Rwanda National Police (RNP) will host the ‘Cyber Enabled Crime Table-Top Exercise’, bringing together over 100 participants from across the African region.
The exercise organized by RNP in partnership with the international police organization – Interpol – will be held from August 28 to September 2, 2016.
It will be conducted under the theme: “Fighting Cyber-enabled crime through multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to prevention and mitigation.”
It seeks to improve the skills and knowledge of law enforcement agencies. It will coincide with the 18th Eastern Africa Police Chief Cooperation Organisation-Annual General Meeting (EAPCCO-AGM), which will also be held in the City of Kigali under the theme: “Enhancing cooperation and innovation in combating transnational organized and emerging crimes.”
Cyber Enabled Crime Table-Top Exercise
Cybercrime is a fast-growing area of crime. Criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of technology to commit range of criminal activities across borders, either physical or virtual, causing serious harm and pose very real threats to victims worldwide.
Cybercrime is a bigger risk now than ever before due to the sheer number of connected people and devices. A crime has computer or cyber aspect to it. Although there is no single universal definition of cybercrime, in the context of the Interpol, law enforcement generally make distinction between two main types of Internet-related crime:
- Advanced cybercrime (or high-tech crime) – sophisticated attacks against computer hardware and software;
- Cyber-enabled crime – many ‘traditional’ crimes have taken a new turn with the advent of the Internet, such as crimes against children, financial crimes and terrorism.
Cybercrime is growing and mutating in nature thus traditional deterrence is not effective. Some of the common cybercrimes and cyber related crimes include;
- Theft of sensitive data
- Electronic money laundering
- Funds transfer fraud
- Online child abuse and exploitation, which lead to Human Trafficking
- Dissemination of offensive material
- Illegal interception of telecommunications
- Cyber terrorism
These crimes are a challenge to law enforcement agencies both in capacity and technology to effectively deal with them. Training, information sharing and capacity building of law enforcement agencies will enhance the ability to detect and prevent cybercrime acts.
One of the forms of training is through a simulation exercise involving law enforcement agencies from different countries.
It is for this reason RNP and Interpol jointly organised this exercise focusing on the African region to tackle;
- Cyber-enabled crime, Human Trafficking
- INTERPOL Policing Capabilities (e.g. databases, notices, I-24/7) will be the main focus
- Focus will be scenario based role play exercise
Since cyber enabled crimes and cyber related crimes are transnational in nature, there is need for law enforcement officers to have a common approach to respond effectively. The exercise was organised in that sense to raise awareness among law enforcement officers, and enhance their knowledge and skills in fighting cybercrime.
This exercise focuses on human trafficking investigations that rely on cyber-related information such as use of social media, mobile devices, computers and other Internet based technologies in a multi-jurisdictional setting. It is intended to achieve the following objectives;
- Enhance police cooperation across the African region
- Enhance knowledge of cyber-enabled crime and digital forensic applications
- Enhance knowledge of INTERPOL policing capabilities including databases and notices
- Enhance knowledge of human trafficking investigation techniques
The aim of the exercise is to learn and improve the skills and knowledge in training; practical application of all the capabilities compacted in an integrated manner to a complex; simulated investigation involving cyber-enabled crime and human trafficking situations using INTERPOL tools.
The general ideal is to improve the capacities and capabilities of the participants and to have a common understanding in responding to the threat.
Since this is a specialized area of crime for the participants to draw meaningful lessons, the nominated persons will include those with skills in human trafficking, cybercrime investigations or digital forensics and law enforcement training.
The exercise will consist of two components;
- Cyber-enabled crime & Digital Forensics
- INTERPOL Policing Capabilities
- Human Trafficking
- Scenario role play
- Investigators work together in solving a case involving the three components of the training.
This exercise creates a good forum for Law Enforcement Officers from the African continent to forge a common understanding and approach to handling different challenges posed by cyber enabled crime situations. The lessons learnt in this exercise will go a long way in enhancing the capacity of Law enforcement officers in fighting cyber enabled crime.
18th EAPCCO AGM
EAPCCO, which was created in 1998 in Kampala, Uganda during the maiden meeting of Eastern African Police Chiefs, is composed of 13 regional countries, namely; Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania.
It was founded as a regional practical response to the need to join police effort against transnational and organized crime. The Interpol Sub-Regional Bureau in Nairobi acts as its Secretariat.
Since then, EAPCCO membership has grown to 13 countries currently, which are; Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania.
This 18th EAPCCO conference becomes the third to be held in Rwanda following two others held in Rwanda in 2001 and 2011.
EAPCCO was created with objectives to;
- Promote, strengthen and perpetuate co-operation and foster joint strategies for the management of all forms of cross-border and related crimes with regional implications;
- Prepare and disseminate relevant information on criminal activities as may be necessary to benefit members to contain crime in the region;
- Ensure efficient operation and management of criminal records and efficient joint monitoring of cross-border crime taking full advantage of the relevant facilities available through Interpol;
- To formulate systematic regional training policies and strategies taking into account the need and performance requirements of the regional police services/forces
EAPCCO priority crime areas
- Cattle rustling
- Environmental crime
- Maritime piracy
- THB and illegal migration
- Trafficking of narcotics
- Financial and hi-tech crime
- Trafficking of firearms
- Fugitives tracking, and
- Motor vehicles theft
RNP on International Cooperation
The evolving and sophisticated policing ground requires collective efforts. Thus, international cooperation is one of the RNP major priority areas for effective policing and to fight emerging security threats which are cross-border and transnational in nature.
The 18th EAPCCO AGM and Cyber Enabled Table-Top Exercise were also organized in that context to continue to play a significant role in creating a safer world.
Since its creation in the year 2000, RNP has actively joined and participated in regional and international police groupings like Interpol, the EAPCCO, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), African Police (AfriPol), East African Community Northern Corridor Integration Projects (EAC-NCIP) and engaged in peacekeeping missions, among others.
RNP has as well signed close to 30 MoUs under bilateral arrangements and about 10 others under multilateral frameworks.
Some of the countries RNP hosted joint regional Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercises (FTX), signed MoUs with Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Namibia, Tanzania, Turkey, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Zambia and Qatar.
This inevitable cooperation, for example, has in one way or another eased communication and tracking of fugitives, especially those wanted for genocide atrocities, which has been our top priority, but also locating, arresting and deporting wanted fugitives by our friendly forces in other countries.
This linkage is about partnership and promoting cooperation between RNP and global policing forces.