Police commissioner expresses concerns over 2012 cyber crime surge

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has said it has received 61 reports of suspected cyber crime so far in 2012 – a second consecutive annual increase in such crimes since 2010.

Unveiling the statistics today at a ceremony to inaugurate the “IT Legislation in the Maldives” seminar held at Bandos Island Resort and Spa, Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz was quoted in local media as expressing concern at a continued rise in reported cyber crime in the Maldives.

According to Commissioner Riyaz, 15 reports of cyber crime were received by authorities back in 2010, a figure that was said to have increased to 41 cases over the course of 2011.

Local newspaper Haveeru reported Riyaz as claiming that there was not presently any methods for regulating suspected cases of cyber crime through existing laws in the Maldives, unlike certain other neighbouring countries.

The seminar, which is conducted in cooperation with the National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), was also attended today by Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, according to local media.

Back in September the Maldives Police Service announced the formation of a special Cyber Policing Department to look into cyber crime.

Police stated at the time that three units will be operating under the new department, including the  cyber crime investigation unit, cyber forensics unit and cyber security unit.

Police media official Sub-inspector Hassan Haneef added at the time that the formation of new department would help ease the current difficulties in investigating cyber crimes and will allow police to file more cases at the Prosecutor General’s office.

Cyber crimes were previously investigated by a small unit operating under fraud and financial department.