A perception of Cybercrime in Cameroon: Combating criminality in the internet era

August 26, 2021


With the frequent developments of new technologies in Cameroon, individuals, businesses, organizations and the government are witnessing a steady rise becoming victims in internet crimes.

Digital technology has become the new environ in all works of life all over the globe. The internet having provided a means of connecting and communicating, individuals or group of persons have taken advantage exploiting its power for dubious activities.

The government in combating these crimes has put in place laws and regulations to help mitigate the situation. This seem not enough as every day new tactics are being developed in enhancing cyber offences in different ways.

The state challenged by these new developments is seeking better measures to tackle cybercrime.


The UN General Assembly resolution on cybersecurity and criminality as adopted by Cameroon addresses cybercrimes.

The government of Cameroon in its ability to combat cybercrimes promulgated law on cybersecurity and cyber criminality.

It is obvious and with no contradiction that cybercrime has made it difficult for developing countries and most particularly Cameroon to promote e-ecommerce and participate in online business.

Similarly, a variety of approaches demonstrate the fact that there are multiple definitions of cybercrime.

Section 4(32)  defines cybercrime as an infraction of the law carried out through cyberspace using means other than those habitually used to commit conventional crimes.

Moreover, article 1.1 of the Stanford Draft International Convention to Enhance Protection from Cyber Crime and terrorism refers to cybercrime as a range of offences including traditional computer crimes, as well as network crimes.

Hence, cybercrimes know no border, either physical or virtual but causes serious harm and pose threats to victims worldwide.

Cybercrime in Cameroon as of 2021 is alarming, with new trends constantly emerging and criminals cooperating with each other in ways never seen before.


  • Law N°2016/007 of 12 July 2016 on the penal code of Cameroon.
  • Law N°2005 of 27th July 2005 on the Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon
  • Law N°2010/012 of 21 December 2010 relating to Cybersecurity and Cyber criminality in Cameroon.
  • Law N°2019/017 of 24th December 2019 on the optional protocol to the convention on the rights of the child, on the sale of the children, child prostitution and child pornography.


Cybercrime has become a professional activity and fast lane making money tool to a majority of the younger generation of the country.

Hence posing a major social and legal problem with unemployment and poverty influencing incidence of financial crimes on the internet.

These crimes come in the form of fraudulent electronic emails, impersonation, cyber child trafficking, pornography and hacking threating the lives of Cameroonians, foreigners and the image of the country.

Recently, manual crimes such as phone calls and Mobile Money Scam alert have become common posing a big threat to individuals and business structures using the services.


The most common cybercrime in Cameroon is financial crime. Thus cybercrime constitutes of many types as outlined: Email crime, hacking, phishing, cyber terrorism, financial crime, cyber theft, cyber impersonation, cyber pornography, cyber money laundering, email fraud, email forgery, cyber Scam, trade mark violation and copy right infringement, hate speech, child tracking and pornography.

The most recently developed and common cybercrime in the country has been the Mobile Money Scam alert.

Mobile Money is a financial transactional mobile application of communication companies of the country such as MTN and Orange Cameroon.

This application helps as a means of saving and to facilitate transfer of money from one individuals or business structure to the other.

Recently, it has become the most used mobile application is fascinating financial transactions national, gradually extending abroad.

With the Mobile Money Scam, fake debit alert messages are being sent to persons by the fraudster further requesting a refund of the said alert posing mistakes of contact to persons to which the money was intended to be debited.

Often the fraudster will ask the mobile money account owner to have a particular sum of the initial amount debited in his account and sent the rest back to his own account.

A lot of persons have been victims. This is alarming and becoming insecure for individuals and business owners using the MOMO application.

Secondly Financial crime being another common cybercrime, fraudsters impersonate as online business structures, companies and cultural communities in the country.

They put up ads on classified websites and on Facebook calling on potential buyers or clients to contact. They further communicate, sending invoices which are paid by these potential buyers or clients for the products never received by the client.


There are so many reasons why cybercriminals are doing cybercrimes in Cameroon, but the number one reason is for financial gain. This is as a result of high unemployment and poverty rates in the country. Other reasons include; For the sake of quick cash, difficulty in online identification.



In case of any cyber offence, criminal investigation officers with general jurisdiction and authorized officers of the agency shall carry out investigation.

This shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal procedure code. Criminal investigations shall be the sole responsibility of the Judicial police office and their authorities.

Before assuming office in exercise of their duties, authorized officials of the agency shall take oath before the competent court of First instance in the words as adhere;

I swear to perform my duties loyally and to always abide by the responsibilities bestowed on me, to keep secret information I am aware of on the occasion of or in the discharge of my duties.

Their duties shall be performed under the supervision of the state counsel by judicial police officers, agents and all other civil servants or persons to whom judicial police functions are assigned by law.


They shall be; Officers and non-commissioned officers of the gendarmerie, Gendarmes in charge even in an acting capacity of a gendarmerie brigade, Superintendents of police,

Deputy superintendents of police, Gendarmes and inspectors of police who have passed the judicial police officers examination and taken oath,

Public servants even if they are temporarily performing the functions of head of an external service of the National Security.


Their duties ranges from investigating of cyber offences, collecting data evidence, identifying offenders and accomplices.

They are also responsible bringing cyber offender before the legal department. They are also charge with executing rogatory commissions of judicial authorities.

Serving court processes, executing warrants and court decisions. They shall receive complaints and reports against persons and shall make preliminary investigations.

They shall also receive instructions from the state counsel to carry out any investigations or any additional investigations which he considers necessary.


It is an inter-governmental organization with headquarter in France and a sub branch in Cameroon. The Interpol, National Central Bureau office is located in the nation’s headquarter Yaoundé.

Its aim (per section 3 of its constitution) is to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal authorities within the limits of the law existing in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of human rights.

Secondly, to establish and develop all institution likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes such as cyber criminality.

Through their Red Notice, it seeks international request for cooperation or alerts. It allows police in member countries to share critical crime related information of location and arrest of wanted persons on cyber criminality.

The red Notice can only be published if it complies with Interpol’s constitution. The legal basis for a red notice is an arrest warrant or court order issued by a judicial authority in the country concerned.

Any individual who is subject to an INTERPOL Notice shall be considered innocent until proven guilty. All applications in situations where the accuse cannot be located shall be submitted at the INTERPOL’S head office in France.

Where the accuse location is known the applicant application shall be file before the INTERPOL office of the accused jurisdiction by diplomatic channel.


Extradition is the seal of collaboration between INTERPOL, Individuals, Corporate entities, Foreign governments and the Cameroon Judiciary through diplomatic channels in executing cybercrime offences in Cameroon.

Where the accused location is unknown to the applicant, he shall submit his application before INTERPOL head office.

At this instance, INTERPOL shall through its Red Notice seek and locate the where about of the accuse through its member states local police.

In case where the accuse location is Cameroon, the applicant through an application shall seize INTERPOL office in the said location through diplomatic channel.

All this can be possible if the requesting country is subject to rules of reciprocity between Cameroon on a judicial cooperation agreement.  

The rogatory commission shall be executed in accordance with the criminal procedure code. Extradition shall be an application made through diplomatic channels.

Attached to the application shall be a copy of the judgment, even if the person was convicted for the cybercrime in absentia, a document ordering that the accused be brought before a court for preliminary trial, Warrant of arrest, attached copy of the applicable laws to the cybercrime offence charged and accounts of the facts of the case.


The Cameroon government having adhere to International legal instruments such as the UN General Assembly resolution on cybersecurity and criminality,

Constitution and the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union, the Radio Communications’ Regulation and the International Telecommunications’ Regulation have put in place vibrant regulations such as the Law N° 2010/012 of 21 December 2010 relating to Cybersecurity and Cyber Criminality.

The government through other supporting initiatives, recently on the 8th of May 2021 under the auspices of the Minister of Post and Telecommunication,took part in the opening workshop of the first international conference on cybercrime and cybersecurity in Cameroon, Africa organized by the university of Dschang.

An intellectual workshop aimed at tackling the increasingly threatening scourge tarnishing the image of the nation.


Cybercrime offences, especially financial crimes and scam are at a rise. There is enforceability of the regulatory laws by competent authorities in tackling this internet trend which has become a treat to individuals, corporate entities, jeopardizing the image of the state.

Fortunately, INTERPOL presences in the country has become a relieving factor as through its cooperation with the local competent authorities, they are able to combat cybercrimes offences within the national territory and beyond.

The role of the government through the ministry of post and telecommunication can be seen imperative through their recently organized international workshop on cybercrime and security dated 8th of May 2021.

We look forward to many of such event to better create awareness of combatting cybercrime in the nation.

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