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$42 Million Lost In The First Quarter Of 2019 Due To Cybercrime

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Zimswitch, FBC, swiping, plastic money, bank cards

If you’ve been following the issues of card cloning and cybercrime locally, you’ll know that the country is woefully ill-prepared to deal with this problem.

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According to stats produced by the ZRP over $40 million has been lost to cybercrime in the first quarter of 2019 alone. That’s quite the number and presents a huge challenge to customers who don’t seem to be getting as much protection from banks or the police force.

Officials working on cybercrimes only managed to recover $1.468 million, down from last year’s $1.68 million during the same period. This statistic is particularly alarming because it means only less than 4% of the money lost was recovered. If you’re a victim of cybercrime, you’re in big trouble it seems…

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It’s not all doom and gloom as the report does sight improvements on two fronts:

  • 1 132 convictions being made during the period, an improvement from the 966 convictions made during the same period last year.
  • During the 1st 4 months of 2018 $63.7 million was lost to cybercrime meaning thus far 35% less has been stolen.

ZICT Chairman spoke to NewsDay and informed them of the weak legal framework which means there is some significant underreporting of these crimes:

The only area they (ZRP) can actually say they have been successful is on fraud. But, if you talk of someone doing card cloning … they can’t put it on any other section besides fraud of which card cloning should be a crime on its own.

Modern crimes are not the crimes in the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, referred to as CODE; CODE does not cover any. It was last done in 2007 and since early 2005 technology has greatly improved…so it is impossible that it would have covered a lot of the crimes that are happening now. So, what needs to be done is to revisit the laws each and every year and update the CODE.

Engineer Jacob Mutisi – ZICT Chairman

The chairman’s statement seems to go hand-in-hand with what ZRP official Amos Tavaziva said last year regarding the police force’s ability to deal with cybercrime:

We need modern equipment and expertise to help us in gathering evidence.

We have to rely on service providers via court orders. This is a new crime trend for the police, the judiciary and the prosecution. There is a need for training. Yes, we have convictions buts not as much as you would want to hear.

Amos Tavaziva – Superintendent of the Cyber Crime Unit in the ZRP Commercial Crime Division


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5 thoughts on “$42 Million Lost In The First Quarter Of 2019 Due To Cybercrime

  1. Our definition of cybercrime is very loose in Zimbabwe. Some crimes such as people claiming to have paid via EcoCash (and receiving goods) are less of computer crime, but rather plain fraud. No systems were circumvented or interfered with, it’s just the lack of due diligence or stupidity that was exploited.

  2. I have not seen any serious experts mentioned in the article do we have them and what are they doing to stem the tide and probably organisations are guilty of lax standards

    1. To be honest with you Jazzman, I’m not sure if we have that many experts in this field locally. If they are there, they are certainly not employed by the financial institutions or the police force if the data at hand is anything to go by. Globally, it’s estimated there’s a gap of around 3 million needed to fill Cyber security positions and I guess these are some of the effects manifesting in our community.

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