The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has officially referred the investigation into the financial affairs and assets of former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, and her associates, to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
In a statement released on Thursday, the OSP clarified that, despite nearly seven months of extensive investigation by both the OSP and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States (US), no direct and immediate evidence of corruption has been found in the seized funds and frozen bank accounts linked to Ms. Dapaah and her associates
The OSP stated, “The investigation has identified strong indications of suspected money laundering and structuring. While the OSP acknowledges these suspected offenses, they do not fall directly within the mandate of the Office. By law, the office cannot investigate, prosecute, nor recover proceeds of crime except those that fall within corruption and corruption-related offenses as defined under section 79 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959).”
Following the principles outlined in section 3 of Act 959, which mandates the OSP to collaborate and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies, the case has been transferred to EOCO for further investigation.
It is important to note that in August 2023, the OSP took action by freezing Ms. Dapaah’s bank accounts and confiscating $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million from her residence after reports surfaced regarding the theft of a significant amount of cash in both cedis and foreign currencies.
“The Office has been in court until today, seeking to confirm the frozen bank accounts and secure the seized money for extended periods, pending the outcome of investigations. A portion of the inquiry was entrusted to the FBI due to allegations suggesting involvement in funds transfers from the United States,” the OSP emphasized.
The transfer of the investigation to EOCO marks the next phase in ensuring a comprehensive and thorough examination of the suspected money laundering and structuring offenses alleged to have occurred. EOCO will now be responsible for conducting further investigations and prosecuting any offenses within their jurisdiction.
As the investigation continues under EOCO’s purview, it is hoped that concrete evidential findings will shed light on the financial activities surrounding Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her associates.