SIU enhances cybercrime fighting capabilities

  • The Special Investigation Unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) for South Africa.
  • The memorandum gives the SIU access to Interpol’s Information System.
  • This will give South African law enforcement the ability to find more criminals, especially cybercriminals, through investigations.

South Africa’s independent investigative unit, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has improved its capabilities thanks to a memorandum of understanding it signed with the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) for South Africa.

This memorandum of understanding gives the SIU access to Interpol’s Information System. This system includes Interpol’s databases which contain millions of records with information about individuals, fingerprints, stolen property including passports and vehicles, weapons and more.

“The SIU has signed an MoU with Interpol. You cannot resolve domestic issues that are impacted by international forces by only utilising domestic instruments,” Brigadier Ntime Mokhine from Interpol NCB said in a statement.

Importantly, the Information System will help the SIU in the fight against cybercrime.

“The MoU will strengthen the SIU’s investigating tools of trade and access to data systems to combat cybercrimes. Interpol NCB will provide the SIU with up-to-date training resources. The Interpol NCB has a network of data systems in 195 countries that the SIU can tap into,” the SIU said in a media release.

This agreement isn’t just good for South Africa, it gives Interpol the ability to build relationships with South African law enforcement agencies.

Of course, South Africa will benefit the most here given that access to Interpol’s databases allows law enforcement to locate criminals beyond our borders who need to be subpoenaed for questioning related to investigations.

“There is an alignment and synergy, we look forward to making this work,” the SIU’s head of unit, Andy Mothibi said.

Cybercrime is a massive problem in South Africa and law enforcement has in the past fumbled the bag. In recent years, the ability to fight crime online has improved. 

Earlier this year a massive, multi-national operation saw several arrests related to cybercrime happening across the African continent. Just last month, the South African Police Services arrested three men after working with the Department of Homeland Security in the US to discover the sharing of child sexual abuse material online.

It’s encouraging then to see more collaboration from local law enforcement and international bodies.


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