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Lao DPR and UNODC holds first roundtable discussions on cybercrime

Vientiane, Lao PDR (20 August 2018)
- The first ever UNODC-Lao PDR National Cybercrime Roundtable Discussion saw broad participation from Lao DPR government ministries and agencies, as well as private industry and regulators from the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice, prosecution, judiciary and telcos.

"Cybercrime is a global issue and all countries within the region have to be aligned, create plan and strategy together to combat this transnational and organized threat", encouraged Mr. Kanya Khammoungkhoun, the Deputy Director General of the Department of International Organization in the Lao DPR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as he opened the event.

The Internet provides connectivity and tremendous opportunity for business and social and economic progress, but technological advances have of course not gone unnoticed by criminals who are often innovative and ahead of the curve. Law enforcement agencies across the South East Asian region must work constantly to stay up to date on the new technological challenge posed by cybercrime and be able to conduct the professional investigations using appropriate digital forensic tools following the best practices.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with funding from the Government of Norway, has developed a project that aims at strengthening the South East Asian region`s capability to tackle wildlife cybercrime and all other forms of transnational organized crime through use of online platforms and other ICTs. This translates to the UNODC support for Laos Police force to setup a digital forensics laboratory and equip it with appropriate hardware and software for analysis and examination of digital evidence resulting from criminal investigations across the country. Along with that, it aims to also provide the knowledge to operate the forensic equipment by delivering specially designed training sessions, thus bringing the staff up to date with international standards and best practices in digital forensics.

"We seek a strong multilateral partnership with the Government of Laos in order to combat wildlife crime, cybercrime and all other forms of transnational organized crime in days forward", says Mr. Alexandru Caciuloiu, UNODC Cybercrime Coordinator for Southeast Asia and the Pacific while delivering his opening remarks.

Lao PDR is in its starting phase for combatting cybercrime. Several cybercrime cases have been reported to law enforcement, but investigators are facing challenges, highlighting the need for national capacity building courses. A multi-sectorial working group involving key decision makers have been suggested as an additional outcome of the National Cybercrime Roundtable.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's work on cybercrime in the region.