SEC, EOCO raise red flag over 17 unlicensed investment entities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) have warned the public against investing in a number of unlicensed entities operating in the capital market.

In a joint statement issued in Accra yesterday SEC listed PatronPay Ghana/PetronPayGhana, Cedi Network Ghana, Bitcash Investment, Solmax Group, Freedom Synergy and FxKash Investment as some of the illegal entities.

The rest are Binomo Investment, Hi Pay, Quick Earn, Lite Earn, Snap Finance, Faucet Wealth Investment, Opay Investment, Payme Financial Services, Passive Income, Yvonne Hanson Deals and Alpha Pay.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (hereinafter referred to as (“SEC”) is the statutory body mandated by the Securities Industry Act 2016 (Act 929) as amended by the Securities Industry (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1062), to promote the orderly growth and development of an efficient, fair, and transparent securities market in which investors and the integrity of the market are protected. The SEC is the apex regulatory body of the securities industry.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office is established by the Economic and Organised Crime Office Act, 2010 (Act 804) as a specialised agency to monitor and investigate economic and organised crime and on the authority of the Attorney-General prosecute these offences to recover the proceeds of crime and provide for related matters.

An essential obligation of the SEC stipulated in Section 3(b) of Act 929 is to maintain surveillance over activities in securities to ensure orderly, fair, and equitable dealings in securities.

The SEC is also mandated to protect investors by publishing at regular intervals information to the public to inform their investment decisions. Section 2(a) of the Economic and Organised Crime Act 2010 (Act 804) gives the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) the mandate of preventing and detecting Organised Crime.

Furthermore, EOCO under Section 3(d) of Act 804 has a function of taking reasonable measures to prevent the commission of crimes specified in Section 3(a) – financial or economic loss to the Republic or any State entity or institution in which the State has financial interest, money laundering, human trafficking, prohibited cyber activity, tax fraud, and other serious offences.

The statement said in line with the above, the SEC and EOCO have embarked on joint investigations into the activities of some entities largely operating via online channels.

“In accordance with relevant provisions of Act 929 as amended and Act 804, the SEC and EOCO wish to inform the General Public that, the underlisted entities are not licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” the statement said.

The statement said capital market operators, investors, and the general Public should be assured that the SEC in collaboration with all relevant law enforcement agencies was committed to ensuring the rigorous enforcement of all the securities laws for operators in the capital market to promote an orderly growth and development of an efficient, fair, and transparent securities market in which investors and the integrity of the market are protected.

“The General Public is hereby advised to be vigilant and to desist from investing in all unlicensed investment products,” the statement said.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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