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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya mulls law to combat wildlife cyber crime by end of year   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to have a law to combat wildlife cyber crime by end of the year, officials said on Monday.

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Permanent Secretary Margaret Mwakima told Xinhua in Nairobi that a draft bill is currently in Parliament for debate.

“Once the law is in place it will enhance government efforts to tackle illegal trade of wildlife products,” Mwakima said.

“With increased law enforcement pressure on normal ways of committing wildlife crime, traffickers are now taking advantage of cyber space which is less regulated,” she said on the sidelines of the national stakeholders’ briefing session on Kenya’s preparations for the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting to be held next month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The PS noted that wildlife traffickers are moving activities online due to the existing legal loopholes in the wildlife laws.

“The new law will provide clarity so that those who engage in online trade of illegal wildlife products are easily convicted,” she said.

Mwakima said that cyberspace provides anonymity to those engaged in illegal wildlife trade and so it becomes difficult to determine where the wildlife species are originally from.

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EARLIER REPORT:

East African police chiefs seek smart ways to fight cyber crime

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Members of the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) are looking for smart ways to counter cyber crime that has become increasingly prevalent and sophisticated across the globe.

The law enforcement officers from 13 EAPCCO member countries made the remarks on Wednesday during the opening of the 18th EAPCCO Annual General Meeting (EAPCCO-AGM) at the Kigali Convention Centre.

The high level forum, dubbed: “Enhancing cooperation and innovation in combating transnational organized and emerging crimes,” has brought together more than 100 delegates from across the African region.

“Cyber crimes have become rampant and sophisticated all over the world. We need a smarter and strong approach to contain these crimes. Today’s world is more interconnected than ever before which has led to an increase of cyber theft,” said Joseph Boinett, Kenya Inspector General of the National Police Service.

Boinett, who is the former Chairman of EAPCCO, called for shared responsibility and collaboration, enhanced intelligence and sharing of information towards fighting against cyber crimes.

The event seeks to promote and strengthen cooperation in order to contain all forms of cross-border and related crimes with regional implications.

According to Emmanuel Gasana, Rwanda Inspector General of Police, cyber criminals are looking at target organizations more broadly, and there is a strong need to ensure efficient joint monitoring of the crimes taking full advantage of the relevant facilities available through Interpol.

“Security strategies need to consider the fact that criminals will use sophisticated means to manipulate their target organization’s systems. We need to ensure strong partnership and cooperation in fighting regional and international cyber crimes, “he added.

Gasana stated that Rwanda is committed to pursuing collective security and cooperation in line with contributing to a safer Africa continent and the world.

Speaking at the meeting, Rwanda President Paul Kagame said that close collaboration is needed to investigate complex crimes and to secure the extradition and conviction of suspects.

“The dangers are real but we cannot afford to allow the pace of development and progress to be slowed down as a result. What’s important is cooperation, information sharing and constantly incorporating the latest technologies into police work,” he noted.

Kagame stated that EAPCCO has demonstrated its value through practical services and strengthened partnerships among all the 13 member states.

EAPCCO, formed in 1998 in Uganda Capital, Kampala during the maiden meeting of Eastern African Police Chiefs, is composed of 13 regional countries, namely; Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania.

It was founded as a regional practical response to the need to join police effort against transnational and organized crime. The Interpol Sub-Regional Bureau in Nairobi acts as its Secretariat.

The 18th EAPCCO conference becomes the third to be held in Rwanda following two others held in 2001 and 2011.

Among its mandate, EAPCCO focuses on combating terrorism, financial crimes, trafficking of narcotics, fugitives tracking and trafficking of firearms.

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