The equipment was handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Ted Barbe, by the Chinese chargé d’affaires, Mu Jianfeng. (Seychelles Nation)
The Cybercrime Unit of the Seychelles Police Force is now better equipped to to deal with cyber offences after receiving a digital forensic laboratory from the Chinese government.
The equipment was handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Ted Barbe, by the Chinese chargé d’affaires, Mu Jianfeng, on Monday.
The laboratory is a grant from China with the equipment costing ¥1 million ($137,000).
In his address, Jianfeng said, “The lab will be in full operation in the coming days, and its major functions include secure data extraction, storage media back-up, quick data acquisition, data analysis and authentication, as well as data recovery. It will serve as an effective tool to the Seychelles police and relevant authorities in terms of digital data investigation and evidence collection.”
Commissioner Barbe highlighted the importance of such equipment to face the increase in cyber offences in the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.
“The evolving methods used by perpetrators have made it necessary for the police force to improve their capabilities to be able to deal with cybercrime,” he added.
In order to deal with the increase in cybercrime cases in Seychelles, a new Cybercrimes and Other Related Crimes Act came into force after being approved by the National Assembly in November 2021. The law replaced the Computer Misuse Act, 1998.
Under the Cybercrimes and Other Related Crimes Act, individuals who commit fraud, harass others, leak private or indecent videos on social media, interfere with the operation of any computer system, or information found on any computer system, are committing an offence and can be fined or imprisoned.
The chargé d’affaires said that while Seychelles is famous as a tourism paradise, and a safe place for both the local citizens and foreign visitors, there is also the challenge in the domain of public security.
“In particular the drug trafficking crimes, and the rising of illegal cyber activities. With the new equipment and the lab, I have confidence that the efficiency of the investigation work against all types of crimes in Seychelles will be increased markedly,” he added.
Jianfeng affirmed that China “will continue to strengthen cooperation with Seychelles in the field of public security, and share our experience and expertise in the creation of a safe and secure living and working environment for our citizens.”