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Unexplained Wealth: EOCO to Launch Lifestyle Audits Targeting Celebrities

This move as announced by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), underscores a proactive approach to addressing the proliferation of ill-gotten gains. Mona Montrage was arrested in the United States for her involvement in laundering the proceeds of a series of romance scams.

The admission of guilt by prominent Ghanaian social media figure and musician, Mona Montrage also known as Hajia4reall, in a $2 million romance scam case in the US, has not only stirred significant attention among Ghanaians but has also drawn scrutiny from key law enforcement agencies tasked with combating crime and corruption in the country.

The scrutiny reflects mounting concerns regarding the perceived ineffectiveness of Ghanaian authorities in stemming the tide of illicit enrichment. In response, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is attempting to implement lifestyle audits aimed at high-profile individuals, including celebrities, suspected of amassing wealth through dubious means.

Shedding light on this new development, Edward Cudjoe, the head of Administration and Investigations at EOCO, revealed in an interview on Accra’s JoyNews’ Upfront program, that measures are underway to institute lifestyle audits targeting individuals whose affluence lacks plausible explanations.

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“We are leading the charge by ourselves, making certain proposals for the amendment of the law to align with international standards. This ensures that any gaps in your financial profile are substantiated by your earnings. Any disparities must be clarified to law enforcement, and the burden of proof rests on the individual to explain the origin of those resources,” he said.

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Mona Montrage’s Guilty Plea

In an official report, Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney said “Montrage pled guilty today to conspiracy to receive stolen money before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave’
The US Attorney detailed that “Mona Faiz Montrage knowingly received money stolen from older Americans through romance scams and was arrested abroad and now faces serious consequences for her actions.”

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“Romance scams such as Montrage’s harmed her vulnerable, elderly victims not only in the cruel betrayal of trust in the realization that their online romantic connection was fiction but by also callously stealing their money…This Office and our law enforcement partners are relentless in bringing fraudsters who target Americans to justice, no matter where they are,” he added

The official report also says that Hajia4Real agreed to pay forfeiture for $2,164,758.41 and make restitution in the same amount.

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