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Nine Computer Crimes Investigation Units to be set up

Plans are underway to establish nine Computer Crimes Investigation Units under the purview of Criminal Investigation Department at provincial level starting from this year, CID sources yesterday said.

The first of the nine provincial investigation units will be declared open next Wednesday in Kandy under the patronage of IGP Pujith Jayasundara, the source also said.

The Kandy Computer Crime Investigation Unit is to address and facilitate police investigations on all cyber related crimes in the Central Province.

“The next Provincial Computer Crimes Investigation Unit will be established in Matara within this year to oversee the Southern Province,” the source also said.

“The units will be under the direct supervision of the Cyber Crime Division, CID. Five CID officers will be deployed to every provincial unit,” the source explained.

The CID source also said that a website against computer crimes will be launched simultaneously to the opening of the computer Crimes Investigation Unit.

“Approximately, 25 complaints on cyber-crime are lodged daily at the Cyber-Crime Division of the CID,” the source also said.

“The new establishments are expected to increase the efficiency of investigations carried on these complaints,” the source pointed out.

“When someone makes a complaint of a cyber-crime to a police station, the station can either forward it to the new Computer Crimes Unit or seek its assistance. If someone directly makes a complaint to CID head office via email, they can forward it to the Provincial Unit,” the source also said.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team Coordination Center Roshan Chandraguptha said that 1,250 cyber incidents have been reported to CERT CC as at end of June 2018.

Around 80% of these incidents have been social media related ones, CERT CC Head Chandraguptha said.

“Many among these incidents were the cases of someone making a fake Face Book profile using another person’s details and photographs. CERT CC provides technical facilitation to issues as these. There were numerous incidents where shared passwords between partners of their Facebook accounts being misused by one of the parties,” he explained.

According to the CERT CC Head, there have been close to 10 cases relating to financial fraud via cyber space and about 12 internet scams on bank accounts.

“Then there are complaints on scams done on people who have established long distance relationships with via Facebook accounts. Usually what happens is, one person who claims to be living or working abroad establishes a cyber-relationship with the victim.

“Then the pretender claims to be sending a gift package to the victim that contains valuables.

“Then someone pretending to be an agent of a local delivery company calls the victim to say that an additional payment should be done, lest the package be released. Ten such scams have been reported during the first six months of 2018,” he pointed out.