Lands Commission: 16 Members of a Stealing Syndicate at the Government Agency Busted

Lands Commission: 16 Members of a Stealing Syndicate at the Government Agency Busted

  • The Lands Commission, the state agency responsible for registering and administering public and private lands, is in the news again for a crime-related incident
  • Some 16 employees of the company said to be part of a 21 syndicate, have been busted after they stole GHȼ100 million
  • According to a report published on March 1, 2023, ten of the 16 people have been interdicted while the remaining five members of the syndicate have gone into hiding

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Sixteen members of a criminal syndicate at the Lands Commission, Ghana’s foremost agency for land registration, have been busted.

They are believed to be part of a 21-member stealing and forgery gang at the commission.

According to a report by Joy News on March 1, 2023, state intelligence operatives found them generating fake stamps and stealing huge sums of money after manipulating a computer software.

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16 Lands Commission employees have been arrested for stealing and forgery.
Signage of the Lands Commission in Accra (L) and a stock photo of a businessman in handcuffs. Source: Fac,ebook/@ Lands Commission Ghana and Getty Images.
Source: UGC

They had stolen more than GHȼ100 million from the Lands Commission before they were busted by the National Intelligence Bureau.

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The stolen funds were taxes that should have been forwarded to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the report explained.

Ten of the busted employees of the commission have been interdicted while a court process has been set in motion.

Five members of the syndicate have, meanwhile, bolted and are being pursued.

The names of the 16 busted employees of the commission have not been made public.

Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission Jones Ofori-Boadu has told the press that the software that has been manipulated is used to process payments of registered land among other finance-related tasks.

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“In the interim, we have moved the platform to a firm to manage it for us so that would help us to safeguard some of these malpractices,” he assured.

Lands Commission has a notorious history of corruption

The state agency has a long history of corrupt activities.

A UN corruption report on Ghana released in 2022 found that Lands Commission officers were among the top three categories of public officials who received huge cash bribes paid in 2021.

The other two were prosecutors, judges or magistrates, and immigration officers.

Dead employee at Lands Commission received salary for two years

Meanwhile, some time ago reported that a top executive of the Lands Commission disclosed that a dead employee of the Commission received a GH¢20,000 salary for two years before the anomaly was found.

The Commission was unable to fathom how an employee declared dead could still be on the payroll.

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