SOCA overlooks e-crime in annual report

News by Richard Thurston

The Serious Organised Crime Agency has trumpeted its successes over the past year, but makes scant mention of its efforts to tackle cyber criminals

The Government organisation which was set up to tackle e-crime has released its second annual report, and has trumpeted several of its successes.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) revealed its success stories of 2007/8 in the report, released late last week, but there were few mentions of tackling internet-based crime.

Internet crimes it did refer to include so-called Operation Ajowan, which investigated the global online activities of UK-based criminals trading in stolen bank, credit card and other identity information. All the criminals involved in the activities, including one which caused financial losses of £6m, were successfully prosecuted.

Another project, codenamed Elegia, identified financial and identity data being traded by online criminals, including those who had stolen the data with the intention of conducting large-scale attacks on internet banking sites.

But SOCA made a bigger issue out of other crimes, including those concerning drugs and non internet-related financial crime.

"SOCA's second annual report shows that the Agency is working in the way which was asked of it," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in the foreword to the report. "It is still early days for the Agency but I am encouraged by the progress now being made."

SOCA was created in April 2006, and includes what was then the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).

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