Morocco: Digital Evidence as a key tool in dismantling human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal networks

Rabat, Morocco - 4 February 2021

As technological advancement increases so does the need for using digital evidence in investigations to bring more criminals to justice. This increase sheds light on the importance of law enforcement agencies being equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. UNODC, through the regional European Union-funded project “Dismantling human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal networks in North Africa,” cooperates with the Moroccan Ministry of Interior (MoI) to strengthen its research, identification, investigation and judicial technical capacities. In this context, UNODC organized three certified trainings for Moroccan authorities on “telephone database analysis and reporting.” 

The first trainings offered detailed insight on the mastery of telephone technology’s investigation tools such as the Mercure V4 software, which is a cellular technology that provides investigators with numerous clues and investigation axes. Aiming to effectively utilize all the functions of the Mercure V4 software, a second training was held to explain to participants how to read, interpret data, and how to use the analysis modes and other different working methodologies, such as demarcation, extraction, and selection list.

In enhancing the developed digital investigation skills, a third workshop was organized for cybercrime investigators. The third training focused on explaining the Block-chain technique, which is a structure that stores transactional records of public information in several databases. While Block-chain has long been perceived as only the cryptocurrency “Bitcoin,” yet its impact exceeds this. The session aimed to explore the techniques and operating principles of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, understand the role of cryptocurrencies in the economy and the technical, financial and legal risks associated with cryptocurrency.

Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking" is a three-year (2019-2022) €15 million regional joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The project consists of a regional intervention covering Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to support the effective dismantling of criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, while at the same time upholding the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable groups.

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