Man and Photos on Brown Corkboard
Man and Photos on Brown Corkboard. Representational Image. cottonbro studio/

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide the agency direct access to Interpol's information system.

The SIU said in a statement on Monday that this agreement will "strengthen the SIU's investigating tools of trade and access to data systems to combat cybercrimes. Interpol NCB will provide the SIU with up-to-date training resources," SA News reported.

The deal, which was signed by Andy Mothibi, SIU head Advocate and Ntime Mokhine, Brigadier of Interpol NCB, allowed SIU to access Interpol NCB's network of data systems in 195 countries. This will help resolve domestic issues caused by international forces.

In addition, the deal will also help SIU trace people outside of South Africa, when it needs to subpoena individuals for questioning related to investigations.

SIU's official X handle, formerly known as Twitter, shared a photo of Mothibi and Mokhine during the signing ceremony.

Mokhine explained this MoU "paves the way for Interpol to build relationships with South African law enforcement agencies while enabling Law Enforcement entities to extend their international reach," SIU mentioned in a post on X.

Mothibi, on the other hand, said that this agreement was "aligned with the SIU's current cybercrimes and data analytics vision and the previous agreements that the SIU has signed to build data analytics and forensics capacity, especially in the war against transnational organized crimes."

The recent deal came nearly five months after an anti-cybercrime agreement was signed by South Africa's Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, with France's Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, to improve the SIU's cyber forensic capabilities.

Furthermore, the anti-cybercrime deal will help create an anti-corruption academy in Tshwane, which will support law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies within the Southern African Development Community alongside the Commonwealth and Non-Commonwealth countries.

Considering SIU's achievements, the unit busted several companies for falsely claiming finance from the Unemployment Insurance Fund's Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme, and recovered at least R71 million.

SIU is responsible for investigating corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Saldanha Bay Local Municipality, and Eskom Holdings SOC Limited. The unit is also in charge of recovering the losses the government has suffered because of these corruptions.