Need for cooperation of Investigative Committee of Belarus with FBI


Need for cooperation of Investigative Committee of Belarus with FBI

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the FBI and the Investigative Committee of Belarus in the United States in early February 2018. The next logical step is a bilateral agreement on legal assistance between countries.

What are the prospects for cooperation between the FBI and the Investigative Committee? How do Belarusian investigators help American colleagues apprehend cybercriminals? Here is an interview with the chairman of the Investigative Committee Ivan Noskevich, who returned from negotiations with the US counterparts.

Mr. Noskevich, you have just returned from the United States of America. Perhaps, this visit can be considered historic, because the meetings were held at a very high level. The FBI is such an influential structure. What is the current connection between the FBI and the Investigative Committee of Belarus after this visit?

Ivan Noskevich, Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus:
There was a really good working visit. This is the result of systematic, long-standing work of the entire Investigative Committee, which began exactly two years ago, when the final annual board meeting of the Investigative Committee was held, attended by the Head of State.

Among other things, we had a clear mission: to develop international cooperation very actively. Cooperation with the FBI (in fact, like the visit itself) is not an end in itself, not the realization of some of our ambitions. This is an urgent necessity, since the investigation of crimes, especially cybersecurity, does not allow us to work alone. Since any computer-literate criminal can press the button on the keyboard of their computer in Belarus, and money will be withdrawn from the account in the United States of America or on the other side of the world.

In the era of globalization, how can the FBI be useful, with its huge databases, in solving of such crimes?

Ivan Noskevich:
They have very extensive databases, very significant for us. They have direct access not only to their databases, but also to the databases of Visa, Google, WhatsApp and others. We do not have access without the FBI, or we can sometimes do many months of work for access. Sometimes we are waiting for years for some information from these participants of the computer market.

We are interested in their system of professional training. When we visited the FBI Academy in Quantico, we saw that the professional training of the FBI is at the highest level.

A whole training city is built there for future agents. What skills could be useful to our investigators?

Ivan Noskevich:
Yes, there is a separate urban area built, mostly for intelligence units. There is an opportunity to work out specific models for the release of hostages, specific models for an inspection of the scene of the incident. The whole town is built there for practicing driving skills, a magnificent shooting gallery. There are several shooting galleries: in the open air and in the hall.

The training system in this Academy is built on the fact that there are people with a certain level of professional knowledge and education. Several dozen people are selected from several thousand for this training. They undergo 20-week courses, after which about 60-70% of people quit.

Can we send a Belarusian specialist there?

Ivan Noskevich:
Of course, we did not waste our time and agreed that in the near future we would provide our candidates. Initial requirements are quite loyal: perfect knowledge of English. All the rest is checked on site, first of all the level of physical readiness.

The structure is famous for its independence, sometimes, perhaps, jealousy for the CIA. What is your impression after seeing it with your own eyes?

Ivan Noskevich:
It was interesting for us what is called the FBI investigation, that is, the investigation of crimes. This is the investigation of crimes where juveniles act as victims. These are crimes in combating corruption. If we succeed in signing an agreement on the provision of legal assistance in criminal matters, to which, in fact, we are striving, then, of course, joint activities will be invigorated to exchange information and exchange experience in these categories of criminal cases.

There are solved and successful cases in which the damage was estimated at millions of dollars. It would be impossible to solve them without such mutual assistance?

Ivan Noskevich:
Since 2015, we have had criminal cases in which the victims were either public authorities or thousands, tens of thousands of citizens of the United States of America. The attackers were either in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, or they were Belarusians by nationality, and crimes were committed on the territory of the republic.

There are several cases like that. I can give examples when we solved crimes against intruders from Brest, Mogilev. There are a lot of hackers who caused multi-million damage to economic entities and individuals who are in the territory of the United States of America. In addition, there is one criminal group under investigation that works including in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

How actively are information technologies being introduced?

Ivan Noskevich:
An electronic criminal case will soon be the future of pre-trial criminal proceedings. In an ideal model, it does not yet exist in the world. We examined some elements of the electronic criminal case from our colleagues from Georgia and Armenia during our business trips. In our country, we are trying to introduce the UAIS - the Unified Automated Information System - one of the elements of which should be an electronic criminal case.

It is difficult to say how soon it will appear, it depends on many components. First, the intellectual component: we need additional brains in order to create software. And of course we need additional funds.

It is clear that the program was very rich. Did you have the opportunity during your visit to see some sights in Washington?

Ivan Noskevich:
In fact, this was not the purpose of the visit. There was not much time to see America. But we found several hours to go for a tour of Washington. America is magnificent. But there is no place like home.

«Сотрудничество с ФБР – это не самоцель, это насущная необходимость». Интервью с председателем СК программе «Неделя»