In a months-long joint operation by Interpol and Afripol, 14 suspected cybercriminals have been arrested and more than 20,000 suspicious computer networks shut down across 25 African countries.
Law enforcement arrested three suspects in Cameroon and one in Nigeria, and authorities took down two Cameroonian Dark Web websites as well as 615 Kenyan malware hosters. In addition, 185 Internet protocol (IP) addresses shut down in Gambia due to malicious activity, and two money mules were arrested in Mauritius after being linked to scams via messaging platforms.
The so-called Africa Cyber Surge II operation, first launched in April, was led by Interpol’s Cybercrime Directorate under the Interpol Africa Cybercrime Operations desk as well as Interpol’s Support Programme for the Africa Union.
The investigation used private sector intelligence to identify rogue networks that were responsible for financial losses of more than $40 million. According to Interpol, the operation underscores the power of cooperation among international law enforcement, national authorities, and private sector partners “to share best practices and pro-actively combat cybercrime” especially in a region that has seen a surge in cybercrime.
“The Africa Cyber Surge II operation has led to the strengthening of cybercrime departments in member countries as well as the solidification of partnerships with crucial stakeholders, such as computer emergency response teams and Internet Service Providers,” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock stated. “This will further contribute to reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities in the region.”