Mobile money fraud in Ghana: Police, telcos seek review of prosecution process

The Cyber Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service is advocating a possible review of the current process in investigating and prosecuting fraud cases in mobile money transactions if the rate of attack is to be minimized.

The security agency believes the current procedure could partly be blamed for the seeming lack of interest for victims to report instances of fraud hence increase in the crime.

According to the Ministry of Communications, only ten percent of the about three hundred mobile money related cases of fraud were investigated and possible prosecutions undertaken.

The Director of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Dr. Gustav Yankson tells Citi Business News that the current procedure which requires the outfit to demand a court order to obtain information from the telecom companies every step of the way, could be blamed for this.

“If a crime has been committed via mobile money the telcos can easily see as to whether there is a crime or not. So immediately, we communicate to them, then they will revert with all the internal investigations that they have done,” he indicated.

But the Cyber Security Solutions Manager at Vodafone Ghana, Victor Gordon Nyamadi maintains they are only being compliant with the law which enjoins them to secure customer data unless otherwise instructed to divulge information through the law court.

He noted: “We need to go through the right process…if the law is not working effectively, then in my view, let’s review it.”

Mr. Nyamadi is however convinced that a possible review of aspects of the procedure could expedite the provision of information by businesses with inadequate data storage systems.

“Telcos have good measures that is capable of keeping the data up to the task as required by law but the issue has to do with the retrieval and the general process of going through,” he added.

There have been interventions such as training for judges on how they could expedite the court processes for the cyber-crime unit of the police service in tackling the issue.

The revisiting of the discussions also come at a time where the total volume of mobile money transactions increased by 48% to reached1,454,470,801in 2018.

At the same time, the total value of mobile money transactions increased by 43.2% to reach 223.2 billion cedis.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gustav Yankson is urging victims of mobile money fraud to report cases to the police for action to be taken.
“We are doing the best that we can and we are reassuring the public that even if you are ignorant and you fall victim, report to the Police and we will take it up,” he assured.