After Cybercrime Bill turned into a Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016, the presence of an investigative agency for the implementation of the Cybercrime Act was highly needed. In this regard, the Federal Investigation Agency has been given the task of investigating the matters related to the cyberspace of the country.
According to an official notification “SRO (I)/2016” that Government of Pakistan through Ministry of IT and Telecommunication has issued today, FIA has obtained all the necessary powers for dealing (investigation of offenses) with every kind of Cybercrime in the country.
The process of designating the powers to FIA has been done in accordance with the section 29 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016. The segment which states that “The Federal Government may establish or designate a law enforcement agency as the investigation agency for the purposes of investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016”.
Earlier FIA only reported to the Ministry of Interior but with the current mandate, the agency will also report to Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom.
Federal Investigation Agency has been dealing with Cybercrimes in Pakistan for over nine years. It came into limelight regarding such cases in November 2008 when famous money exchanger Khanani and Kalia International (Pvt.) Ltd.) was charged with money laundering (exporting US dollars illegally outside Pakistan).
Until today, the investigation agency has been conducting business under the umbrella of Pakistan Electronic Crime Ordinance 2008 (PECO), Pakistan Penal Code, Telegraph Act, etc.
An official of the FIA appreciated government’s move and termed it an appropriate measure for dealing with the ever increasing crimes in the cyber world.
“Old laws did not adequately address the challenges of cyber crimes, and hence, criminals did not receive proper punishment in Pakistan,” added the official.
“The Prevention Of Electronic Crime Act 20016 is a comprehensive piece of document, and it would be much easier for us to investigate cases from now on”, the official further stated.