The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and with support from the GIZ Governance for Inclusive Development Programme co-funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), has sensitized some senior high schools in the Eastern Region on prohibited cyber activities and related matters.
The five-day sensitization programme which targeted some selected Senior High Schools in the Eastern Region started on the 15th May 2023 and ended on 19th May 2023.
The objectives of the programme were to create awareness of the mandate of EOCO, Prohibited Cyber Activities and the rippling effects these activities have on individuals (perpetrators and victims), families, businesses and the country as a whole.
The programme benefitted some Twenty-Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and twelve (29,512) students made up of 14,316 male students and 15,196 female students.
The beneficiary schools included Akuse Methodist Senior High School, Akro Senior High, Manyakrobo Senior High, Ghana Senior High, and New Jaubeng Senior High School.
Others were Oti Boateng Senior High School, Larteh Presby Senior High School, Mampong Presby Senior High School, Adonteng Senior High School, Okuapemman Senior High School and Nifa Senior High School.
Also, Yilokrobo Senior High School, Suhum Senior High School, Abuakwah State College, Nsawam Senior High School, St. Martin Senior High School benefitted from the programme.
In an introductory remark, the Eastern Regional Director, Mr. Justice Agbemava stated the purpose of the visit and gave a brief overview of the spate of cybercrime activities in the country and their negative effects on the nation and the individuals involved.
He also added that despite various efforts being implemented by the Office to curb this menace, statistics reveal that Ghana is increasingly becoming a hub for cybercrime activities hence the need for EOCO to reach as many young people as possible to spread awareness of this menace.
Head of Public Affairs, EOCO, Mrs. Faustina Lartey in her presentation also stressed that the use of the internet has made the world a global village.
She stated that despite the many positive things the internet can be used for, some recalcitrant persons have resorted to using it for unexplainable negativity such as cybercrime.
She mentioned, Romance and Dating Scam, Mobile Money Fraud, Scholarship Scam, Hacking, Advance Fee Fraud (419), Examination Results Scam, Spam, Phishing and Identity theft among others.
While explaining these various types of cyber crimes to the students, she mentioned that persons engaged in advance fee fraud could spend up to twenty-five years’ imprisonment when convicted.
In addition, she emphasized that ignorance of the law is no excuse and that children who engage in these crimes could end up in the Juvenile Correctional Centre.
Mrs. Faustina Lartey, encouraged students who are engaged in hacking, that as a matter of urgency, should desist from it.
She advised them to concentrate on their studies to pass their exams and apply for a course in “Ethical Hacking” and its related courses rather than becoming black hackers.
She concluded by stating that, it is important that Ghanaians work hard to maintain a positive global image of the country in order to appeal to foreign investors and make it a more attractive tourist destination. She further encouraged all persons present, to report perpetrators of cyber crimes to EOCO and other law enforcement agencies stressing on the protection of privacy and safety of complainants.
Also embedded in the presentation was a special message for all students from the Executive Director – EOCO, Mrs. Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah encouraging students to take their studies seriously and desist from engaging in criminal activities which could end up truncating their educational ambitions.
Heads and teachers of the beneficiary schools numbering about 167 were elated and encouraged the team to make routine visits to remind students of the need to desist from engaging in such criminal activities and also pledged to share the information with family and friends who were not privileged to benefit from the programme.
Present at the programme were a team from GIZ.