Over 400 online loan goons arrested

A joint operation by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has led to the arrest of 422 Ghanaians and three foreign nationals engaged in illegal online loan application schemes.

The exercise was conducted on Monday, July 10, 2023, with support from the Ghana Police Service, in three different suburbs in the Greater Accra Region.

In all, 654 mobile phones, 22 laptop computers and about 800 SIM cards were retrieved as part of the exercise from the suspects.

EOCO Executive Director, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, at a joint press briefing in Accra said investigations have so far led to the identification of 150 unlicensed digital loan application platforms.

She indicated that owners/administrators of these illegal loan platforms resort to the use of death threats and the non-consensual distribution of private messages, images and videos mainly accessed through authorised permissions granted by unsuspecting victims who patronise these digital platforms.

She disclosed that the suspects have been granted bail while they assist with investigations.


COP Addo-Danquah thus cautioned the public to desist from having any form of engagement with unlicensed financial entities who ply their trade online.

Director General, Cyber Security Authority, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako said the arrests were made possible through effective collaboration between the agencies which included information sharing and, thus, commended the staff of the three agencies who worked tirelessly to ensure that the suspects were arrested.

He further indicated that the suspects, if found guilty, will be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako hinted that the arrest is one of many the agencies would be conducting, adding “we will continue such targeted exercises going forward until Ghanaians are comfortable in using digital platforms.”

Director of Financial Stability, BoG, Dr. Joseph France, said the Central Bank recently observed the growing trend of credit products by unlicensed entities and cautioned the public against engaging them as it contravenes the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016, Act 930 and the Non-Bank Financial Institution Act, 2008, Act 774 and the directives and guidelines associated therewith.


Subsequently, he said the Central Bank intensified its public education based on prevalent concerns and complaints bordered mainly on consumer abuse and harassment, data protection and privacy, identity theft and cloning, and money laundering and terrorism financing, among others.

“It is concerning to note that borrower is obliged to grant the application access to critical personal information prior to the loan request through which a borrower’s personal information and those of the borrower’s contacts on the phone are harvested in breach of the data and privacy laws.

“As noted earlier, we have received reports about the inimical practices of these illegal lenders intimidating and abusing defaulting borrowers by sending defaming messages to the contacts on the borrowers’ phones, which has caused suicidal tendencies among some of the borrowers,” he added.

Dr. France noted that to address the issue, the BoG leveraged its long-standing cooperation with the law enforcement agencies and carried out extensive investigation which led to the arrest of the suspects.

“The Bank of Ghana remains resolute in building a robust, resilient and safe digital financial service industry trusted by both local and international stakeholders,” he said

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