THE Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has made a direct recovery of GH¢7.43 million from a total of 466 cases which it investigated and prosecuted in 2018.
The recovered amount, which has been lodged in the Consolidated Fund, forms part of efforts to reduce illicit financial flows and strengthen the recovery of stolen assets.
With support from the Attorney-General’s Office, EOCO has also retrieved more than GH¢164,000 as an indirect recovery to relevant institutions from proceeds of crime.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who disclosed that when he laid the 2019 Budget and Economic Statement before Parliament in Accra, stated that a total of 466 cases were investigated and 34 prosecuted at various courts with two court convictions secured.
“The Attorney-General’s Office received 266 criminal cases, prosecuted 226 cases, advised on 88 cases and made 20 extradition requests to the International Cooperation Unit, out of which 16 were granted.
“In 2019, the office expects to secure at least 80 per cent conviction out of cases referred to it by the police,” he said.
The minister observed that in 2019, the office expects to investigate and prosecute about 35 per cent of cases received on the advice of the Attorney-General.
It also plans to train about 350 officers in various investigative skills and emerging crimes.
The office will promote awareness on cyber and economic crimes through educative programmes.
Legal education programme
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the Attorney-General’s Office through the General Legal Council successfully disposed off 61 disciplinary cases out of the 83 complaints received by the council.
“The ministry trained and called to the bar a total number of 317 lawyers. An entrance examination was conducted for 1,818 applicants out of which 467 law students were admitted for the 2018/2019 academic year.
“In 2019, the ministry plans to enrol 650 students and call 400 lawyers to the bar. It also anticipates to dispose of 80 cases against lawyers through disciplinary measures and complete the construction of archives blocks and reception,” he added.
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the ministry organised a stakeholders’ workshop to disseminate the research findings and recommendations of its 2017 research on the assessment of knowledge, experiences and perceptions of the public and stakeholders of the legal service sector of the Office of the Attorney General.
He stated that it recruited 50 lawyers to enhance its legal staff strength across the country.
“In 2019, the ministry plans to complete the rehabilitation of five regional offices of the Office of the Attorney-General, renovate three bungalows for the regional heads of the office of the Attorney-General, as well as continue with the construction of the law house to ease the problem of acute shortage of office accommodation.
“The ministry will also organise a stakeholders’ workshop to disseminate the research findings and make recommendations on its 2018 research on the assessment of knowledge, experiences and perceptions of the public and stakeholders of the legal service sector of the Office of the Attorney General,” he added.