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Law enforcement officers in Niger complete 10 module course on Digital investigations designed by the Global Programme on Cybercrime

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 Group photo at the closing ceremony
Niamey (Niger) - After ten sessions of intense training, eight officers from the Niger National Police and eight officers from the Niger National Gendarmerie have completed on 12th May 2023, an integrated course on digital investigations and digital forensics. Designed by the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, with funding from the Netherlands and France, and in collaboration with EUCAP-SAHEL, the training aimed to enable participants to conduct end-to-end digital investigations - from the collection of potential digital evidence to its presentation in front of a judge.

“Digital investigations and digital forensics entail well-defined procedures and tools to ensure the integrity of digital evidence. With this series of training, we want to provide the participants with a well-rounded scope of these broad subjects, and I think we succeeded,” said Kamal Toure, Programme Officer for the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, during the closing ceremony.

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Participants at the closing ceremony

All participants were investigators designated by various Units in the Police and the Gendarmerie, including Cyber Units, and that helped to ensure wide coverage and suitable representation of both government agencies. According to Mr. Issa Boukari, a participant from the Gendarmerie of Niger, the training helped bring them up to speed with current trends in countering cybercrime.

“This training has been essential to understand why we must incorporate digital investigation into our law enforcement infrastructure in the country. A combined training with the National Police means we have a synchronized understanding of the stakes involved and are willing to work together to achieve a common goal”, said Mr. Boukari.

The 10-week course used several case studies and covered diverse topics, including first responders and prerequisites in digital investigations, digital investigation methodologies and tools, OSINT, cyber patrol, darknet and cryptocurrencies, as well as legal procedures for digital investigations. In addition, equipment including computers, external hard drives, and other computer equipment, were donated to both the Gendarmerie and Police to ensure that the newly trained personnel have the adequate equipment to apply the knowledge acquired during the training.

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Handover of equipment to the Niger National Police and Niger National Gendarmerie

For the Regional Representative of UNODC’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dr. Amado Philip de Andres, activities like this one are part of UNODC’s mainstreaming efforts to address the root causes of crime.

“UNODC prides itself in strengthening capacities at all levels to prevent threats related to organized crime, drugs and terrorism, by addressing their drivers and root causes. Where possible, UNODC wants to ensure that the training our stakeholders receive is put to good use to achieve results.”

The Global Programme on Cybercrime is mandated to provide technical assistance and training to Member States to prevent and respond to cybercrime and technology-enabled crimes, and this is not the first long-format training it has organized in Africa. In 2022, the Programme successfully trained eight investigators from the Senegalese National Police on digital investigation through an 8-module course.