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Albania: ICITAP-Facilitated Donation of Digital Forensic Workstations Enhances Cybercrime Investigation Capacity of National Bureau of Investigation

On December 27, the ICITAP-Albania mission provided an update on its assistance to Special Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Structure (SPAK) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). In December 2023, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) jointly with ICITAP in Tirana, signed a Letter of Agreement to complete the donation and transfer of four specially designed Digital Forensic Computer Workstations to the Government of Albania (SPAK and NBI). Over the past two years, in partnership with INL, ICITAP has been building digital forensic capacity and skills-based training of the NBI. This specialized equipment will enhance the SPAK Digital Forensic Laboratory’s capability to review and extract digital evidence and provide workstations for NBI Investigators to review and extract digital evidence related to their investigations.  During 2023, ICITAP facilitated and delivered cyber training in Social Media Analysis, Digital Crypto Currency, and Advanced Mobile Digital Forensics. Training in Computer & Network Intrusion is being planned for January 2024. In addition, the ICITAP-Albania NBI Senior Advisor is partnering with ICITAP Headquarters, Global Forensic Science Unit to implement an assessment of SPAK’s Digital Forensic capabilities. This assessment will focus on the SPAK digital forensic team, who provide services to the NBI and SPO to include imaging hard drives, cell phones and other digital media forms. They also trained in providing expert witness testimony in court. Within days of the new equipment being employed, a NBI Investigator brought in a portable hard drive and loaded the data on the new workstation and was immediately able to review the evidence. The SPAK examiner commented that the new equipment will significantly reduce data transfer time by hours, allowing more time for evidentiary examinations.

Updated January 16, 2024