The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has taken over investigations into alleged payroll fraud at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).

Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation department of the Youth Employment Agency, Chris Arthur, who disclosed this said EOCO’s move is to probe the financial malfeasance in the operations of the YEA within the year 2016.

“As I’m speaking with you now, EOCO has taken over investigations and will invite people involved one after the other” he said justifying the 16,839 names that have been deleted from the payroll of the Agency.

According to him, the deletion was very necessary after an audit by the agency revealed their records have been tainted with fraud.

An internal audit carried out by YEA has exposed a huge payroll fraud which is believed to have cost the country GH $50 million.

The amount is believed to be a sum of unearned salaries paid to unposted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, and procurement without adherence to due process.

The former CEO, who is insisting that the anomaly occurred after he left office, in his response, also called for a detailed report on the audit to promote fairness and transparency.

Earlier this year, YEA suspended the payment of allowances to over 60,000 beneficiaries on suspicion of discrepancies in the report handed to it by the managers under the previous administration.

The full-scale audit revealed that, many people who did not deserve to receive money from the Agency were doing so fraudulently.

So far, the Agency under the new managers, has deleted some 16,839 names from the payroll, which it says has saved the country Ghc20 million.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show “Dwaso Nsem” Thursday, Mr Chris Arthur explained that the said ghost names were detected after an audit revealed that payments were made to some beneficiaries with no work done.

“We realized that some people were not having appointment letters and others too have there for so many years but were on the payroll which is described as fraud and so the best thing to do was to delete them from the payroll

“We have deleted about 16, 839 people from the payroll and with that it has saved the nation an amount of GHC 20 million. Those we have deleted are those without appointment letters” he said.

Mr Arthur noted that the development has become necessary in order to provide a platform for the new administration to take measures to prevent the scandals that rocked the Agency in the past.

He said EOCO has already started investigations into the issue since it is a matter of fraud.

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