Moldova (Republic of)
Last updated : 07/12/2020
Status regarding Budapest Convention
Status : Party
Signed : 23/11/2001
Ratified / acceded : 12/05/2009
The Centre for Combating Cybercrime, at the National Inspectorate for Investigations of the General Inspectorate of Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova, is the primary unit for the investigation of cybercrime. The Centre currently employs 29 officers (7 criminal investigative officers and 22 investigative officers) tasked with preliminary investigative and operative-detective activities in terms of cybercrime offences. Similar to other jurisdictions, the Centre is active in providing assistance and guidance to local police units in cybercrime and electronic evidence matters.
The work of the Centre is supported by a cyber lab created within the Technical Criminalist Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where technical specialists work on analyses, collection and processing of electronic evidence. The process of forensic examinations takes place in compliance with the provisions of the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, methodological materials and other applicable standards.
Moldova employs not one, but two competent 24/7 points of contact for the purposes of the Budapest Convention, one at the General Police Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (the Centre for Combating Cybercrime of the National Inspectorate for Investigations), and another at the Prosecutor General’s Office (the Information Technology and Cyber Crime Investigation Section). The 24/7 point of contact at the General Police Inspectorate provides police-to-police cooperation under the Budapest Convention and the network of the G7, processing only operative and intelligence information (cannot be used as evidence in criminal proceedings). It does not receive and process mutual legal assistance requests but can provide technical assistance and support and advice.
Since 2010, an Information Technology and Cyber Crime Investigation Section, as an independent structural subdivision of the Prosecutor General’s Office, directly under the General Prosecutor, is in charge of criminal investigations and prosecutions in cybercrime cases. There are currently 5 prosecutors in the section, supported by 4 consultants and 2 IT specialists, who are tasked with the investigation of the full spectrum of offences provided by Articles 2-10 of the Budapest Convention, as well as related offences against, or with the use of computer systems and data.
Both the Ministry of Interior and the General Prosecutor’s Office can receive and process crime reports from individuals, legal entities and state authorities directly. Due to daily interaction between these institutions and supervision by specialized prosecutors of all relevant investigations, coordination is considered to be efficient.
The Department for International Legal Assistance of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Moldova is the designated central authority for the stage of pre-trial investigation. Requests at the stage of trial proceedings or sentence execution are dealt with by the Ministry of Justice, specifically by the International Legal Cooperation Division. The Interpol National Contact Point can receive but not implement the MLA request and must send it to the competent authority for action. The Information Technology and Cyber Crime Investigation Section at the Prosecutor General’s Office of Moldova also acts as second 24/7 point of contact for the purposes of the Budapest Convention.
The Ministry of Justice of Moldova has a main role in overseeing the legislative framework and the organizational tasks regarding the codification and the legal reforms. It plays a key role in developing amendments to the laws of Moldova seeking full compliance with the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
International cooperation requests related to cybercrime and electronic evidence at the stage of trial proceedings, or sentence execution are dealt with by the Ministry of Justice, within the International Legal Cooperation Division. Preliminary consultations can be provided, and email communications are preferred. No limitation is used as to the seriousness of offences in terms of cases that can benefit from preliminary consultations; following the receipt of the original request in non-electronic form, Moldovan competent authority will take the initiative in seeking clarifications where necessary.
For outgoing requests, the requesting authorities (prosecution offices or investigators) have to address all their communications to the central authority (Ministry of Justice at trial stage), which ensures further processing of requests with foreign competent authorities.
There is only one operational CSIRT in the Republic of Moldova – Cyber Security Centre CERT-GOV-MD, operating under the Information Technology and Cyber Security Service, S.E. Center for Special Telecommunications. It was established in 2010 by Government Decision No. 746 of 2010 "On the approval of the updated Individual Partnership Action Plan the Republic of Moldova - NATO". The team took responsibility for handling of information security incidents and offering other cybersecurity services to public administration authorities of the Republic of Moldova. There are five experts working in CERT-GOV-MD.
The CERT-GOV-MD cooperates with the law enforcement agency the Centre for Combating Cyber Crimes, in the following areas: fighting cybercrime (by reporting suspected incidents); capacity building (by organizing joint cybersecurity workshops and trainings); and awareness raising (by organisation of cyber security conferences). Cooperation with state institutions is mainly based on internal regulation, bilateral agreements and voluntary commitments. The Centre is the main point of contact for cybersecurity incidents related to the Republic of Moldova.