At the commencement of the year 2020, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) embarked on its first ever sensitisation programme for churches across the Greater Accra Region. This is part of EOCO’s mandate to take reasonable steps necessary to prevent the commission of serious crime as stated in Section 2 of EOCO Act 2010 (Act 804).
The yearlong programme is dubbed, “Awareness Creation Programme on Prohibited Cyber Activities, Money Laundering, Human Trafficking and other Serious Offences for Churches in the Greater Accra Region”. The programme was geared towards educating the youth on prohibited cyber activities, money laundering, human trafficking and other offences. It was also aimed at empowering generally the youth with information on the dangers and legal implications of such crimes since anyone could be a victim or a perpetrator.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the yearlong programme was suspended until further notice. Nevertheless, EOCO has resumed the programme in churches with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to execute its mandate.
EOCO AT ESUNNFA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ACCRA
On Friday, 13th March, 2021 at 0600hours, a team from the Public Affairs Unit (PAU) joined the youth of Esunnfa Presbyterian Church in Accra to celebrate their youth week. The youth numbering about forty (40) were educated on prohibited cyber activities.
The team leader, Head/Public Affairs, Mrs. Faustina Lartey educated the youth on cybercrime as per the law. She gave the local names of cybercrime as sakawa boys, yahoo yahoo and 419 which were greeted with thunderous laughter from the youth. She also mentioned some types of prohibited cyber activities as stranded passenger scam, mobile money fraud, examination result scam, employment scam and scholarship scam.
In her presentation, she stressed on the effect of cybercrime and displayed some graphical pictures of young persons who have died out of sakawa and those who have lost their sanity among others. She stated that anyone can be a victim and a perpetrator of cybercrime.
Miss Gloria Narh-Dometey, a member of the team, in her presentation pleaded with the youth to desist from such acts and report anyone found in such activities to the Office or the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). She therefore gave out the contact details of EOCO and that of NCSC to the youth.
Some of the youth shared their experiences in their neighbourhoods. One mentioned how young boys lately flaunt their wealth through driving luxurious cars and lavish spending. Another shared his experience on how he was almost scammed by a recruitment agency.
The youth were sent out as ambassadors of change in their communities to report those involved in prohibited cyber activities and to also educate their young siblings and relatives not to engage in it.
Source: Public Affairs Desk