Over 5,000 fraudsters apply for COVID-19 stimulus fund

It has been detected that applicants with fictitious data, documents and personal details were among those who applied for the special fund, set up by the government to cushion small and medium scale businesses from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Data from the National Board and Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) showed that 5,200 out of a total of 450,000 applicants presented fake documentations to benefit from the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) business support scheme.

As a result, the NBSSI, together with the CAP Steering Committee, has extended the deadline for applications from June 20 to June 26, 2020, to enable it to address all fraud-related cases before the fund will be disbursed.

The Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, who made this known at a press conference in Accra last Friday, said some of the fraud cases detected had been forwarded to security agencies for investigations.

“The online portal developed to receive applications has detected more than 5,200 fraud alerts representing multiple applications with same mobile money or bank account details.

“For instance, we identified that one person registered for over 100 people in a community with the same documentation, mobile money contact or account number.

“And so what we did was to engage the services of KPMG, a tax consulting firm, to do a data analysis of the applications to help make the right decisions,” she said.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh further explained that the analysis would allow them to detect those using fictitious documentations such as fraudulent tax identification number (TIN), contact numbers and same account numbers.

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