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THE IMPACT OF E-TRACKING ON CRIME INVESTIGATION IN THE ICPC
1.1 Background to the study
Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes, while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance (ODA). But corruption does not just steal money from where it is needed the most; it leads to weak governance, which in turn can fuel organized criminal networks and promote crimes such as human trafficking, arms and migrant smuggling, counterfeiting and the trade in endangered species.
As a result, corruption affects everyone and can lead to:
i. Less prosperity: Corruption stifles economic growth, undermines the rule of law, and squanders talent and precious resources. Where corruption is rife, companies are reluctant to invest as the costs of doing business are significantly higher. In corrupt countries which are rich in natural resources, the population often does not benefit from this wealth. Corruption also weakens safety and security structures such as the police services. Ultimately, corruption prevents people, countries and businesses from fulfilling their potentials.
ii. Less respect for rights: Corruption undermines democracy, governance and human rights by weakening State institutions that are the basis for fair and equitable societies. Vote buying at election times harms the democratic process and justice is challenged when criminals are ableto bribe their way out of trouble. Indigenous peoples and women are particularly vulnerable to corruption. Given their geographic and social exclusion, and lack of access to legal protection available to other members of society, their economic, social and cultural rights are threatened by corruption.
iii. Less provision of services: Corruption diverts funds intended to provide essential services such as health care, education, clean water, sanitation and housing. When officials are corrupt, this represents a major hindrance to a Government’s ability to meet the basic needs of its citizens. In countries where international aid is meant to improve the quality of life, corruption denies this and can put future funding in jeopardy.
iv. Less employment: When jobs are given not on merit but through nepotism, opportunities are denied. Often for the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs. Additionally, as corruption discourages foreign investment, this leads to fewer employment opportunities.
Rooting out corruption has become critical to the achievement of targets such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, while fighting this scourge is a major policy priority for development agencies and a rapidly increasing number of countries. When lucrative contracts are up for grabs, bribery, fraud and embezzlement can plague large-scale infrastructure projects. Corruption can lead to money being stolen and infrastructure not being built or it can result in half-built or sub-standard – and at times dangerous – infrastructure. Money can also be allocated to sectors where needs are not the greatest, but which offer the best prospects for personal enrichment. A hospital, for instance, might be sorely needed, but kickbacks for people in power could result in a far less needed project being given priority. Ultimately as contracts are awarded to inferior companies, the quality of work is compromised.
Even the aftermath of disasters can provide opportunities for corrupt operators to thrive. Roads, bridges, tunnels, perhaps entire communities, have to be rebuilt. Surveyors have reported corrupt accounting and tendering practices, poor workmanship, bad planning and design, and issues with land rights in disaster-hit areas, hampering long-term recovery or reconstruction.
Educational fraud and playing with our children’s future examples of corruption in education abound. Academic fraud, for instance, is rife in many countries and is regarded as a serious threat to integrity and reliability of certification in higher education. Procurement wastage in the education sector, including school buildings, false maintenance costs and text books paid for but never received, costs the public dearly. And “ghost” or absentee teachers who feature on the list of active teachers in schools are a huge drain on public spending. As a result, educational performance among the poorest populations is severely hampered and the system’s ability to deliver is harmed.
However, counting the impact of corruption in education goes beyond adding up immediate financial costs. Ensuring that educational funds are invested and administered in a fair and transparent manner protects a country’s most valuable asset, its children. If young people come to believe that or university admission and marks can be bought, a country’s economic and political future is in jeopardy and this entrenches a culture of corruption. Students may graduate with poor skills and thus contribute less to the economy and public sector.
Corruption: Not good for your health Corruption results in the loss of enormous amounts of limited public health resources. For example, in developed countries, fraud and abuse in health care has been estimated to cost individual Governments between $12 billion and $23 billion per year. In the pharmaceutical sector, vast amounts of money – up to $50 billion – are spent every year on products: a market so large that it is extremely vulnerable to corrup-tion6. Recent estimates from the World Health Organization have shown that as much as 25 per cent of medicines which are procured can be lost to fraud, bribery and other corrupt practices. (www.anticorruptionday.org)
Investigation of corruption depends on a number of variables, the first of which is detection. As official corruption is by definition committed by government officials, its detection may be difficult because of its hidden nature, but also by the ability of government officials to intimidate subordinates who are in a position to reveal the corruption or to threaten the funding of law enforcement agencies which have jurisdiction over them.
The Federal government and most states have “whistle-blower” lawswhich protect those who reveal corruption, but there are no protections against retaliation by corrupt politicians against law enforcement agencies who investigate them. Whistleblowers are responsible for many investigations into corruption, both by providing information directly to law enforcement agencies and by contacting the media, which may launch its own investigation. However information from an informant is only the beginning, as many tips do not result in investigation, let alone conviction. Official corruption may range from free restaurant meals provided to police officers to bribes paid to high-ranking federal officials by stock manipulators. In the US, many corruption investigations involve illegal contributions made to political campaigns. In such cases, detection is frequently accomplished by agencies created for that very purpose, in contrast to other types of corruption that are investigated only after tips provided by whistle-blowers and other citizens. Thus, detection may take place in a proactive or a reactive manner. Regardless of how the alleged illegal activity is detected, a decision must be made to investigate or not. Such decisions should rest solely on sufficiency of evidence, but in practice are influenced not only by evidence but also by the availability of resources and by the political considerations. The resource problem in the US is frequently a function of the federal system and its decentralized law enforcement. While the US has more law enforcement officers per population than most othercountries, 60% of all local police departments employed fewer than 10 full-time, sworn officers. Few local law enforcement agencies in the US then have the capability to investigatesignificant cases of official corruption. Political influences may range from threats of retaliation by those targeted, to fear of exposing community influential; but it is safe to say that there are virtually always political factors in any decision to investigate official corruption. There are, of course, legal considerations when undertaking an investigation of official corruption. Law enforcement agencies must observe all constitutional and statutory guidelines, with particular emphasis paid to search and seizure, which may include electronic eavesdropping, and entrapment, frequently an issue in “sting” operations.
Law enforcement agencies normally consult with prosecutors on such legal issues. There are 50 different state penal codes, the US Code, and precedent(common law) from appellate courts in each state, federal circuit courts of appeal, and the US Supreme Court, all of which must be considered when undertaking an investigation. Thus, the legal preparation and monitoring of a major corruption investigation is frequently complex and lengthy, and often involves search warrants which must be approved by judges. A successful investigation, therefore, is highly dependent upon adequate resources and the quality of and cooperation between law enforcement, prosecution, and the judiciary. And they are all dependent upon legislation that clearly delineates what constitutes official corruption.
(Anthony Didrick Cast berg CURRENT PROBLEMS IN THE FIGHT AGAINSTCORRUPTION AND SOME POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: US PERSPECTIVE)
1.1.1 CHALLENGES IN INVESTIGATION INTO CORRUPTION CASES
The development of technology and globalization has an impact on the nature of corrupt transactions. Most of the corrupt offenders now are well educated and able to conceal their tracks and hide their corrupt transactions. In response to these changing trends, law enforcement officers are expected to be specialized and expand their investigation into a much wider scope, such as;
- Multiple Jurisdictions: In our experience conducting investigation across borders, few limitations were identified such as the obtaining of evidence of bank accounts, location of foreign witnesses, recording of statements of foreign witnesses and location of accused persons. To overcome these obstacles, it is crucial for anti-corruption agencies to establish close coordination and cooperation with other anti-corruption agencies. Through this, agencies are able to gain mutual understanding in terms of the needs, urgency and the limitations. With good networking, close relations and trust would help such agencies overcome limitations and improve assistance. This would contribute to a timelier and faster investigation process and avoid unnecessary delay. In this regard, the Bureau would like to share one of our successful cases which involved other jurisdictions, namely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Malaysia and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), Singapore. This case involved a vendor with the Brunei Shell Petroleum SdnBhd who was convicted on 40 charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Penal Code (62 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing) for submitting false claims and bribery to the Brunei Shell Petroleum SdnBhd employees in the process. Prior to his trial, the Brunei Court has issued a warrant of arrest as the defendant had absconded to Malaysia. Through the use of Summons and Warrants Act (special provisions) (Cap 155), the warrant of arrest was executed with the assistance of the MACC and the defendant was subsequently arrested by the MACC and was surrendered to the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s officers at the Brunei border. The defendant pleaded guilty to 40 charges and was sentenced to 6 years and 4 months imprisonment. The court also ordered the defendant to pay a sum of BND180, 000.00 for the prosecution’s cost and under the Benefit Recovery Order, the defendant was ordered to pay SGD$219,838.10 and USD326, 174.55 from his accounts in Singapore. With the assistance from CPIB Singapore and the Central Authorities of Mutual Legal Assistance from both countries, the Bureau was able to obtain the corrupt proceeds from the accounts which were frozen by the authorities in Singapore.
- Evidence Management Many corrupt givers or receivers now are able to camouflage the corrupt funds in the forms of commodities such as loans, benefits or other concessions.
Unlike the crime of murder, investigators do not have the opportunity to mount a crime scene investigation, but instead investigators are required to do money-trailing investigation and compile documentary evidence to support their cases. Therefore the analysis of documentary evidence such as bank accounts, contract agreements, phone records, log books, etc. is important to build up the case which will eventually result in successful conviction. This requires expertise and additional efforts by anti-corruption officers. In this regard, the Bureau has over the years invested in creating specialized officers with computer, accounting and legal backgrounds. The officers are tasked to make analysis of bank accounts or payment vouchers relating to corruption which has already been committed. These officers are also tasked to extract evidence or records stored in a computer or database to be used as corroborating evidence. Officers with legal backgrounds are also required to study special conditions imposed on contract agreements and legal documents pertaining to the case investigated when required. The Bureau also placed great importance in the ability to obtain evidence stored in electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers. The Bureau has continuously trained officers to keep them up to date with the latest development of technology and how to acquire evidence from electronic devices legally and professionally. This also includes the ability to digitize hard copy evidence, and this has proven to assist investigating officers in saving a lot of time sifting through the evidence as the information has been streamlined and focused on
the chain of events. This has also enabled investigators to make better presentations to the Prosecutors before the case is brought to court for prosecution.
- Electronic Surveillance Following the changing trends of corrupt transactions, our investigators have been tasked to shift from the conventional ways of investigation into more proactive and sophisticated investigation. The usage of special investigative means such as wire-tapping, undercover officers, telecommunication interception and consensual recordings are regarded as one of the important tools in obtaining evidence of corrupt acts. However it requires skilled officers to mount these special investigative techniques and the deployment of undercover officers to obtain the evidence. One of the most important things to note is that, in order to use evidence obtained by these techniques, it must meet the legal requirements to be presented in court as well as internal safeguards to prevent abuse.
- Interviews Many would agree that an interview is the main integral and perhaps the most challenging part of investigation. This is because corrupt transactions often do not involve any eyewitness and investigators often have to rely on documentary evidence or leads based on the information received. Most of the corrupt offenders or witnesses are frequently hostile when being interviewed. This is due to negative perception or fear of being implicated to the crime. As such, before conducting the interviews, ample time was given to the recording officers to study a comprehensive chronology of events, case backgrounds, supporting documents and antecedents to equip them during the interview. It is important to note that, recording officers should possess strong interviewing skills, be well versed in laws and procedures, possess patience and persistence and should be able to exercise discretion. With these skills, interviewing officers will be able to obtain accurate and reliable information from witnesses efficiently and professionally.
1.1.2 CHALLENGES IN PROSECUTING CORRUPTION CASES
Prosecution is simply the process of trying to prove in a court of competent jurisdiction that somebody is guilty of a crime for which he/she has been duly charged. The success or otherwise of prosecution will depend on several factors amongst which are;
- Cooperation from person/institutions who should furnish relevant information;
- The quality of evidence gathered at the investigation stage.
- The transparency of investigation of the case itself.
- The prosecutorial competences of the prosecuting counsel.
- The transparency and fairness of the presiding judge in the trail.
- Lacunas or gaps in the law guiding law guiding prosecution.
(Nuhu Ribadu Esq.
OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION OF CORRUPT PRACTICES AND FINANCIAL CRIME CASES IN NIGERIA )
“Where corruption is concerned, one can readily see the need within reason of course for special powers of investigations and provisions such as ones requiring an accused to provide an explanation. Specific corrupt acts are inherently difficult to detect let alone prove in the normal way”—Bokhary JA in AG v Hui Kin-hong  1 HKCLR 227. It has long been recognized that corruption is not only challenging to investigate but also challenging to prove in court. Prosecution of corruption is a particularly difficult endeavor, and it is not without its challenges.
In Brunei Darussalam, no prosecution for an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act (cap 131) shall be instituted except with the consent of the Public Prosecutor. So the Public Prosecutor’s consent will not only operate as a statutorily imposed obligation upon the Public Prosecutor to take special care in the decision to prosecute but it also serves as a check and balance. Hence the importance of the Public Prosecutor’s consent reflects a recognition by the legislature that the crime of corruption has special difficulties associated with it and very great care is needed in determining whether or not to prosecute any given corruption case.
- 1. Prosecutorial Decision The first challenge in prosecuting a corruption case lies in the decision making of whether or not to prosecute and secondly who to prosecute. The first hurdle is usually easy to overcome when the investigation clearly shows enough evidence to prosecute a certain party. The second challenge is also not daunting when investigation shows one party is more credible and reliable; then, he/she will not be charged and will be used as a witness against the other party. The difficulty lies when the evidence gathered are just showing the words of the giver against the words of the receiver without any other supporting evidence. Who would be more believable in this case? Should we charge both the parties without the availability of any otherindependent evidence? Should we charge the person who reports to the ACB first? These are the questions that come to mind before such a decision is made in these circumstances. In terms of prosecution, Brunei are prepared to prosecute both givers and receivers of bribes, just as can be seen in one of our high profile cases against the ex-Minister of Development of Brunei, where he was charged as the receiver together with the giver of the bribe in one trial. But this kind of prosecution is only done with other independent supporting evidence against both the giver and the receiver of the bribe because if we prosecute all parties in all corruption cases, who are going to give evidence for the prosecution. This can present some challenge especially when there is not much independent evidence apart from what the giver and receiver say about the crime. Hence it is not usual for us to prosecute both receivers and givers of bribes.
- 2. Handling Difficult Witnesses In most corruption cases the only people with direct knowledge of the offence are the two people who commit it, the giver of the bribe and the person receiving the bribe. It is for this reason that very often such crimes only come to light when there is a falling out between the two individuals concerned, but in most corruption cases received by the AGC, one party is usually more culpable than the other as the other is usually an accomplice to the crime by way of an imposition, pressure or fear. Under section 28 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 131), no witness shall be presumed to be unworthy of credit just because he or she is an accomplice to the corrupt offence. Although our legislation provides sanctity to these accomplices, in reality the accomplices still feel some reservation towards prosecutors and will always minimize their role when telling their side of the story as they fear that they are being incriminated as being guilty in the abetment of a serious offence. Thus, prosecutors face the challenge of procuring information from a person who is reluctant to reveal the whole truth.
- 3. Multiple Defendants—Joint Trial or Separate Trial In most cases received by the Attorney General’s Chambers the evidence gathered are mostly from one side only, i.e. either from the giver only or from the receiver only. The majority of corruption cases also usually involve one or two defendants who had given or received gratification from or to another individual. However, there has been an increasing number of recent cases where bribes are given by one party to multiple recipients. This has posed a new challenge in prosecuting corruption of multiple defendants.
In an attempt to understand the challenges in this rising occurrence, the case, which was recently handled by the Attorney General’s Chambers, of a diesel smuggling ring is referenced. The case is about a Malaysian fuel smuggler, Mr. K, who gave bribe money to various Brunei Customs officers ranging from senior officers to junior officers working at the Brunei border customs control post. Mr. K and his gang were smuggling diesel out of Brunei to Miri, Sarawak because the price of diesel in Brunei is far cheaper than in Miri, Sarawak. The bribes were given in order to allow Mr. K and his gang to come in and out of Brunei from Miri, Sarawak freely without any inspection of his vehicles that were carrying diesel out of Brunei inside big modified fuel tanks, which is an offence under the Customs Order of Brunei. The bribes given to the senior customs officers were in bigger amounts to ensure that those officers would instruct the junior officers on duty at the customs booth of the Brunei border to not give any problems to Mr. K and his gang whenever they enter or leave the Brunei border and to give information to Mr. K and his gang whenever any raids by customs prevention officers were going to be conducted so that Mr. K and his gang would know when not to come in to Brunei to carry out their fuel smuggling activities.
The investigation into this case by the ACB was conducted jointly with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and at the end of the operation, 38 customs officers were arrested and investigated. When the investigation files were submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers, it was clear from the outset that this was a huge case involving many defendants and witnesses and voluminous documents. After painstakingly reviewing and examining the evidence presented, the Public Prosecutor decided to charge 6 senior customs officers and 15 junior customs officers.
The next challenge was to decide whether to hear the case as one trial or separate trials. For all 21 defendants, there were at least five common main prosecution witnesses who hail from Malaysia, so if the cases were split into 21 separate trials, these five foreign witnesses (three MACC officers and two fuel smugglers) would have to come to Brunei at least 21 times.
This is one of the main reasons why the prosecution wanted to limit the trial to just two separate trials, one trial for the senior officers and one trial for the junior officers. The prosecution was also aware that there were only six Magistrates, one Intermediate Court judge and two High Court judges for the whole of Brunei who would be able to hear the case on top of the already hundreds of cases they hear. So this was another factor for the Public Prosecutor to consider—that if the trials were separated into 27 trials between just six Magistrates or just one Intermediate Court judge or just two High Court judges, the trial would go on for a very long time. In the end, the prosecution decided to bring the six senior customs officers’ cases to be heard in the High Court as there was a lesser chance of the cases getting adjourned compared to hearing the cases in the lower courts. Unfortunately, the prosecution lost the argument in the High Court to have all six senior customs officers tried in a single trial as the court ruled that each defendant had different major roles in the corrupt activity and that the bribes received from Mr. K were at different times and places so the High Court referred the six senior customs officers’ cases to the Magistrate Court for separate trials. With regard to the 15 junior customs officers’ cases, the prosecution had a better chance of having it heard in a single trial in the Intermediate court because in the end prosecution preferred an additional single conspiracy charge against all 15 defendants to glue them together as the offences committed by all 15 defendants were very similar in nature and were very close in proximity of time and also committed at the same place. The trials for the six senior customs officers started in 2010 and to date only two out of the six trials have concluded—the defendants were found guilty. The other four are still waiting for the conclusion of trial. With regard to the case of the 15 junior customs officers, the trial never even started as there were too many delays caused by the unavailability of court dates, and finding a common date for all parties (the court, the DPP and the eight defence counsels handling the matter) was sometimes impossible; then there was also the issue of the main prosecution witnesses’ unavailability and that their availability was something to fight for between this case and the cases of the other six senior customs officers’ trials as well. So in the end after not starting the trial of the 15 junior customs officers for three years after they were all first charged, the Public Prosecutor decided to enter Nolle (nolleprosequi) on all charges against the 15 defendants, and they were all discharged not amounting to acquittal in order to give way for them to be dealt with administratively by another penal authority.
- 4. Dealing with Foreign Witnesses and Foreign Jurisdictions In Brunei, we do not have the power to compel a foreign witness to give evidence in our courts unless the witness is from Singapore or Malaysia: witnesses from these countries may be compelled to testify by our courts under the Summonses and Warrants (Special Provisions) Act. Hence, if the prosecution wishes to call a foreign witness there is no guarantee that we could secure their attendance without their own voluntariness to come to Brunei to give evidence. The AGC once conducted a trial which involved witnesses from Indonesia who had given bribes to a Bruneian who was working as a Counselor at the Brunei Embassy in Jakarta. The said Counselor had demanded moneys from these witnesses who were freelance human resource agents as a reward for processing their application which were not supposed to be allowed by the Embassy at the time. Some of these witnesses hesitated to come to Brunei to give evidence against the Counselor as they feared for their safety, especially in a foreign land. Since Brunei does not have a witness protection scheme/programme, the prosecution was unable to give them any assurance with regards their safety so in the end prosecution had to drop a few charges against the Counsel just because the main prosecution witness who was a foreigner did not want to come to Brunei to give evidence. For those foreign witnesses who are compellable to give evidence in Brunei just as in the diesel smuggling case mentioned above, another set of challenges were presented to prosecution. It is the usual practice for Magistrates to reserve two weeks for a trial. However, these trial dates are prone to be taken away by other higher-priority cases (usually partly heard trials) heard before the same Magistrate. It was also not unusual for the trial to be postponed due to an illness on the defendant, defence counsels, witnesses, magistrates or prosecutor. This problem affects the timing of when the foreign witnesses should fly in from Malaysia. The prosecution requires a specific time for those witnesses to appear in order to get the necessary approval from the authorities to purchase air tickets and accommodations. There were a lot of instances where those foreign witnesses had come to Brunei but the trial is suddenly adjourned due to the earlier mentioned reasons. These adjournments do not only mean waste of time for those foreign witnesses who had to be flown in to Brunei but also cancellations of hotel rooms and re-booking of air tickets which is administratively and financially burdensome. The prosecution also had to deal with personal problems of those foreign witnesses especially the fuel smugglers. At the beginning of the prosecution, the fuel smugglers were afraid for their own personal security because of the perceived threats from the senior customs officers, especially when they go through the control posts so they were a bit reluctant to come to Brunei at first, but constant protection and close cooperation by the ACB with the fuel smugglers succeeded in reducing their fear. (DatoPadukaHj Muhammad JuandaHjA.Rashid* ShamshuddinKamaluddinCURRENT ISSUES IN THE INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION AND ADJUDICATION OF CORRUPTION CASES IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM)
1.1.3 Tracking, according to the Cambridge Advance learner’s dictionary is to follow a person or animal by looking for proofs that they have been somewhere, or by using electronic equipment. (Cambridge Advance learner’s dictionary 3rd edition). To observe or plot the moving path of (something, such as a spacecraft or missile) often instrumentally. Tracking systems provide law enforcement the ability to track the movement or identify the location of persons, objects or stolen assets (including current and fixed). A search warrant or a court order may be required to conduct tracking depending on the extant laws.
Electronic Tracking provides law enforcement operatives with the ability to track, apprehend, and incarcerate felony offenders, thus making communities and neighborhoods safer places to live and to do business.Examples of tracking systems include the following:
i. Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) satellites can establish the location of the item being tracked. Once the location is established, this information may be transferred to the law enforcement officer via radio frequency or cellular frequencies, or the position may simply be logged within the device. Real-time tracking is possible with some devices. Generally, the positions are integrated with a software system that displays the track on a map.
ii. Directional find (DF)/radio frequency (RF). Radio transmitters can be placed on or in packages, persons, or vehicles, which can then be tracked in real time using direction-finding receivers.
iii. Commercially available vehicle tracking systems. Some consumer products have tracking devices built into them by the manufacturer. These devices are especially prevalent in vehicles. These devices may record speed, location, or brake usage. They may also provide direct communication with persons in the vehicle.
iv. Electronic devices that allow passage through tolls. These systems capture the date and time of toll passage.
v. Access-control systems. Access-control systems allow entry into secure areas and track employee movements. These systems can record date and time of entry and user information.
These systems include key cards, retinal scanners, fingerprint scanners, voice recognition systems, and similar items.
vi. Credit or membership cards. Use of these cards creates a record, which may provide information related to the geographic location and travel history for the use of the card (e.g., hotel, gas, airline), as well as date/time/location of the item purchased.
vii. IP Address and internet. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - For large-scale location-tracking systems, it is necessary to capture and store geographic information. Geographic information systems can capture, store, analyze and report geographic information.
(Investigative Uses of Technology: Devices, Tools, and Techniques www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij)
Crime investigation is a process by which the perpetrator of a crime, or intended crime, is identified through the gathering of facts (or evidence) –although it may also involve an assessment of whether a crime has been committed in the first place. Crime Investigation can be reactive, i.e. applied to crimes that have already taken place, or proactive i.e. targeting a particular criminal or forestalling a criminal activity planned for the future. There are, however many variations within both basic systems in some types of crimes. No matter what the system, basic tenets remain the same: identifying who committed the criminal act and gathering sufficient evidence to ensure a conviction. In many civil law models, there are often two phases described in the investigative process: the pre-investigation or intelligence phase and the investigation itself. Usually the operatives will be wholly responsible for the pre-investigation (which seeks to identify whether an offence has actually been committed and to gather basic information) after which a prosecutor will assume control. What constitutes an offence or crime can vary. Many countries categorize minor offences, such as over speeding or using public transport without a ticket, as misdemeanors, with either a separate code or portion of the code devoted to these offences. Other countries consider these to be “administrative” in nature and they do not form part of the criminal code. Such offences are not then subject to criminal investigation, nor do they fall within the competence of a prosecutor, but are dealt with in lower level administrative tribunals.
However, generally speaking, the definition of what constitutes a serious crime will be much the same, and recognizable, from country to country even though the specific detail may be different. For instance, the term “burglary” in one country may only refer to the entering of a building with intent to steal. In others, the term may also include intent to cause criminal damage or to commit rape, but the illegal act of entering of a premise with intent to commit a crime is common to all jurisdictions.
(Wikipedia (2018) Criminal Investigation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_investigation)
(The Gale Group Inc. (2004.) Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security COPYRIGHT)
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
The age-old crime investigation approach due to hi-tech innovations, necessitated the embracing of the e-tracking (electronic tracking) methods intocrime investigation. The previous techniques have failed to live up to the requirements of the existing crime scenario and technological development. The manual techniques fail to provide reliable location of persons, track financial transactions and tracking of proceeds of crime. This also results in a needless extent for investigation into crime. The solution to this ever-increasing problem lies in the effective use of Information Technology. Electronic-tracking in crime investigation involves various digital and electronic processes of identifying location and the internet and global positioning satellites (GPS) as an interface forintegrating and accessing location-based information. Electronic tracking increases the ability to access and process criminal investigation swiftly while displaying it in a spatial and visual medium, this also allows agencies to trace and track suspects/criminals quickly and more effectively. The research shall analyze the correlation between e-tracking and crime investigation and the level of application of electronic tracking/tracing in crime investigations in operational directorates and units of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).According to Ngouo (2000) and the World Bank, corruption is the exploitation of public positions for private benefits. She also stated that the lack of any civil spirit among any categories of civil servants leads to corruption and misappropriate of public funds.
Gray and Kaufmann (1998) define “acts of corruption to include bribery and extortion which necessarily involves at least two parties and other malfeasances that a public official can carry out alone including fraud and embezzlement”. For them it manifests in government activities through the appropriation of public assets for private use and embezzlement of public funds by politicians and high level officials. Akindele (2005) sees corruption as behavior, which derivates from the formal rules of governing the actions of someone in a position of authority. According to Osunyinkanmi (2009), the term corruption is synonymous to the terms fraud, bribery, settlement etc. In his explanation, the settlement in corrupt perception parlance became a euphemism for bribery in Nigeria.
Transparency International (2003) defined corruption as the misuse of entrusted power for private gain, they further differentiates between “according to rule” corruption and “against the rule” corruption. Facilitate payments where a bribe is paid to receive preferential treatment for something that the bribe receiver is required to do by law, constitute the former. The latter, on the other hand is a bribe paid to oblation services to bribe receiver is prohibited from providing.
In Asian Development Bank perspective of corruption as cited by Agbu (2001) corruption in defined as the behavior of public and private officers who improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves and/or those closely related to them, or induces others to do so, by measuring the position in which they are placed. According to Obayelu (2007) different vocabularies used to describe corruption and typology of corruption in Nigerian society includes bribery extortion (money and other resources extracted by the use of coercion, violence of threats; embezzlement (theft or public resources by public officials), financial malpractices, egunje, dash, gratifications, browns envelopes, trips emoluments, greasing, softening the ground, inducements, sub-payments, side payments irregular payments, payment under the table, undocumented extra payments, facilitation payments, mobilization fees ,revised estimate padded contracts over (under) invoicing, cash commission, Kickbacks payoffs covert, exchanges shading deals, cover-ups collusion, 10% rule, let keep our secrete secret.
From all the said definitions above corruption is a systematic vice is an individual, society or a nation which reflects favoritism, nepotism tribalism, sectionalism, undue enrichment, amazing of wealth, abuse of office, power, position and derivation of undue gains and benefits.
In the final analysis corruption can be described as the conscious attempt or deliberate diversion of resources from the satisfaction of the general interest to that of personal interest, Urien (2012).
Types of Corruption
Corrupt practices can take many farms Tiolu and Ogunro (2012) identified four types of corruption as follows:
1. Moral Corruption: This is exhibited in sexual pervasiveness, greed especially i.e. Uncontrollable tongue such that leaks secrets or slanders in busy-body, indecent dressing or appearance etc.
2. Economic Corruption e.g. manufacturing fake drugs adulteration of drinks, piracy, and fraud at all levels etc.
3. Political and Bureaucratic Corruption: It is illegal unethical and unauthorized exploitation of one’s political or official position for personal gain. It has to do with public affairs- goods fortunes agencies and resources. It is therefore corruption against the state or its agencies by a person holding an official position in pursuit to private in personal profit.
4. Electoral Corruption: This has to do with electoral frauds such as election frauds such as election rigging manipulation, ballot stuffing registration of under age and many others. (Amah Kalu Ogbonnaya International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences Vol. 8 , No. 6, May 2018, E-ISSN: 2222-6990 © 2018 HRMARS)
That corruption is a destructive and complex practice is openly acknowledged in Nigeria, yet it remains ubiquitous in the functioning of society and economic life. The consequences of corruption for the country and its people are, moreover, indisputable. Acts of diversion of Federal and State revenue, business and investment capital, and foreign aid, as well as the personal incomes of Nigerian citizens, contribute to a hollowing out of the country’s public institutions and the degradation of basic services. All the same, corruption is perhaps the least well understood of the country’s challenges. It has been estimated that close to $400 billion was stolen from Nigeria’s public accounts from 1960 to 1999 and that between 2005 and 2014 some $182 billion was lost through illicit financial flows from the country. This stolen common wealth in effect represents the investment gap in building and equipping modern hospitals to reduce Nigeria’s exceptionally high maternal mortality rates estimated at two out of every 10 global maternal deaths in 2015; expanding and upgrading an education system that is currently failing millions of children and procuring vaccinations to prevent regular outbreaks of preventable diseases. Corruption tends to foster more corruption, perpetuating and entrenching social injustice in daily life. Such an environment weakens societal values of fairness, honesty, integrity and common citizenship, as the impunity of dishonest practices and abuses of power or position steadily erode citizens’ sense of moral responsibility to follow the rules in the interests of wider society.
(Chatham House Report Leena Koni Hoffmann and Raj Navanit Patel Africa Programme May 2017 Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions)
The employment situation in Nigeria has somewhat followed recent global trends. While global employment rates appear to be stabilizing, there are however some concerns about jobs recovery. The moderate growth rate recorded by the global economy is still too weak to close the significant employment gap that has emerged since the beginning of the global economic crisis in 2008.
Comparing Nigeria's third quarter's unemployment rate with the international rates (recorded in different period), Nigeria ranks the 173rd among other countries that have published unemployment statistics. The highest unemployment rate in the world is recorded in Congo (46.1%), Bosnia and Herzegovinian (35.3%), Namibia (34.0%), and Palestine (31.7%) while the lowest are found in Qatar (0.1%), Belarus (0.3%), Cambodia (0.3%), and Niger (0.4%). It is important to note that reference period and methodology of calculating unemployment rate could differ across the countries.
The unemployment rate based on NBS’s revised methodology was calculated to be 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018. Underemployment, however, has been gradually declining over the past four quarters, with the rate in Q3 was reported as 20.1%. The increasing unemployment and declining underemployment rate simply that the fragile economic recovery is beginning to create employment, however hours worked within these jobs are not yet enough for full time employment (40+ hours within the week). While this isongoing, the inflow of entrants into the labour market continues to grow steadily, minimizing the effect of any jobs created within the economy on the overall unemployment rate.
(National Bureau of Statistics labour force statistics volume 1 Unemployment Report and Underemployment Report Q4 2017- Q3 2018)
Nigeria has struggled to meet education standards due to exponential population growth and limited public services and resources. With children under 15 years of age accounting for about 45% of the country’s population, the burden on education and other sectors has become overwhelming.
UN statistics show that many children are enrolled in school, but never attend. Approximately 34% of out-of-school children are primary school aged and approximately 57% of children do not attend school during early childhood. Reports show that even where children are attending school they are not learning enough. 50% of in-school children cannot read or write, 63% of children who live in rural areas cannot read at all and 84% of children in the lowest economic quartile cannot read at all. Only 66% of 15-24 year olds are literate and there is an 18% disparity between male and females. Parents are increasingly choosing to educate their children in private schools, where approximately 70% of children currently attend school.
(School Choice-Lagos State Report www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com)
The above banes are all associated to impunity as corrupt suspects are often not apprehended due to poor investigation and anticorruption agencies that are not properly equipped and funded.
1.3 Research Questions
i. What is the nature of e-tracking deployed for crime investigation in the ICPC?
ii. What are the factors considered for deployment of e-tracking in crime investigation in the ICPC?
iii. What are the impacts of e-tracking in crime in crime investigation in the ICPC?
iv. What are the challenges to the deployment of e-tracking in crime investigation in the ICPC?
v. What recommendations would enhance the effective and efficient deployment of e-tracking in crime investigation in the ICPC?
1.4 Aim of the Study
This study is to examine the impact of e-tracking on crime investigation in the ICPC with a view to making recommendations that would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission.
The key assumptions in this research work are as follows:
Null hypothesis H0-There is no correlation between electronic tracking and crime investigation.
Alternative H 1 - There is a correlation between electronic tracking and crime investigation.
Null hypothesis H0- Electronic tracking is not a panacea to crime investigation.
Alternative H 1- Electronic tracking as a panacea to crime investigation.
1.6 Significance of the study
The study shall be of assistance to ICPC and other Law enforcement agencies with similar mandates in electronically tracking and tracing of offenders and proceeds of financial crimes. Subsequently, this will further expose the weakness and strength of e-tracking in crime investigation. It will also identify challenges and technical hitches associated with the application of e-tracking in crime investigations.
The research work shall appriseanduncover the level of deployment, awareness and compliance of electronic tracking in investigating crimes in the ICPC by its operatives.
1.7 Scope of the study
The Scope of this research work covers the following Operational Directorates and Units of the Commission for their investigative jurisdiction and mandates;
- Special Duties Directorate.
- Investigation Directorate.
- Computer Security and Forensic Unit.
- Asset Tracing and Recovery Monitoring Unit.
- Special Investigation Team
- Financial Investigation Unit.
This research work also highlights and analyzes the role of e-tracking in investigating crimes through examining the current effects of technological innovation in investigating crimes.
The Data was mainly collected by way of interviewing and general respondents through the use of questionnaire that were administered to randomly selected staff in designated Directorates and Units.
1.8 Definition of Terms
i. E-tracking: digital and electronic processes of identifying location and the internet and global positioning satellites (GPS) as an interface for integrating and accessing location-based information.
ii. Digital: Information in a form of electronic image or nature.
iii. Operatives: officers working covertly for the ICPC.