Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources

The Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice has advised the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) against initiating money laundering investigations into the dealings of former Sanitation Minister, Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah.

Upon a request for advice by EOCO on the matter, the Attorney General’s office in a letter dated April 25, 2024 and copied to EOCO, said it found that the OSP did not submit the report on its collaborative investigation to EOCO.

Additionally, the office noted the OSP has not responded to EOCO’s request for its findings.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the docket presented to EOCO only contains the OSP’s letter transmitting the docket, the diary of action, statements taken during the investigation, and letters written by the OSP to other institutions like the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and banks for inquiries.

Further analysis of the docket by the Attorney General’s office revealed that the OSP did not find any evidence of corruption or corruption-related offenses against Cecilia Dapaah.

The Attorney General’s office emphasised that the key pursuing money laundering investigations is the capacity to prove that financial gains were obtained from criminal proceeds arising from unlawful activity.

“In the absence of the identification of any criminality associated with the properties retrieved from the suspects, the OSP’s referral to EOCO for investigations to be conducted into money laundering is without basis.”

The Attorney General also advised against EOCO investigating the source of Cecilia Dapaah’s funds on the basis that the CID had been tasked to take charge of that aspect of the case.

“Even though as part of your mandate you could commence investigations into the source(s) of the money found in the home of the suspects, we do not find this necessary since this Office before the reference by the OSP, had instructed the Police Service who are already seized with other aspects of the case to investigate the sources of the huge sums of money found in the homes of the suspects, a fact the OSP is aware of. We find from the OSP’s docket, marked as B1″, a copy of the Attorney-General’s letter to the Director-General of the CID dated 31st July 2023.”

“In light of the above, the OSP docket on the subject matter is returned herewith.”

The Special Prosecutor’s Office had requested EOCO after determining that the case involving over 1 million dollars found in the former minister’s house, among other issues, did not fall under its mandate although it suspected possible money laundering.

This decision follows months of collaborative investigation with agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States, as stated by the OSP.

At this juncture, it remains unclear how this case of huge national interest will play out.

Already, the OSP has returned money and other properties retrieved from the suspects in the course of its investigations, and the suspects have accordingly been discharged by the OSP.