The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has released a document outlining new methods for dealing with economic and organized crime and ensuring the state’s economic well-being.
It primarily aims to disrupt organized criminal operations, deny criminals the proceeds of crime, collaborate with local, national, and international law enforcement authorities, as well as other relevant organizations, and grow EOCO into an operationally and financially resilient and sustainable organization.
The five-year plan, which will run from 2023 to 2028, replaces a prior strategic plan that ran from 2013 to 2017.
It was created with financial and technical aid from GIZ’s Governance for Inclusive Development Programme and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO).
Representatives from stakeholder organizations and organizations such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Public Prosecutions, the Narcotics Control Commission, and the Office of the Special Prosecutor attended the event.
The Financial Intelligence Centre, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Journalists Association, and the British High Commission round out the list.
Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, said in a speech read on his behalf that EOCO had achieved some major successes in its 12 years of existence but still possessed the potential to transform itself into a more formidable state institution capable of leading the charge in the fight against financial crimes.
“The plan shall serve as a blueprint and an evaluative tool against which the overall performance of EOCO shall be measured.
It further provides a reliable planning framework for the operations and long-term sustainability of the office,” the speech, delivered by a Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Diana Asonaba Dapaah, said.
He said he was pleased that the plan recognised the evolving complexities of modern-day crimes and emphasised the need for the adoption of relevant technologies as part of its crime-fighting strategies, adding that EOCO needed to be even more sophisticated and robust to stay ahead of the game.
“I am therefore confident that our sustained efforts to see to the implementation of this strategic document would lead to the development of a safer and prosperous society for all Ghanaians,” he added.
The Executive Director of EOCO, Commissioner of Police (COP), Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, said the document would provide the needed guidance to ensure the production of consistent and sustainable results for the office and urged stakeholders to closely monitor its implementation since it reflected their shared ideals and interests.
The plan, she said, was expected to bring significant improvement to the internal processes of EOCO while providing for a mission and vision statement which would aid the communication of a clear direction for the office.
“Moreover, it sets out pragmatic steps for the Office to become more responsive to its mandate through the implementation of a robust asset recovery and management regime, the use of modern technology, the development of adequate human capital, as well as the fostering of relevant partnerships,” COP Addo-Danquah explained.
The Head of Governance at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Rodger Oppong Koranteng, said the most important part of any plan was the implementation.
“I have looked at the strategic plan and I think as a document, it is perfect.
Now the question is if they would be able to implement it to the letter? That’s what we want to know and we will in the next five years,” he said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
Dr Oppong-Koranteng urged the board, the management and the entire staff of EOCO not to leave the plan to collect dust after all the pomp and circumstance of the launch but rather enforce its content to the benefit of the public.