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05.07.2005 General News

"419" would damage Ghana's image abroad


Accra, July 5, GNA - Ghana is being perceived as one of the riskiest place in the world for electronic business operation because it has been cited in the 2005 report of the economists intelligence unit to be dealing in computer fraud, Dr. Amos Anyimadu, an Associate Director of African Security Dialogue and Research said on Tuesday in Accra. Dr. Anyimadu said despite the fact the parameters for such computer crimes were very small in the country as compared to other well-known countries, it was almost impossible to transact business on the electronic business

from Ghana, adding this was very damaging and would dent the image, of the country, especially its newly developed slogan of golden age of business.

The image of Ghana in South Africa concerning computer crime was very bad; if one hears of West African crime syndicate, it involves Ghana and Nigeria, Dr Anyimadu said at a seminar on "Mapping 419 computer crime in Ghana; A Challenge To Our Human Security."

It was intended to weave together a multi-disciplinary implications of the complications of computer crime for a direct policy action and general understanding as well as to engender a learning network on computer crime in Ghana.

He appealed to government and to expedite action on the passing of the bills on computer crime in order to help stop the practice and facilitate the prosecution of perpetrators of such acts. Dr Anyimadu said contrary to popular perception, it would be argued that 419 was now a fully Ghanaian problem not only an image challenge of another West African country, adding, like the hard drug trade and consumption problems, we now have to appreciate computer crime as an important, direct challenge to household and individual welfare.

He said with this increasing importance of world trade for Ghana, the existence of any computer fraud would damage and dent the golden brands developed as the slogan for the golden opportunity age. Dr. Anyimadu suggested the formation of an interim group on golden opportunity and trust in digital payments, a national consultative group

on cyber security and a research and dialogue group security on Cyberland Security to study the problems associated with computer crime and find ways of combating it.

Mr Tony Esua Mensah, IT Officer of ASDR said computer fraudsters had developed new tricks on their business operations which was difficult to be traced, causing people who visit the cyber cafes to be careful with computers that were placed at extreme ends of the cyber room.

He said because Ghana does not have any law on computer usage, the country had become a lucrative place for other criminals to commit crimes and get away with their gains. July 05 05