Interpol Nigeria boosts cybersecurity with virtual asset training

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The Nigerian Interpol, cybersecurity experts, and other members of the local intelligence community met to brainstorm ways to tackle the rising waves of cybercrime in the country.

The brainstorming, which took place in the nation’s capital, Abuja, under the training platform organized by A&D Forensics in partnership with the Africa Stablecoin Consortium, was said to have been designed to position the Nigerian Interpol on how to mitigate crimes involving virtual assets, particularly stablecoins.

According to blockchain specialist Chioma Onyekelu, the training session aimed to empower Interpol agents with the skills to leverage blockchain intelligence and analysis in tracing and prosecuting cybercriminals involved in cryptocurrency transactions, specifically those using Bitcoin and stablecoins.

Source: Africa Stablecoin Consortium

Onyekelu stated that cybercrime has evolved beyond traditional fiat currency, with criminals now exploiting virtual assets to commit various cyber offenses. As Nigeria’s Interpol receives cybercrime requests from international partners, it is crucial to enhance their capabilities through targeted training sessions.

Given Nigeria’s growing involvement with virtual asset exchanges, Onyekelu explained that the training will enable officers to effectively address cybercrimes involving virtual assets, particularly stablecoins.

Adedeji Owonibi, Senior Partner at A&D Forensics, told the press that the training was imperative due to the rising cybercrime trends in the country. He pointed out that,

“A significant gap exists between the evolving cybercrimes and the capabilities of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. As responsible corporate citizens, we recognized the need to bridge this gap and support our law enforcement agencies in staying updated and effectively combating cybercrimes.”

Regarding the controversies generated by the recent introduction of the cybersecurity Levy, Owonibi argued that while cybersecurity may be controversial, the government has the authority to make decisions on matters that impact national security, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing the nation’s security interests.

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On Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandated banks and other payment service providers to begin deducting 0.5% of the total value of electronic transactions and remit to the National Cybersecurity Fund to be managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on cryptocurrency, banning peer-to-peer exchanges that use the naira, signaling a significant regulatory shift.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently recommended that Nigeria embrace crypto adoption through licensing global cryptocurrency exchanges as a part of its economic reformation measures.

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