UNODC collaborates with CARICC to support the law enforcement agencies of Central Asia to counter cybercrime during COVID-19

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On 26 May 2020 UNODC in cooperation with CARICC conducted a webinar on “The emerging threats in cybercrime during COVID-19” for the law enforcement authorities of the Central Asian countries. Cybercrime, the current rapidly evolving form of transnational crime, has received new incentives for further development in the global crisis environment, provoked by COVID-19 outbreak. The current crisis forced the global community to rely more on computer systems and internet to overcome the social distance challenges. On the other side, the border-less cyberspace has given rise to new forms of crime perpetrated by organized criminal groups, which requires urgent and dynamic international response.

UNODC stands for strong and sustainable capacity-building in countering cybercrime through providing support to national counterparts with its specialized expertise in criminal justice and technical assistance in crime prevention, international cooperation, data collection, research and analysis on cybercrime.

This webinar is one such example of the practical assistance of UNODC ROCA to national law enforcement structures in fight against cybercrime in exceptional circumstances of COVID-19. The webinar was delivered by three UNODC experts with specialization in cybercrime prevention and was attended by 30  officers of various law enforcement agencies of the Central Asian States.

The participants discussed such important issues like new trends in Cybercrime, the most vulnerable business areas and changes in organized crime modus operandi during the webinar. The UNODC experts particularly focused on new crime practices in money laundering online, evolvement of new crime methods as “online blackmail” and online speculations with medical equipment and medicine in light of COVID-19 pandemic. The participants also discussed the new delivery channels tested by criminal groups and potential risks related to this. The Director of CARICC, Mr.  Miralizoda Rustam said: “CARICC is proud of its collaboration with UNODC in delivering operational assistance to our partner agencies from CARICC's member states in the region in these difficult times to cope with effects of COVID-19. Cybercrime is one of the areas in which we are engaged in assisting and I am thankful to UNODC in taking the initiative to in organizing this timely webinar”.

As the follow up, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative in the Central Asia, emphasized the importance of such cooperative action: “I am pleased for the support and cooperation of CARICC and authorities of regional countries in making this much needed webinar a success and look forward to continuing our partnership in organising further webinars to assist the regional countries to combat the impact of COVID-19”.

UNODC ROCA intends to further strengthen the regional cooperation and provide support to national authorities and action through organization of a cycle of webinars for law enforcement authorities of Central Asia to continue joint fight against organized crime in the COVID-19 reality.