The Criminal and Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police has organised a two-day training workshop for justice system actors to equip them with knowledge on Cybercrime and electronic evidence.
The workshop, which was organised in collaboration with the Conference of Western Attorneys General-Africa Alliance Partnership (CWAGAAP) on cybercrime, was aimed at building the capacity of relevant stakeholders within the criminal justice system to effectively investigate and prosecute cyber-related crimes.
Commissioner of Police (COP) Mrs MaameYaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Director General of the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) said Cyber risk was currently at the top of international agenda.
She said the proliferation of cyberattacks was causing increasing damage on companies, governments and individuals, culminating in huge financial losses and other untold hardships to victims.
She said it was not surprising that government and businesses around the world were continuously searching for better cyber defense strategies.
Citing a Cyber Security Venture Report published in 2018, which projected that cybercrimes would rise to USD six trillion annually by 2021.
This amount, she said encompassed everything from damage and destruction of sensitive data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to businesses, forensic investigation, restoration and deleted hacked data and systems, among others.
Mrs Addo-Danquah said per the dangers caused by cybercrime, it was imperative to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach, as a foundation for the effective implementation of the various cyber security activities and programmes.
She said it was the intention of the government to establish a National Cyber Security Centre to liaise with relevant state agencies and the private sector to oversee cyber security operations at the national level.
Madam Addo-Danquah commended CWAGAAP for taking the initiative to equip participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively investigate and prosecute intricate cybercrimes to protect public purse and individuals against huge financial losses.
She said participants would benefit from the rich experience and proficiency of eminent facilitators who would bring their adult-learning skills and methodology to bear for the collective benefit of participants.
Mrs Addo-Danquah urged participants to use the opportunity not only to share knowledge on law enforcement related matters but also establish stronger ties to improve stakeholder collaboration, cooperation and partnership to achieve the ultimate objective of the workshop.
Chief Superintendent Dr Gustav Hebert Yankson, Director of Cybercrime Unit of the Police service hinted that the country had suffered fifty crypto attacks on fifty Internet Service Providers within the first quarter of the year.
He said the increasingly alarming nature of these crimes as per statistics from the cybercrime unit required a swift intervention from all stakeholders to curb the phenomena.
Dr Yankson said strict adherence to comprehensive cyber security practices was the way to avoid some of these crimes.
However, he added that since cyber security was not a panacea to all cyber challenges, there would be crimes perpetrated within the cyberspace and when these crimes occurred, there would be the need to investigate and prosecute offenders and, “that is where we come in as law enforcement,” he said.
He stated that the role of investigators required that they adduced evidence for successful prosecutions and this required a better understanding of the cyber space and the proper way to process and handle the evidence adduced.
He said though the first cyber laws in Ghana were promulgated in 2008, Cybercrime investigations and electronic evidence processing had been absent from main stream police curriculum until about two years ago.
“As a result, we have knowledge deficiency amongst some of the investigators out there,” he added.
Dr Yankson said because electronic evidence now permeated all traditional crimes like defilement, murder, among others, it was necessary that investigators and even Police officers received training in electronic evidence and cybercrime investigations.
He said for the past two years, about 1,800 investigators had been trained in cybercrime investigation and electronic evidence but there was still more to be done since about 6,000 more investigators were yet to be trained.
Dr Yankson said as part of the Cybercrime Unit’s drive to have all investigators trained in electronic evidence and cybercrime investigations, the CID Administration had partnered CWAGAAP to train more investigators to augment their strength in the fight against all crimes perpetrated fully or partially in the cyberspace.
“In order to achieve the synergy required, we decided to put investigators, prosecutors and some other actors within the criminal justice sector together for this training,” he added.
The training was done for 50 representatives from Economic and Organised Crime Office, Food and Drugs Authority, Police Attorney General’s Office and the Judicial Service, and all other actors of the criminal justice system spread across the various regions of the country.