The Seious Fraud Office Act, 1993, (Act 466) that sought to, and did “establish a Serious Fraud Office as a specialized agency of government to monitor, investigate and on the authority of the Attorney-General, prosecute any offence involving serious financial or economic loss to the state and to make provision for connected and incidental purposes” was given Presidential assent on 30th December, 1993 to operate as one of the Public Services of Ghana.
The mandate of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) established by Act 466 did not extend to the investigation and prosecution of offences related to drug trafficking, money laundering and other organised crimes. Under Act 466, persons convicted of any serious financial crime or fraud would go to prison and come back to comfortably enjoy the proceeds of the crimes they committed. It became important to augment the law to take care of these lapses and also to respond to the spate of sophisticated criminal activities emanating from advancement in technology and globalization as well as cross border movements came up. For instance there certainly arose the need to respond to cyber crimes, which according to available records, recorded thefts and other frauds amounting to $1 trillion worldwide in 2008 alone.
In the same year, between $1.5 and $6.5 trillion passed through processes of money laundering activities around the world whiles some $730 billion is reported to have changed hands in illicit trade. All these were in addition to between $300 billion and $1 trillion in counterfeiting and piracy.