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EOCO Denies Moves To Target Celebs For Lifestyle Audit

Ghana’s Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has expressed surprise about continuous media reports that the Office is about to commence a life style audit target at the country’s celebrities within the creative arts and entertainment sector.

Executive Director, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah has described the nature of the reports as exaggerations and misinformation.

She also challenged anyone who claimed EOCO had announced plans to go after celebrities to produce such audiovisuals, rubbishing such claims being peddled in the media.

A recent interview granted by the head of Administration and Investigations at EOCO, Edward Cudjoe disclosed that processes were underway to initiate lifestyle audits for individuals with unexplained wealth.

Mr. Cudjoe explained that the initiative could not be carried out now because of the current state of the country’s laws and that some major changes and amendments needs to be done before such an audit of lifestyles can take place.

Even that, he did explain the said audit would be targeted to individuals across sector with unexplained wealth but someway somehow, the information out there is that Mr. Cudjoe had said EOCO was about to single out celebrities for lifestyle audits.

The reports have even pushed some of the key players within the entertainment sector to call on EOCO to extend the said audit to include politicians and government officials instead of targeting only celebrities.

Meanwhile, news of the presence of officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI),  Royal Canadian Mounted Police(RCMP) and other dreaded international security agencies has sent shock-waves into the spines of some Ghanaians since last week.

Some persons appeared to have been on tenterhooks following news reports at a time Ghanaian Socialite model, businesswoman, musician Mona Faiz Montrage known widely Hajia 4Reall accused of fraud, pleaded guilty in a  $2m romance scam case in the United States (U.S).

According to the prosecution, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, from at least in or about 2013 through in or about 2019, the Influencer was a member of a Criminal Enterprise based in Ghana that committed a series of frauds against individuals and businesses in the United States.

Among the false pretences used to induce victims to send money to Hajia4Reall were payments to transport gold to the U.S. from overseas payments to resolve a fake FBI investigation, and payments to assist a fake U.S. Army officer in receiving funds from Afghanistan.

Information from the grapevine had suggested that these international security bodies were also in the country to fish out accomplices of the suspect who faces up to a five-year jail term over her  role in the whole scam.

This coupled with misinformation that Ghana’s EOCO was going after celebrities with unexplained wealth, further heightened the tension.

The New Publisher Newspaper reached out to EOCO to establish if indeed officials from the FBI, RCMP and others were in the country and if it was related to hunting for Hajia 4Reall’s alleged accomplices.

Executive Director, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah (Mrs) revealed that the relationship between EOCO and International Security Agencies predates the Hajia 4Reall’s arrest and prosecution.

According to her, the recent visit by  a team, made up of a Forensic Accountant and two Special Agents from the Chicago Field Office was to support EOCO with some ongoing forensic investigations.

She disclosed that there is a  long-standing relationship between the two institutions and underscored  how useful such collaborations have been over the years in terms of investigations.

“We have a long-standing relationship and we occasionally pay courtesy calls on each other and seek support where necessary. The latest meeting has nothing to do with the misinformation being peddled both in social and mainstream media. We have not stated anywhere that we will be going after celebrities as some of the reports contained. EOCO, FBI and RCMP remain good partners and we rely on each other when the need arises”, she disclosed

She also challenged anyone who claimed EOCO had announced plans to go after celebrities to produce such audiovisuals, rubbishing such claims being peddled in the media.

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