Electronic blackmail is worsening in Iraq.. When will the “helplessness” phase end?[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] |Today[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Baghdad today - Baghdad
Iraq is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the rates of electronic crimes, especially blackmail, as not a day goes by without the security authorities announcing the arrest of those involved in such crimes, the most recent of which was yesterday, Friday (September 22, 2023), when the community police affiliated with the Ministry of Interior announced the documentation of 14 cases of electronic blackmail. Within 10 days.
The community police statement said, “Community police detachments in the Department of Relations and Information in Baghdad and a number of governorates, and through separate operations, stopped 45 cases of electronic blackmail and domestic violence, and returned 9 fugitives to their families during the past ten days.”
He added: "The total number of blackmail cases that were stopped during the past ten days reached 14 cases, while domestic violence cases for the same period reached 31 cases."
The statement explained that the community police took "the necessary measures against the extortionists and the violent, and provided psychological and moral support and care to the victims of violence, extortion, and those fleeing."
During the past year, Iraq recorded, according to statistics revealed by the Community Police Directorate in the Ministry of Interior, 1,950 cases of electronic blackmail, most of whose victims were women, including teenage girls and children under the age of 14 years.
Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Al-Muhanna confirmed in previous statements that, “There is no explicit law that deals with electronic crimes, specifically extortion, in Iraq. Despite this, the police agencies deal with this issue in accordance with the articles of Penal Code No. 111 of 1969.”
He added, "There are defendants who were convicted based on the threats and the gravity of the act and the seriousness of the harm, and they were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 7 to 14 years."
He stated that "the police agencies deal with the issue according to their jurisdiction, as electronic crimes are within the jurisdiction of the Federal Intelligence Agency, and the Anti-Crime Directorate in Baghdad and the Community Police work on the electronic blackmail file."
He explained, "There is a hotline to report these crimes, and they are dealt with very quickly."
Observers believe that increasing penalties against the perpetrators of these crimes constitutes a deterrent to their expansion, especially cyber blackmail crimes that are on the rise, in light of the widespread use of social media networks and the resulting exploitation of them in suspicious ways.
They pointed out the need to enact a special law to combat cybercrime in Iraq, which according to them will contribute to curbing it, as the perpetrators of these crimes benefit from the absence of a special law to punish this widespread type of crime.
Legal expert Muhammad Al-Samarrai said in a press interview that “electronic crimes, as an accurate legal concept, are those committed by electronic means, and the subject of the crime is electronic when targeting databases and information networks, but there are other crimes whose subject is not electronic, but rather the tool or means of committing them electronic.”
He explained, "As a result of the widespread use of technology and cyberspace, electronic or cybercrime has expanded, which creates opportunities for various countries to legislate laws for cybercrime in terms of criminalization, punishment, and legal procedures related to proving and investigating them."
He continued: "Many countries went further than that by establishing agencies and departments specialized in electronic crimes, and then the situation came to the establishment of cybersecurity departments and councils as a very advanced stage, related to the security of data and information of a security and military nature."
He pointed out that “in Iraq, unfortunately, we are still in the stage of inability to criminalize electronic crimes and hold criminals accountable, because we do not have a law for electronic crimes, which has created a gap between this renewed and developed criminal nature and an old system of penal and procedural laws that were enacted more than 50 years ago, and which did not “There was no such thing as cybercrime back then.”
He added: "Therefore, despite the security services and competent courts relying on the provisions of Penal Code No. 111 of 1969, they are forced to fill this legal void. This is not sufficient to achieve the goal of the penalty of deterrence and repression, despite it being considered a felony punishable by more than 5 years."
“The country is in dire need of legal and institutional regulation and tight legislation for cybercrimes, which clearly includes criminalization, punishment, investigative procedures, and procedures for proving these crimes of a special technical nature,” according to the legal expert.
Source: "Sky News Arabia"