Ghanaian press spotlights financial crime cases for investigations by EOCO, others

APA– Accra The report that the Bank of Ghana has forwarded a number of suspected financial crime cases to the Economic and Organised Crime Office for investigations and Japan’ s grant of $4.5 m to the WFP to implement the Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement project in Ghana are some of the leading…

APA – Accra (Ghana) The report that the Bank of Ghana has forwarded a number of suspected financial crime cases to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for investigations and Japan’s grant of $4.5m to the WFP to implement the Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement project in Ghana are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Bank of Ghana says it has forwarded a number of suspected financial crime cases to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for investigations.

According to the Central Bank, these include suspicious claims to the Bank of Ghana for the payment of certain large sums of money purportedly remitted to them by foreign counterparties through some financial institutions.

A statement issued by the Central Bank noted that, “these claimants often attach documentation alleged to be messaging from the SWIFT international funds transfer system, as proof of the receipt and retention of their funds by BoG.”

The Central Bank noted that following an emerging trend that it had observed over the last few years, it had since October 2020 submitted five separate requests to EOCO for investigations into claims of persons (individuals, businesses, and law firms acting on behalf of clients) who have persistently made claims on the BoG to the effect that certain large sums of money purportedly remitted to them by foreign counterparties through the banking system have been withheld by BoG.

It, however, noted that EOCO had made significant progress in these investigations and had initiated prosecution in some of these cases.

The newspaper says that the Government of Japan has allocated a grant of $4.5 million to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to implement the Universal Nutrition and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement project in Ghana.

The project, which is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ghana Health Service (GHS), KOKO Plus Foundation, Sysmex and NEC Corporation, is aimed at improving the nutrition and health of children in the country.

Speaking at the ceremony to sign the related agreement in Accra yesterday, the WFP Representative in Ghana, MsAnna Mukiibi-Bunnya, said the project would provide good quality nutrition and health services accessible to over 250,000 children in country, through the provision and marketing of nutritious foods and micronutrient supplements.

She said it would be implemented in 90 districts in eight regions where 7,500 vulnerable pregnant and nursing women, children and adolescent girls would be supported to access nutritious foods through a voucher scheme.

Ms Bunnya said the women would be enrolled onto livelihood programmes to improve their economic status and support them to continueto eat nutritious foods even when the projects ended.

“The pivot of the new nutrition project is social and behaviour change communication, which is critical to informing, educating and changing habits. Over 200,000 people will receive nutrition education and counselling and provided with opportunities to buy KOKO Plus food supplements to boost child growth and development,” she added.

She commended the government of Japan for its continuous support to the nutrition programme in Africa and Ghana in particular and called on other stakeholders to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals since Ghana could not achieve its alone.

Ms Bunnya also applauded Ghana for the strides it had made in reducing malnutrition in the country and re-affirmed WFP’s continued support to make the 2030 Goal of Zero Hunger a reality.

The Graphic reports that the Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has apologised on behalf of his colleague Members of Parliament (MPs) for the fight in the House on Monday, December 20, 2021.

“This is a very shameful and embarrassing moment for us in Parliament. I think all of us in Parliament must be bowing down our heads in shame”, he said.

Choas erupted in the House during the consideration of the controversial Electronic Transaction Bill popularly known as E-Levy resulting in the exchange of blows.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said such an incident should not be allowed to happen again.

“The Parliament of Ghana has not witnessed such bestiality before. Do we want to inflict carnage in Parliament or do we desire the title honourable members”, he queried.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the adjournment of the house would allow some cool heads to prevail.

That, he said, would also allow for further consultations among the Majority and the Minority, as well as other stakeholders.

The Majority Leader, who recounted how the incident happened on the floor of the house, said the first Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, who was presiding at that time and was not well, stood up from his seat to go and take some medication and later to visit the washroom.It was then that he was physically prevented by some Minority MPs that led to the confusion.

He explained that whoever said the Second Deputy Speaker could not exercise his right of casting his vote as a MP was wrong because there was no constitutional provision or any standing order in Parliament that debarred him from voting when he presides.

The newspaper says that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is set to roll out the pre-arrival passenger information system for passengers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the first quarter of 2022.

This follows the introduction of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) as part of the phase two of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), a single window platform in deployment for cargo clearance at the country’s ports.

The system will see data on flight details and passenger biographic data being transmitted to the border control agencies in the destination country prior to departure to enhance easy travel for passengers coming into the country.

According to the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Link Network Services, Mr Clyde Adjei, other modules, such as post-clearance audit (PCA), electronic wallet, simplified clearance/postal and courier modules, were being introduced to ensure ease of doing business for the public.

He said other features would enable customs to undertake investigations by way of easy data recall, customs laboratory activities, duty drawback, performance management, state warehouse management, surveillance and electronic auction modules.

Speaking at a media training on the ICUMS implementation for members of the Port Journalists Network (PJN) in Accra last Friday, Mr Adjei observed that the second phase would further improve revenue collection, block loopholes and make clearing at the ports and other entry points seamless and stress-free.

He said although Ghana Link had been successful with the rollout of the first phase of ICUMS, it continued to offer training to all stakeholders as it prepared to roll out phase two of the project.

“It is with this background that we have decided to enhance your capacity to fully appreciate and embrace the system to help in the effective and responsible reporting on ICUMS for the public.

GIK/APA

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