Monday, June 18, 2012

CYBERCRIME: Australia's Federal Police & Nigeria's EFCC Call for ECOWAS Convention on Cybercrime


Fox Africa (avaiable on SKYY Plus here in Ghana) only last week concluded the third franchise of the crime drama "Underbelly" series, which offers serious insights into true, organised crime of the New South Wales Police. This corruption reached its peak in 1994 that there had to be established a Royal Wood Commission to look into organised crime, including drug-dealing by detectives of that force. 

Wikipedia reports that "The Royal Commission uncovered hundreds of instances of bribery, money laundering, drug trafficking, and falsifying of evidence by police. Of particular note was the detective division of the Kings Cross patrol, of which almost all the senior ranks, including the chief detective, were involved in serious and organised corrupt activities, including taking regular bribes from major drug traffickers."

Anyone who failed to report to the Commission was jailed.

I personally doff my hat to the Australians While they may have their claws out for West Africa's natural resources, I think, after the UK and the US law enforcement agencies, the Australians are great source of inspiration on dealing with policing in general and organised crime in particular. 

In Ghana, we joke about the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS)--primarily because they seem to be reduced to a footnote, when a country like Austalia takes policing the police very seriously. The Australians, in my humble opinion, are spot-on and here's where I would like to think we ought to draw serious lessons from their history of fighting organised crime.

That they are offering capacity-building WITH Nigeria's commendable Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) can only offer some hope that there's a lot more to our neighbours-we-love-to-hate!


ECOWAS and the need for a convention on cyber crime


A three-day regional 
workshop on cyber 
crime, convened by the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), ended in Abuja on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012, with a call on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to establish a convention on cyber crime to fashion a common law among member states in order to promote cooperation among them in the fight against cyber crimes

A ten-paragraph communiqué issued at the end of the conference also called for a closer collaboration among all law enforcement agencies like the INTERPOL and others in the West African countries. Such officers should be trained on cyber crimes to assist them in sending the right information on cyber crime cases.

The conference also deliberated on the need for practical cooperation among West African countries in terms of policing and intelligence gathering on cyber crime-related issues and other organized crimes

It also called on all law enforcement agencies in the sub-region to constantly come together and think up policies on how to tackle the issue of cyber crime. 

Countries, the conference further said, must put aside bureaucracy in order to get result on the prosecution of cyber crime cases in the sub-region. 

“Cyber crimes need spontaneous response and the bureaucracy involved in receiving information among countries is a huge barrier. 

Countries should set up cyber crime patrol units, where officers will act as victims in order to track and trace these criminals.”

Beside, the conference resolved that all countries should acquire the necessary software that will help in the identification of the originating locations of scam mails and the Internet Service Provider, ISP’s addresses used in this act. 

The AFP is however encouraged to organise more training for the law enforcement agencies in the West African sub-region and Cameroun on cyber crimes and other forms of organised crime. 


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