The Public Prosecutor of the Republic (PGR), speaking on Wednesday, warned that “the available data on cybercrime indicates a very significant increase in the number of pending entries and investigations in 2020 and 2021, compared to previous years.” Increasing cases in 2022.” This trend was highlighted “after the outbreak of the epidemic”, and the same happened with regard to other types of crime of a traditional nature, but also “through the use of communication networks”.
Lucilia Gago, who was speaking on Wednesday at the official opening session of the judicial year, stressed that “the breadth of the phenomenon has become rampant, as complaints to the Public Prosecution office more than doubled from 2019 to 2020 and from 2020 to 2021 . . . ” “.
“We believe that it is urgent to consider this phenomenon in Portugal seriously”, due to the fact that “due to the frequency of new crimes, it allows to predict their great future development”, emphasized the PGR.
Al-Kady explained that “the growth of the world of citizens working at home, and access to the computer systems of their institutions and companies from a distance, revealed weaknesses that allowed for their illegal exploitation and for the significant expansion of illegal activities in communications networks.” He added that the phenomenon increased the need to “strengthen the capacity of the Public Prosecution Office in dealing with criminal phenomena.”
The problem is that these are “very limited”, he lamented, explaining that despite this, the Public Prosecution Office is currently “actively involved in theSpecialized networks, in the context of the European Union, in the Ibero-American space and in from CPLP, which is a particularly fruitful cooperation with major international operators of
Internet services through which fast and informal ways to participate have been explored information used in criminal investigations.
As for the results, Lucilia Gago warned that the fight against these particularly dangerous criminal phenomena “which are integrated either in cybercrime or in economic and financial crime, or even in organized and violent crime, is not carried out by criminal investigation directed exclusively at the application and punishment of perpetrators of crimes.”
Thus, he argued that “it is necessary to ensure that they do not derive any economic advantage from their practices, thus depriving them, without thought and without exception, of the economic benefits arising from criminal activity.”
What is at stake here is the recovery of criminal assets, i.e. “confiscation of profits or increase in assets resulting from the practice of crime”, which the official designates “as a strategic priority of the Prosecutor General’s Office” and “the only effective and non-naive way to combat profit-seeking crime or intent to enrich itself with the crime.