A digital forensic laboratory to aid the fight against sophisticated crime has been inaugurated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
It was set up with technical support from the e-Crime Bureau Limited, a cyber security and investigations specialist firm, and the second such facility to be established in the nation.
The laboratory would give practical training to both students and private institutions, enhance criminal investigations and retrieval of digital evidence in disputed transactions.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante-Appeatu, who was on hand to officially open it underlined the need for increased technical support to deal with forensic crime.
Forensic and cyber-related crimes, he indicated, had become a major development challenge because of these were complicated.
He added that “many institutions in Ghana do not have established and forensic-ready information technology (IT) infrastructure and systems to identify and detect incidents when they do occur”.
IGP Asante-Appeatu said it was against this background that he found the step taken by the university both significant and refreshing.
He pointed out that IT growth – introduction of e-platforms and products, cashless systems, mobile money, e-learning among others had led to appreciable rise in cyber-related threats.
Computers have been playing no mean role in contemporary and emerging crimes – human and drug trafficking, terrorism, cross border crimes and money laundering.
He said there could be no doubt that digital forensics would tremendously assist the law enforcement agencies including the courts and businesses to efficiently handle cyber-crimes.
He expressed confidence that the establishment of the laboratory would contribute to “our collective national efforts to build capacity within the criminal justice system as part of the nation’s effort to step up our cyber security readiness”.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, it would help to strengthen theoretical knowledge and practical application of key aspects of forensic science.
The focus would be on crime scene investigation, DNA finger printing, cyber -crime and digital terrorism, forensic investigation legal methodology in Ghana and research methods.
Prof. Obiri-Danso said the University was collaborating with the police, Ghana Standards Authority, Narcotics Control Board, Ghana Immigration Service and e-Crime Bureau for students’ internship and research project work to achieve the intended outcomes.
Mr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the e-Crime Bureau Limited, said the company was eager to assist in addressing cyber security, investigations and security and fraud-risk management needs.