THE rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and information technology could usher in a new wave of cross-border and transnational organized crimes among African countries, Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa has warned.
The Premier, who was gracing the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO), 21st General Assembly yesterday, challenged African states to brace themselves for AI in a bid to combat the two vices.
“AI may play an increasingly essential role in criminal acts in the future.
It is high time we revisit our strategies and enhance them if we truly want to curb cross-border and transnational organized crimes,” said the PM, while addressing a delegation comprised of regional police chiefs and directors of criminal investigations.
The prime minister noted further that growth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), was working to the disadvantage of many African countries, warning that if it went unchecked, technology could derail and hamper the economic growth of such countries.
Mr Majaliwa noted that ICT’s growth was fast accommodating online fraudsters who are now using sophisticated means to evade police dragnets. “Our citizens are falling prey to such criminals who hide in such thickets, we need to up our game in containing them,” he challenged.
The premier challenged the regional police chiefs to strengthen intelligence gathering in flushing out such criminals, hinting that political will among the member states could be crucial in achieving the feat.
He further underscored the importance of EAPCCO member states to have clear records of crime-related incidents occurring in their countries as well as teaming up in conducting joint operations, knowledge sharing and experience.
In the same vein, he appealed to the Inspectors General of Police (IGPs), to denounce corruption while discharging their law enforcement duties and act accordingly against corrupt police officers. “Such officials are likely to taint the good image of your forces, don’t hesitate to sack them,” challenged the premier.
Earlier on, Interpol Secretary General, Mr Jü rgen Stock warned that criminal enterprises were now looking into Africa as their potential target.
The International Criminal Police Organisation’s secretary general cited a wave of online theft that saw Kenyans lose over 2.9 billion in 2018 as an example of cybercrime that ought to be addressed by member states.
“We need to enhance our analytical capabilities through intelligence analysis training,” said the Interpol official. He urged EAPCCO to second their officers to Interpol.
“We must seize this opportunity, I therefore encourage you to nominate young police leaders,” he added.
Yesterday’s meeting witnessed the handing over of EAPCCO’s chairmanship from the Director General of Sudan’s Police General, Adil Mohamed to his Tanzanian counterpart, Simon Sirro.
Mr Sirro is expected to steer the organisation for the next one year, where his first duty will be to forward the deliberations of the ongoing conference to the council of ministers today.