Nepal Police’s forensic lab to be upgraded

Kathmandu, May 20

Nepal Police today concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal Telecommunications Authority to improve and strengthen the forensic capacity of the law enforcement agency.

AIGP Bigyan Raj Sharma, chief of Crime Investigation and NTA chairperson Digambar Jha signed a memorandum to this effect on behalf of their respective organisations in the presence of Inspector General of Police Upendra Kant Aryal at Nepal Police Headquarters, Naxal.

As per the agreement, the NTA will extend an assistance of Rs 10 million to the Nepal Police for the purchase and installation of necessary hardware and software to modernise the Digital Forensic Lab established in Crime Investigation Department.

Police aim to strengthen the lab in fighting cyber crime. “We are confident that the state-of-the-art technology will assist the concerned officials in making crime investigation scientific and evidence-based,” said a police official.

At a time when criminal groups have increased access to cyberspace, Nepal Police has been carrying out scientific investigation of physical evidences collected from the incident site to make the investigation process result-oriented.

Digital forensic science encompasses the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices in relation to cyber crime.

According to the official, modernisation of the lab would help uncover and interpret electronic data, and preserve any evidence in its original form in the course of conducting structured investigation by recovering, collecting, storing, identifying and validating the data to track down past events.

Cyber crimes include activities like raiding bank accounts, stealing identities and violating privacy, among others. Nepal Police statistics show that the number of reported cyber-crime surged by 105 per cent in fiscal year 2014/15 compared to 2013/14.

A total of 39 cyber crime-related cases were filed in 2013/14 against 19 in 2013-14. Many cases go unreported due to fear of retribution from the perpetrators. E-mail theft, phishing, data hacks and online fraud are major forms of cyber crimes in the country.

The Central Investigation Bureau and Metropolitan Police Crime Division are two key branches of Nepal Police that deal with cases of cyber crime as per the Electronic Transaction Act, 2008.