online transactions in the wake of COVID-19, adding that some offenders were jailed while other cases were pending in court.
He said the unit arrested 241 fraudsters or criminals in 2020 as against 135 the previous, explaining that “the increase in arrest can be attributed to the establishment of Child Protection and Digital Forensic Laboratory”.
ACP Yankson expressed worry over want of prosecution regarding some cases because victims refused to testify in court because of stigmatisation.
He said the unit would intensify its sensitisation of the public and train personnel to be abreast with current methods adopted by the fraudsters, to reduce crime.
ACP Yankson commended social media partners for their support to the unit in the fight against crime.
He cautioned the youth against internet fraud and called on institutions, companies and individuals to protect their cyberspace against criminals.
ACP Yankson stressed “We must all endeavour to improve the culture on cyber security in all our transactions”.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI