The SAWEN Secretariat in collaboration with INTERPOL and USAID organized a four days training on 'Cyberspace Intelligence and Investigation to wildlife law enforcement officials in South Asia' on 5-8 April 2021. The virtually held training was delivered to investigation officials working in different government agencies from the four SAWEN member countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. The major objective of the training was to capacitate wildlife law enforcement officials on internet based investigations and research to control wildlife crime prevailing through virtual platforms.
The training was divided into two sessions 'Internet Research Skills for Investigative Professionals' for the first two days and 'Social Media Intelligence and Investigation' in second part of the training. First part covered advanced engine search techniques; privacy and security; webpage deconstruction; image intelligence such as meta data, reverse image search, synthetic identity; deep web; detail information searches; and experimental learning exercises. Second part included Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT); its trends; social media sites for example LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and Other Websites; geolocation tools; people and business searches; and the dark web. The training was facilitated by the experts from Toddington International Inc.
Altogether twenty participants took part in the training from four countries. Referring the feedback from the trainees and simultaneous review, second shift training will be provided for the investigation officials from rest of the SAWEN member countries.
The training was effective to enhance knowledge and skills of the wildlife law enforcement officials on investigation of illegal wildlife trade that operate through online platform. This helped to identify existing practices and approaches used to trade wildlife and its products illegally in the black market by using social media, closed group, and unapproachable sites in internet. Success stories and major intervention practices around the globe shared during the training sessions could be replicated in South Asia region. The training was an ample information sharing platform and would be used to share scores of information using personal contacts in coming days.