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Cybercrime Unit in the offing   By Vidya Gappy |28 January 2023

Cybercrime Unit  in the offing     By Vidya Gappy

The two parties during the meeting (Photo: Joena Meme)

Seychelles will soon have a Cybercrime Unit with the help of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).

A team from Interpol, headed by Assistant Director Pro Tempore Jacqueline De Lange with other officers – Dear Watkinson, Peter Stanier and Preshan Kissoondoyal – were in Seychelles this week to meet with the Seychelles Police in view of supporting the setting up of the unit.

The head of Detective Services, Superintendent Jeffrey Antoine, accompanied by the head of Scientific Support and Crime Records Bureau (SSCRB), Superintendent Aubrey Quatre, noted that “with the new Cyber Crime Act that came into force in 2021, there is an initiative to create a Cybercrime unit for Seychelles as we have more and more cases being reported”.

“Based on the discussions we have had, we will be working on a framework and structure to evaluate what capacity we need in terms of human resources. We already have people within the force with the capacity, so it is a matter of deciding if we use them or seek additional manpower.”

Seychelles already has a Digital Forensic Laboratory that handles cybercrime, as well as other units in the force, including the Family Squad unit.

However, the situation remains “alarming and very serious” especially crimes taking place on social network popularly used among the population and youths, such as Facebook, and through which a number of people have been scammed, and have their devices hacked.

The creation of the unit will allow for better trained and versed officers, with the technical know-how and skills. Officers from the unit will have specialist knowledge of the new Cyber Crime Act and its enforcement.

Although Seychelles is already benefitting from training opportunities from Interpol, the organisation will be central to the establishment of the unit, and capacity-building.

According to Mr Antoine, the meeting has been fruitful, and the police now have a better picture of how to proceed, where to seek assistance to acquire proper equipment and such.

Also present for the meetings were stakeholders, including the Seychelles Bankers Association and Airtel Seychelles among others.

For her part, Ms De Lange said that the Interpol Cybercrime Directorate noted that the Interpol global cybercrime programme and strategy seeks to reduce the global impact of such crimes and to protect communities.

“Interpol is in a very unique position because we are connected globally to 195 member countries where we are neutral. We have access to the necessary tools, systems, as well as the databases to give support to our member countries, and specifically to the Seychelles,” she said.

“It is very important to build relationships with our member countries, to share information and establish a trusting working relationship as what we have done the past three days,” Ms De Lange stated.

“The enactment of the Act is crucial to the establishment of the unit and to establish a proper strategy towards the protection of the community against cybercrimes,” she added.

Based on the Africa Cybercrime Threat Assessment developed by the Interpol, one of the major threats in Seychelles is online scams, something which the partners also addressed during the meeting.

On a global scale, online scams and extortion are a threat in many countries, and women and children falling victims to cybercrime are key focuses of the Interpol’s awareness campaigns.



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