Keeping in mind the spread of COVID-19, the Nepal Police Cyber Crime Bureau in Bhotahiti, Kathmandu, has started receiving complaints through email.
People can now file complaints on cybercrime by sending an email at cyberbureau@ nepalpolice.gov.np, without having to visit the police office.
The email requires a copy of a valid identity card such as citizenship, driving licence or passport. The sufferer can provide the link of social media operated by perpetrators along with other details.
Also, the Cyber Bureau has requested everybody to visit any police station nearby and file a case of cybercrime, which will then be taken care of by the bureau itself. Around 10 complaints have been recorded by the Cyber Bureau, in a day.
Between March 24 and April 28, nearly 200 complaints related to the spread of misinformation, identity theft, harassment through social media, and defamation were filed with the bureau – around six complaints a day.
Cybercrime includes misuse of, and harassment through, social media; sale of illegal items; stalking and cyber-bullying, among other things.
As the coronavirus has forced people to stay indoors, unless absolutely necessary to head out, people have more time to spend online as workplaces, classrooms and meetings have moved online, exposing them to cyberattacks. According to the Nepal Police, increased screen time means ample time on the harassers’ hands and a rise in cybercrimes.
Women are mostly subjected to cyber harassment. In the last two months, nearly 70 percent of the 353 cases filed at the cybercrime bureau were related to some form of online abuse directed towards women.
However, since the country does not yet have laws to deal with cybercrimes, all kinds of crimes conducted online are handled under the Electronic Transaction Act, which has a provision of a jail term up to five years or a fine up to Rs20,000.