New Interpol centre targets cybercrime worldwide

New Interpol centre targets cybercrime worldwide
The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation houses the Digital Crime Centre and a forensics lab to support digital crime investigations.

THE International Criminal Police Organisation now has a dedicated office to lead its fight against cybercrime worldwide.

The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), which houses a Digital Crime Centre, was officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.

Singapore was chosen to host the IGCI after a vote by member countries at Interpol's annual general assembly in 2010. The complex is located on the former site of the Tanglin Police Division headquarters in Napier Road.

Speaking at the IGCI inauguration ceremony yesterday, Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, pointed to the growing complexity of safety and security threats worldwide, citing the recent attacks at a Kenyan university and Istanbul's police headquarters.

He said there is "a stronger nexus between organised crime and terrorism as criminal networks exploit connectivity and technology to globalise their operations". Cybercrime costs the global economy an estimated $400 billion a year.

With a greater need for international law enforcement co-operation to tackle complex, transnational and fast-evolving threats, Mr Teo said the IGCI will contribute to international policing in three ways. First, it will strengthen Interpol's global presence by complementing its headquarters in Lyon, France, and its command and coordination centres in Latin America and Europe.

Having a significant presence in Asia allows for the dissemination of real-time alerts and coordination of operational responses round the clock, worldwide.

Second, the IGCI will collaborate with research laboratories, academics, and private- and public-sector players to develop "innovative and practical policing solutions against cybercrime" which can be tapped by member countries.

Third, Mr Teo said, the IGCI can use Singapore's location to reach out to the region and beyond. It will help Interpol to form partnerships in Asia, and to "gain a better understanding of Asian perspectives and expertise" to shape its research, development and operational responses.

IGCI executive director Noboru Nakatani said that member countries will be able to "learn from international best practices how to tackle online criminal infrastructure like botnets, just like tackling black markets in the physical space".

Besides the Digital Crime Centre, the complex also houses a forensics lab to support digital crime investigations. The Interpol complex has over 110 officers from 50 countries. It will house some 180 officers by next year. The six-storey building can accommodate over 300 employees.

This article was first published on Apr 14, 2015.
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