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April 22nd , 2024

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EOCO TO LAUNCH LIFESTYLE AUDITS TARGETING CELEBRITIES, INDIVIDUALS WITH SUSPECTED UNJUSTIFIED WEALTH

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The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is gearing up to undertake extensive lifestyle audits aimed at celebrities and individuals suspected of amassing wealth through dubious means, following the recent guilty plea of Ghanaian social media influencer and musician, Hajia4reall, in a $2 million romance scam case.


The decision comes amid growing concerns over the perceived inability of Ghanaian authorities to curb the rise of illicit enrichment within society.


Speaking on JoyNews’ Upfront, Edward Cudjoe, the head of Administration and Investigations at EOCO, disclosed ongoing efforts to kickstart lifestyle audits targeting individuals with unexplained affluence.

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“We are taking the lead by spearheading initiatives and proposing amendments to existing laws to bring them in line with international standards. This ensures that any discrepancies in one's financial profile are supported by legitimate income sources. Any disparities must be elucidated to law enforcement, and the onus lies on the individual to account for the origin of those assets,” remarked Edward Cudjoe.

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Cudjoe emphasized EOCO's resolve to depart from the current legal framework, advocating for amendments to align with international norms.


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Under the proposed reforms, individuals would be mandated to justify any discrepancies in their financial profiles based on their lawful earnings.


The responsibility of proving the legitimacy of their resources would fall squarely on the individual, even prior to becoming subjects of investigations.


Former Auditor General Daniel Domelevo chimed in, warning of the looming threat of Ghana falling prey to the influence of drug cartels if lifestyle audits are not promptly implemented.


Domelevo underscored the inadequacy of existing systems, urging a balanced consideration of individual privacy concerns within the broader spectrum of national interest and communal welfare.


“Our current systems are ill-equipped to handle this challenge. The argument regarding invasion of privacy needs to be weighed against considerations of national interest or our collective welfare. Failure to address this issue promptly could result in sacrificing individual rights for the greater good,” he cautioned.


He cautioned that failing to address the issue promptly might entail compromising individual rights for the greater good.

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